The last Twins player to homer in his first Major League at-bat was Andre David on June 29, 1984 -- also at Detroit.
The 25-year-old Hughes becomes the fifth player in Twins history to homer in his first Major League at-bat. In addition to David, Rick Renick (July 11, 1968), Dave McKay (Aug. 22, 1975) and Gary Gaetti (Sept. 20, 1981) accomplished the feat.
"You always dream of it, finally getting up here and making it to the Major Leagues, but to hit a home run in my first at-bat it was an unbelievable feeling," Hughes said. "It's something that I won't forget -- ever. "
And despite the loss, Gardenhire made sure that Hughes got full recognition for his impressive accomplishment.
"I'm really proud of the kid, and that was very exciting," Gardenhire said. "The first Major League at-bat, it was a long time coming for the young man and he put it in the seats. We were really excited for him. We talked about it after the game in here. And I wanted to make sure, let's not lose that. It's a tough ballgame, and we lost, but let's not lose sight of a guy's first Major League game, a home run in his first at-bat. You remember that the rest of your life. I was glad I was here to see it."
Gardenhire wasn't the only one who got to witness the big hit. Hughes' mom, who lives in his hometown of Perth, Australia, purchased an MLB package shortly after learning of her son's promotion to the big leagues. She was able to watch the big moment, even though she is 12 hours ahead and it was Thursday morning by her viewing screen.
"I gave her a text and woke her up this morning just to let here know that I was playing," Hughes said. "She was actually rolling around in bed because she couldn't sleep. She said she had a feeling I was going to play. She was actually up at 3 in the morning and heard her phone vibrate. So it was definitely cool."
The momentous occasion was almost spoiled when a fan threw the home run ball back on the field, only to have Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez toss it back in the stands. Luckily, realizing that Hughes would want the ball, another fan threw it back on the field so that the rookie could keep the memento.
"It was just great to see the fans throwing it back in," Hughes said. "I really appreciated it."