Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera’s most memorable moments

Miguel Cabrera sings Take Me Out to The Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Miguel Cabrera sings Take Me Out to The Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miguel Cabrera Home Runs

Miguel Cabrera
MINNEAPOLIS – Miguel Cabrera is congratulated by Magglio Ordonez after hitting a home run during the 3rd inning of the American League Tiebreaker game against the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

These days you can find videos for everything in games, from homers, to wild pitches, to animals on the field, but it’s a bit harder to find official videos from 10-12 years ago, so please forgive us if we can’t embed video of each homer.

Game 163

The stretch run of the 2009 season probably doesn’t conjure many great memories for the Detroit Tigers, their fans, or Miguel Cabrera. Miggy’s personal life became far too public, the Tigers blew a three-game division lead with just four games to play, and then they lost a thrilling tiebreaker in heart-breaking fashion. But Miguel Cabrera did his best to help the Tigers win game 163, lacing a double in his first at-bat, and then blasting a 2-run homer to put Detroit up 3-0. At the time it gave Detroit a 77% chance to win, and it felt a bit like redemption for both Cabrera and the team. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

Comeback Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera has been a key part of some remarkable comebacks in his career. Beck’s list (shakes fist at sky) included Cabrera’s famous walk-off blast against Cleveland closer Chris Perez to complete a five-run comeback in the 10th inning. But earlier that year Cabrera hit a huge 3-run shot in the 9th against Boston to send the game to extra innings, before Alex Avila capped off the win in the the 11th. And there was the time in 2016 when Cabrera singled in the 9th to help the Tigers score eight runs and beat Tampa Bay 10-7.

But let’s go back to 2011, when the Tigers spent most of the year fending off Chicago and Cleveland in the AL Central. Detroit had 12 important games against their division rivals in September, and they won ALL of them. But it sure looked like they were destined to lose on September 3rd, when they fell behind the White Sox 8-1 in the 5th inning. But the Tigers chipped away, and Ryan Raburn tied the game with a 2-run blast in the 9th. That set the stage for Miguel Cabrera:

Return to Center

One of the most impressive aspects of Miguel Cabrera as a hitter is his power to all fields. Of his 498 career home runs, 106 have gone to the opposite field. That’s the most oppo shots by any right-handed batter since at least 1988.

But Cabrera’s most common spot to hit a home run, at least according to Baseball Reference, is center field. And he has a penchant for doing so on milestone homers. His first career home run was a walk-off shot to center field. His 100th career home run was to left-center. His 200th career blast was to deep right center. His 400th career homer went to dead center and made him Venezeula’s all-time home run leader. And yes, his 300th career home run was a mammoth blast to center that nearly killed the camera operator at Comerica Park.

Snowmerica

No list of Miguel Cabrera home runs would be complete without his blast from opening day, 2021. It was the first home run in the Majors this year, it came off reigning Cy Young winner Shane Bieber, and it happened in the middle of a snowstorm. And Miguel slid into second base for good measure. That’s quality entertainment.

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