The first impression when Comerica Park opened in 2000 was the cavernous dimensions. Back then, a home run to the left-field power alley required a 395-foot drive. The flagpole that currently sits at the back of the visiting bullpen was actually in play, requiring a 430-foot launch to reach from home plate. Juan Gonzalez was muttering to himself after long flyouts to left on his way to a one-and-done season as a Tiger.
The fences have moved in since then, but the long flyouts have piled up over the years. Sadly, Statcast wasn’t around for the Juan Gonzalez era, but we still have a good sample size of long outs. Here are the 10 longest Comerica Park outs of the Statcast era (since 2015):
1. Cameron Maybin, Aug. 29, 2020 (426 feet)
Maybin’s final game of his latest stint as a Tiger (he was traded to the Cubs two days later) included this reminder of the difference between Comerica Park and Wrigley Field. Maybin crushed this hanging breaking ball from Minnesota’s Tyler Clippard to the wall, just left of straightaway center. He seemingly got enough of this one to send it out, but Jake Cave made a leaping catch at the wall, scraping the shrubs with his glove to keep the ball in the park, much to the astonishment of Tigers broadcaster Jack Morris.
2. Salvador Perez, June 27, 2017 (424 feet)
Perez has 15 career home runs at Comerica Park, two behind noted Tiger killer Nelson Cruz. But Perez had to feel like this should’ve been another. The Royals catcher connected with a Justin Verlander pitch and sent it deep to right-center, but Mikie Mahtook ran it down with an over-the-shoulder catch before crashing into the wall. Perez got his revenge the next night with a homer off Daniel Norris.
3. Brandon Dixon, Aug. 6, 2019 (421 feet)
Like Mahtook, Adam Engel went crashing into the wall after running down Dixon’s drive to straightaway center off White Sox lefty Héctor Santiago to end the first inning. Dixon and Santiago ended up in Tigers camp together the next year after Detroit signed the left-handed pitcher to a non-roster invite.
4. Nick Castellanos, May 18, 2017 (420 feet)
Castellanos saved his harshest criticism of Comerica Park for his final season as a Tiger in 2019, but his '17 drive against the Orioles was his longest out. Upon contact, Castellanos dropped his bat like he thought the ball was headed out. However, Gold Glove Award winner Adam Jones had a read on it from the start, catching it just in front of the wall in straightaway center. He even blew a bubble as he tracked the ball near the warning track.
5. Carlos Correa, July 29, 2016 (419 feet)
The Astros already had two home runs off Tigers starter Matthew Boyd, and Correa’s drive to straightaway center off a Boyd fastball looked like a third. The ball sent Maybin to the wall for the catch, stranding a runner to end the third inning. The Tigers already had a 9-3 lead by then, but a 9-5 game might have put the Astros back in it. Instead, Detroit went on to a 14-6 victory.
6. Miguel Cabrera, Sept. 1, 2017 (418 feet)
No list of long Comerica Park outs would be complete without Miggy, who has had his share. This one off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco went to straightaway center, where former Tiger Austin Jackson caught it with his back at the wall. All Cabrera could do was smile as he rounded first base; he has seen enough to know.
7. Niko Goodrum, Aug. 10, 2018 (418 feet)
Cave makes another appearance on the defensive end of this list, this time running down former Twins teammate Goodrum’s drive to the wall in straightaway center. Goodrum got his revenge by homering off Ervin Santana to right field a couple innings later.
8. Brandon Drury, July 21, 2019 (418 feet)
Of course this list was going to include a JaCoby Jones highlight catch. Jones made a leaping grab near the deepest part of left-center to deny a hit to this Blue Jays third baseman, much to the delight of lefty Tyler Alexander.
9. Steve Pearce, May 22, 2016 (418 feet)
Jordan Zimmermann improved to 7-2 with a 2.52 ERA in this game, part of the high point of his Tigers tenure. Maybin helped him with a catch here, running down the Rays' slugger’s drive to straightaway center.
10. Alex Gordon, Sept. 4, 2017 (417 feet)
Gordon hit 15 home runs at Comerica Park, more than he hit at any Major League park besides his home of Kauffman Stadium. He also had his share of long outs, including this drive that had Mahtook searching for the wall in right-center as he got under the ball. As Tigers play-by-play broadcaster Mario Impemba said, Gordon got “Comerica’ed.”