6 Memorable Moments in Detroit Tigers’ History

Take a look back at some of the most iconic Detroit Tigers’ moments throughout the years.
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detroit tigers - Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan
Photograph from iStock

It’s officially baseball season in the Motor City, and with the Tigers’ returning to Comerica Park, it’s the perfect time to reminisce on some of the unforgettable plays, games, and broken records across the team’s 123 American League history.

These are our top six in chronological order. What moments would you add to the list?

Goose Goslin Hits a Walk-off Single to Win the World Series in 1935 

In 1935, after losing their first four World Series attempts, the Detroit Tigers were battling the Chicago Cubs, who hadn’t had a title since 1908, for the World Series’ win.

The score was 3-3 and catcher Mickey Cochrane was on second base when Leon Allen “Goose” Goslin came up to bat. Goslin took a pitch from Larry French and sent the ball just over the head of the second baseman to send Mickey Cochrane around third and into home.

It was the Tigers’ first World Series’ win and sparked a street party that the Free Press called “bigger than Armistice Day in 1918.”

Read more from the National Baseball Hall of Fame at baseballhall.org.

The Tigers’ Comeback in the 1968 Worlds Series

The St. Louis Cardinals had a 3-game-to-1 edge over the Detroit Tigers at the start of Game 5 of the ’68 World Series. Only two teams had ever came back from that kind of deficit in World Series history and it seemed there was little hope for a Tigers’ World Series win.

But by the fifth inning, the Tigers had begun turning things around when Lou Brock of the Cardinals failed to slide as he tried to score and earned a 5-3 win after Al Kaline earned a two-run single in the seventh.

The Tigers would annihilate the Cardinals in Game 6 with a score of 13-1. They would ultimately win the World Series 4-1 in Game 7 — and help to reunite and heal the city after the Detroit Rebellion one summer earlier.

Read more at HourDetroit.com.

Kirk Gibson’s Homerun in the 1984 World Series

The 1984 World Series saw the Detroit Tigers take on the San Diego Padres. Kirk Gibson got things rolling in the first inning of Game 5 with a “two-run round tripper” but by the ninth inning, the Padres had caught up and were just one run from tying things up.

Gibson stepped up to the plate again in the bottom of the eighth and launched a rocket into the upper deck of the right field to clinch the series. The Tigers won that game 8-4 and would win the World Series that year, 4-games-to-1.

Read more at MLB.com.  

Magglio Ordóñez Hits a Walk-off to Send Tigers to the 2006 World Series

The Detroit Tigers and the Oakland Athletics went head-to-head in the 2006 American League Championship Series. It was the bottom of the ninth, there were two outs, the game was tied at 3-3, and the World Series was on the line when Magglio Ordóñez stepped up to the plate.

He would knock the ball into the left field seats for a three-run, walk-off homer that sent Detroit to the World Series for the first time in 20 years. They would go on to beat the New York Yankees but would ultimately lose to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Read more on detroitsportsnation.com.

Miguel Cabrera Wins the Triple Crown in 2012

In 2012, Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera became one of 15 ball players (16 if you count Tip O’Neill in the American Association) to earn the prestigious Triple Crown with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 RBIs.

He was the first player to earn the award in 45 years — the last winner was Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967 — and he did it while on the Tigers.

Read more on ESPN.com.

Miguel Cabrera Becomes the First Tiger to Hit 500 Homeruns in 2021

Miggy made Tigers history again back in August of 2021 when he joined the 500 Home Run Club after knocking a pitch from Steven Matz of the Toronto Blue Jays 400 feet.

The hit was the 2,955th hit of his career, his 13th of that season, and tied the score at 1, which allowed the Tigers to win the game 5-3 in 11 innings. He was the 28th player to reach that milestone in MLB history, and the first to do so in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform. He’d go on to become one of 33 ball players to reach 3,000 career hits in April of the next year.

Read more on ESPN.com.

This post has been updated for 2024.