#18 Outfielder Larry Herndon
If I asked you to name the biggest home runs in the history of this team...and I mean of the current cross section of fans...most of you would say Magglio Ordonez's home run in the 2006 ALCS. People my age who have been fans of this team for a long time would likely say Kirk Gibson's shot in the 1984 World Series...however there is one that gets over looked. One that we always forget about...one home run by a guy who had his best year in 1987...
Larry Herndon's Home Run in game #162 of the 1987 regular season won the team its second division title. He sent a very talented roster back to the post season...and yet he rarely gets mentioned in the conversation of biggest home runs by players wearing the old English D. IN fact many of the great moments of my generation were accomplished by Larry Herndon.
It was Herndon who made the final out of the 1984 World Series catching a fly ball in left off the bat of Tony Gwynn. It was Herndon, who's home run in game one of that series sent the message that the Tigers were out to dominate the San Diego Padres. Herndon was a mainstay at the corner outfield spots for the 1980's and while he was never the best player on the team he was often the difference for a team that should have one at least one more World Series title.
He did not have a huge bat, but he was steady...he was reliable and we can see that by his post season batting average of .333. He was never selected to be an All Star, but he contribute and was the guy who got things done at their most critical moments. His legacy for the Detroit Tigers should be more celebrated. He was one of those guys that just did his job, and did it quite well. He was one of those guys who came up to bat in big situations and delivered. He was the guy who squeezed his glove around the last World Series title this team won.
My 25 Favorite Tigers