Page last updated on Tue May 26 01:44:39 EDT 2015
Tue, 05 Jun 2012 03:48 AM EDT

The ball sailed deep toward the left-field seats off Magglio Ordonez’s bat – in a video on the Comerica Park scoreboard this time – and the crowd cheered its approval of one of the best moments in Tigers history. Vegas odds

Ordonez officially announced his retirement and Detroit admirers had a chance to celebrate his stellar career in a ceremony before the Tigers hosted the N.Y Yankees. Among the highlights was a video tribute that contained Ordonez’s pennant-winning home run in Game Four of the 2006 American League Championship Series.

“Big hit after big hit, leadership qualities,” GM Dave Dombrowski related. “We’ll also always grin – in 2006, in that 4th game of the ALCS – when we see that ball going over the left-field fence, for one of the biggest hits in Detroit Tigers history.”

The 38-year-old Ordonez finishes his career with a .309 average over 15 seasons with Detroit and the Chicago White Sox. His 294 homers are the 2nd-most by a Venezuela-born player, trailing only Andres Galarraga’s 399.

In 2007, the year after his ALCS homer eliminated Oakland, he became the 1st Tiger to win the batting title in 46 years. He hit .363 that year — the highest average by a Detroit Tigers player since 1937 — with 28 home runs, 54 doubles and 139 RBIs.

“I’m happy. I’m at peace,” Ordonez declared at a meeting shortly before the on-field ceremony. “I think the way in which I left the game was the proper way. I went to the playoffs I did good 15 years in the big leagues, playing at a good level. I’m truly proud.”

Ordonez had family attending at his announcement, together with Dombrowski, Detroit owner Mike Ilitch and Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

“As an executive, one of your largest thrills is to look at the top flight players in the world play the game, and I can not tell Magglio what a treat it was for me to have observed him play on a regular basis,” Leyland expounded, choking up as he spoke. “I think the nicest thing that I’m able to say to Magglio is, a manager has players over time, and not all of them become friends, but you’ve become a friend.”

Ordonez was hitting .303 in July 2010 when he broke his right ankle sliding into home. He required surgical treatment, and though he played in 92 games last year, he hit a career-worst .255 with only 5 homers. Detroit won the American League Central, but Ordonez broke his ankle again during the playoffs.

He and the Tigers parted ways, and that stopped up being it for his career.

Although Ordonez might be best remembered for his pennant-winning homer and batting title with Detroit Tigers he changed into a star with the Chicago White Sox. He made his debut with them in 1997, and from 1999-2003, he hit .312, averaging 32 homers and 118 RBIs per season.

Ordonez was limited to 52 games in 2004 due to calf and knee problems, and he signed with the Tigers after that season. He had injury problems again in 2005, but when 2006 started, both he and his new team were prepared for resurgence.

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