Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: 20 Best Hitters in the Last 30 Years

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Sep 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Diamondback manager Kirk Gibson in the dugout in the fifth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins win 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

4. Kirk Gibson

Gibby will always be remembered for his walk-off home run with the Dodgers, but in Detroit he will be remembered for much more. A graduate of Michigan State University and an alumnus from Waterford-Kettering High School, his home-grown talent has made him a legend in his home state. He played for the Tigers for 12 seasons. He had some serious shoes to fill when Sparky Anderson boasted that Gibson would be the next Mickey Mantle.

In his 12 years in Detroit, he hit 195 home runs and 668 RBIs. He never made it to an All-Star Game in any of his 17 years in the MLB. He was named the ALCS MVP in 1984 and he scored the winning home run off of Goose Gossage in Game 5. This moment in baseball is frequently mentioned as one of the top ten moments in all of baseball with Gibby’s moment with the Dodgers as the best. His ability to come through in clutch moments makes him one of the best hitters in recent Tigers history.

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