First career home run (June 20, 2003)
Cabrera enjoyed one of the greatest MLB debuts ever when he connected at Miami's Pro Player Stadium in the 11th inning for a two-run, walk-off home run for the Marlins in a 3-1 victory against right-hander Al Levine and the Devil Rays. He had turned 20 years old about two months earlier. At the time, Cabrera was just the third major leaguer in history to end his first game with a home run. Cabrera has seven walk-off homers in his career.
Said Cabrera: “It was a walk-off home run. I was like 40 pounds lighter. That’s what I remember. I played left field. Every time I (see) a picture from 2003, I say, 'Oh, Miggy, what’s wrong with you?'"
500th career home run (Aug. 22, 2021)
About 10,000 plate appearances later, Cabrera became the 28th player to cross the 500-home run barrier, taking a 1-1 pitch by Blue Jays left-hander Steven Matz over the right-field fence. The Tigers won the game and took the series at Rogers Centre.
Biggest postseason home run (Oct. 22, 2003)
Cabrera had a huge National League Championship Series against the Cubs that included three big homers, but his two-run blast in Game 4 against Yankees star Roger Clemens ended an epic at-bat and helped the Marlins even the World Series at two games apiece. Cabrera didn't get intimidated when Clemens twice buzzed him up and in, and he stayed alive by fouling off a pair of 2-2 pitches before driving a fastball the opposite way in the first inning. The Marlins won in extras.
Second-biggest postseason home run (Oct. 15, 2003)
A week earlier, Cabrera went golfing against Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood and lofted a three-run homer to give the Marlins a first-inning lead in Game 7 of the NLCS. Cabrera hit .333/.394/.633 with three home runs in the series. Including the postseason, Cabrera has 513 career homers.
Biggest regular-season home run (May 13, 2014)
Cabrera’s biggest clutch moment when hitting a home run, according to the analytics, came against Orioles closer Tommy Hunter with the Tigers down 1-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth. This had a 0.78 win probability added and a 5.43 on the leverage index. But can you measure the heart? Actually, yes, with an electrocardiogram! But seriously folks, this was a big dinger.
Longest home run (May 14, 2016)
(At least from the Statcast era.) Cabrera connected for a two-run, 462-footer against Mike Wright Jr. of the Orioles that bounced above the visitor’s bullpen at Camden Yards. It’s possible that Cabrera hit longer home runs, considering Stacast only covers games since 2015. But this is pretty dang impressive.
The ball that left Comerica Park (June 20, 2016)
Cabrera hit one against Nate Karns of Seattle in the first inning that bounced through the Comerica concourse and out of the stadium, something that rarely happens. Statcast said it went 454 feet, which wasn’t even Cabrera’s longest home run in a nine-day span. (ESPN reported it to be even longer at 461.) Tigers writer for MLB.com Jackson Beck wrote:
“Not since Carlos Peña in 2005 had a Tiger hit a ball onto the outfield concourse at Comerica Park. Cabrera not only got the ball there, but he also put it out of the ballpark completely. A fan ended up with the ball on nearby Adams Street.”
The Detroit News talked to the fan, 45-year-old Cory Kinney, who ran across Adams to retrieve the ball in front of the Detroit Athletic Club. Kinney said he frequently watches games from outside the concourse fence but never saw a ball leave the stadium entirely. “Boom! I ran and got it,” said Kinney, who intended to give the ball to his grandmother, “Ms. Hudson,” the woman who turned him onto baseball.
The News also interviewed 58-year-old Gordy Rooker, who was watching the game with his adult son in the standing-room-only section. “It was insane,” Rooker said.
Hits the batter’s eye at Comerica Park (June 2, 2012)
This bomb against Yankees righty Hiroki Kuroda might be Cabrera’s most impressive-looking homer at Comerica, even though the Fox broadcast team said it traveled “only” 436 feet. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver weren’t buying it — not with the fence being 420 feet away and the ball being hit well beyond it and perhaps 20 feet higher. “It was more like 460 or 470,” McCarver insisted.
Breaking the stalemate with Mariano Rivera (Aug. 9, 2013)
This is a moment they’ll talk about in the likelihood that Cabrera is elected to the Hall of Fame someday. It wasn’t a game-winner, but it did tie the score in the ninth inning with two outs against the all-time saves leader to finish a seven-pitch at-bat that lasted nearly five minutes. Cabrera almost popped out after swinging at the first pitch, but first baseman Lyle Overbay couldn’t come up with the ball before it dropped into a photographers well. Cabrera also painfully fouled consecutive pitches off the same leg to stretch out the drama.
“They should make a movie from that at-bat,” teammate Torii Hunter said.
400th career home run (May 16, 2015)
He became the eighth-youngest player to hit 400 career home runs, also surpassing Andres Galarraga for the most home runs by a player born in Venezuela.