Sep 17, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
3. Kirk Gibson
This list would be incomplete without a mention of Gibby. He is a Michigan native through and through. He was born in Pontiac, raised in Waterford, and graduated from Waterford Kettering High School. He attended Michigan State University where he played football and was named an All-American wide receiver. He was an outstanding football player and helped lead the Spartans to a Big Ten title. His football coach suggested he play baseball, which was a move that paid off. He played one year, hitting .390, 16 home runs, and 52 RBIs. His performance on the gridiron got the attention of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 7th round. In the MLB, the Tigers drafted him in the 1st round. He chose baseball.
He played nine seasons in Detroit. In three of the seasons, he was in the MVP conversation. It was not until he moved to Los Angeles to play for the Dodgers that he finally won the MVP after his memorable World Series walk-off home run in 1988. Interestingly, this was not his first clutch hit in a World Series. He hit his first World Series clutch home run in 1984 against Goose Gossage in the fifth game in 1984. In his 12 years as a Tiger, he hit .273 with 195 home runs.