October 14 is a big day for Tigers fans, historically. While the Detroit club didn’t quite make it to the postseason this year, and their dreams of another trip to the World Series will need to wait a little bit longer, we can still look back and appreciate how big of a day October 14 is for Tigers fans, with some of the most exciting moments in the last 40 years coming on the date.
It’s worth noting, before we get into the good stuff, that October 13, a day we chose not to spotlight, is the anniversary of the worst home run ever hit against the Tigers, in David Ortiz’s 2013 ALCS grand slam for the Boston Red Sox that sent Torii Hunter over a bullpen wall and was ultimately the nail in the coffin for the Tigers. The series continued on to October 19, but you’d be hard pressed to find a Tigers fan who remembers anything else about those later games.
Now onto happier memories.
October 14, 2006 — Magglio Ordonez sends the Tigers to the World Series
The October 14th Game Six matchup between the Tigers and the Oakland Athletics was bound to be a nailbiter no matter what happened. The Tigers needed a win that night to punch their ticket to the World Series, but Oakland took an early lead, leading many to fear the series would be forced to a Game Seven.
Then in the sixth inning, Magglio Ordonez homered to tie the game, a heroic feat in and of itself. But he came back to the plate in the ninth inning, two men on and their postseason hopes hanging in the balance.
And he did this.
Find me anyone who loves the Tigers that doesn’t think of this home run when they hear the name Magglio Ordonez. Or doesn’t get a tear in their eye watching it play out. Truly, has there even been a more perfect, more magical home run in Tigers history? (The J.D. Martinez/Chris Sale moment comes close, but this one has to top it.)
Enjoy just watching that clip a few times before we go on to our next triumphant October 14th memory.
October 14, 1984 — The Tigers win the World Series
What a moment for the Tigers. What an incredible, unforgettable series of events, that was the Tigers first World Series win since 1968. Much like the Magglio Ordonez home run in 2006, the Game Five home run Kirk Gibson hit off of Goose Gossage might be one of the most iconic postseason moments in Tigers history. Who among us, no matter how old we were when the game was played, doesn’t think of “He don’t want to walk you!” when we think of the inimitable Sparky Anderson.
The three-run blast in the eighth put the Tigers so far ahead it was impossible for the Padres to make a rally back, losing the game 8-4, and then losing the World Series in five games, as Willie Hernandez came on to collect the final outs of the game and put the series to bed that night.
The Tigers have a great history of games on October 14th, and in spite of the fact they are not playing in October this year, we will surely see more great October 14th moments to come.