Detroit Tigers: Remembering Miguel Cabrera’s Other Home Runs

Shea Norling
Aug 22, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) smiles in the dugout after his solo homerun against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. The homerun was the 500th of his career. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) smiles in the dugout after his solo homerun against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre. The homerun was the 500th of his career. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 05: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers and Chris Perez #54 of the Cleveland Indians watch the ball clear the left-field fence in the tenth inning scoring Omar Infante #4 to give the Tigers a 10-8 win over the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park on August 5, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Indians 10-8. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

3. Walking Off Cleveland, the way I heard it Detroit Tigers vs Cleveland Indians August 5, 2012

My dad always had a rule when we went to Detroit Tigers games: NEVER, EVER leave early. He always recalled a story from when my sister was young, and he was with her at Tiger Stadium (the one on Michigan and Trumbull), and the Tigers were getting clobbered on a brutally hot Michigan summer day. With a young daughter in tow who could not have cared less about the game going on in front of her, my dad broke his rule and left the game. Now, if there were ever an emergency and he had to leave, he would listen on the radio to Ernie Harwell call the play-by-play on AM radio. But, again, he had a very young daughter in tow who could not have cared less about the game going on, and so he played some children’s CD.

The Tigers came back from whatever horrible beating they were taken and won. My dad didn’t find out until he got home and my mom told him. He vowed to never leave a game again.

Until… a brutally hot summer day at Comerica Park with a teenage son sitting in the right-field bleachers, baking in the Detroit sun without any shade to speak of, watching a very prolonged 5-5 game go into extra innings. In the top of the 10th on August 5, 2012, Cleveland took an 8-5 lead over the Tigers, and I pestered my dad into leaving early. A cardinal sin. This time, however, we both wanted to listen as Dan Dickerson and Jim Price called a disheartening Tigers loss that would put them 3.5 games behind the White Sox in the central.

Neither of us cared that we left when Austin Jackson doubled home, Al Avila. We didn’t care that we left listening to Dan call Omar Infante’s game-tying two-RBI single, either. And we certainly didn’t care that we left when Miguel Cabrera sent a 3-1 pitch from Chris Perez over the left-field wall to top-off a 5-run bottom of the 10th. We had the same feeling we had when he walked off the White Sox in 2011. Miggy would not let us lose the division, and we wouldn’t have heard it any other way.

Detroit Tigers
NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 09: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on a game tying two run home run in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 9, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

2. The Greatest At-Bat I Ever Heard: Detroit Tigers vs New York Yankees August 9th, 2013.

My favorite Tigers baseball moment in my lifetime came in 2006. I’m sure you already know what it is. Magglio Ordonez took Houston Street deep into the October night to walk off the Oakland A’s and send the Tigers to the World Series. My dirty little secret? I didn’t watch that game live. Instead, I was camping with some middle school friends, and my dad pulled his pickup truck up close to the fire, opened all the doors, turned the radio as loud as it would go, and played the play-by-play broadcast. There’s something a little extra magical about hearing these moments on the radio rather than seeing them.

I was between my freshman and sophomore year of college at Michigan State, out with some friends, probably doing things we should not have been doing. I honestly couldn’t tell you, and until I went looking for Dan Dickerson’s radio call of this home run (which I sadly could not find) I couldn’t even have told you the Tigers lost this game. All I remember is being in the backseat of my friend’s Mercury Mariner, five friends all going silent for the top of the ninth as Miguel Cabrera stepped into the box against Mariano Rivera.

Breathing a sigh of relief as Dickerson told us Lyle Overbay just missed catching a foul pop-up into the Yankee dugout. Listening intently as Miggy battled his way back from 0-2 into a 2-2 count, fouling two pitches off his already injured left leg along the way.

Sitting suspended in silence as Dickerson called a fly ball to deep center field, and erupting and very likely nearly crashing as we high fived around the car when Cabrera’s fly ball settled on the netting beyond Yankee Stadium’s center-field wall. It wasn’t until I got home later and watched the at-bat on replay with my dad that I realized how impressive an at-bat Miguel had put together, and even though the Tigers lost, how could you care? Miggy had one-upped the greatest closer of all time.

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