I’ll admit it: I wasn’t the biggest Magglio Ordonez fan in 2006. After an injury-riddled debut season with the Tigers in 2005, I was ready to see the Ordonez that seemed to crush Detroit at every opportunity while with the White Sox.
But he just didn’t seem to deliver as often as I expected him to, and I don’t remember if it was based on gut feeling or cold-hard stats.
Whatever. When he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning of the 2006 ALCS, I didn’t expect him to come through. And from that point on I shut my mouth about Magglio Ordonez.
Here’s my Magglio Top Five list:
- 2006 ALCS Homer. Of course.
- 2007 Batting Title. After the Tigers faded in the standings Magglio’s march to a league-leading .363 average was all we had – and fun to watch.
- 2011 ALDS Performance. With good reason, people scoff at the term “professional hitter”, but how else can you describe what Magglio did against the Yankees? He hit .455 (5 for 11) and a 1.045 OPS.
- 2005 Return Homer off Randy Johnson. On July 1 Maggs returned from an extended stay on the DL thanks to a sports hernia – and we worried about his creaky knee – and went yard to deep left center off Johnson. The season was a loss at that point; the Tigers were 37-39 and 15 games behind the White Sox. But oh the long-term possibilities with Ordonez in the Tigers lineup. He finished that year at .302 with five homers.
- February 7, 2005. The day the Tigers signed him was another step toward making baseball relevant again in Detroit.
That’s my list. What’s yours?
For a broader look at Magglio’s career, checkout this excellent piece by Chris Jaffe in The Hardball Times.