Tigers Vault: A critter in the outfield

8:19 PM UTC

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

June 2, 2009: Rally squirrel at Comerica Park
Nearly a decade before the Rally Goose became a legend at Comerica Park, the Tigers had a visit from a Rally Squirrel. This creature actually did not interrupt play for a while in the second inning, scampering around the outfield until the grounds crew chased it off. From there, it found a hiding place in the shrubs beyond the center-field fence.

Aug. 1, 2001: Tigers turn triple play
The Tigers were already down, 3-0, with a chance for the Mariners to break the game open following back-to-back singles to lead off the fourth inning. But Mark McLemore's line drive went right to second baseman Damion Easley, who flipped to shortstop Deivi Cruz and on to first baseman Shane Halter to complete a triple play.

July 18, 2010: Raburn's crash leads to inside-the-park HR
Ryan Raburn played all over the field during his 12-year Major League career, including 23 starts in center field. One of those was in Cleveland, where he tried to rob an extra-base hit from Jhonny Peralta with a leap at the fence -- only to crash through the door to the bullpen. Peralta ended up with an inside-the-park home run. Raburn and Peralta became teammates two weeks later when the Tigers traded for Peralta.

Aug. 1, 2006: Guillen hits for cycle
No Tigers had hit for the cycle since Damion Easley on June 8, 2001, and no Detroit switch-hitter had ever done it, but the club's 18-hit onslaught against the Rays at Tropicana Field provided the opportunity for Guillen. He tripled in the second inning, homered in the third, singled in the sixth, then capped his effort with a double off future teammate Edwin Jackson in the eighth.

Sept. 19, 2003: Prince grabs fan's nachos
The Tigers were in the stretch run of a playoff race to defend their American League pennant, but the pressure wasn’t getting to Prince Fielder. He chased Mike Zunino’s foul ball all the way to the stands behind first base, trying to get a fifth-inning out for Doug Fister. He missed the ball and barely missed knocking over a fan holding nachos. Still, he helped himself to a chip before heading back to first.

Oct. 7, 1968: Horton throws out Brock in World Series
The Tigers' World Series title hopes were hanging by a thread when Willie Horton came up with a clutch play from left field. The Cardinals were up three games to one and led in Game 5, and they tried to increase their lead in the fifth when Lou Brock came home on Julián Javier's single. Horton fielded the ball on a hop and delivered a perfect throw to catcher Bill Freehan, who held on to the ball after Brock barreled into him. Detroit came back to win Game 5 and claimed the World Series upset three days later.

Sept. 27, 2012: Fister K's 9 in a row, sets AL record
When picking from a 2012 Tigers rotation that also included Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, most probably wouldn't have pegged righty Doug Fister to set an American League strikeout record. But then again, most pitchers dream of having the kind of command that Fister did with his sinker during this white-hot stretch against the Royals, in which he struck out an AL record nine straight Kansas City hitters and finished one punchout shy of Tom Seaver's overall MLB record for most consecutive K's. Prince Fielder's postgame quote tells you how locked in Fister was.

"I said, 'Congratulations, man,' said Fielder, 'You made history.' [Fister] was like, 'What are you doing?' He was locked in so it was kind of like, 'Get away from me.' I was like, 'All right, they'll tell you.'"

Only one other AL pitcher has tied Fister's nine straight strikeouts since, and it was another Tiger -- reliever Tyler Alexander -- in 2020.

Oct. 9, 1968: Lolich picks off Brock, Flood in Game 7
It doesn't get much better than Game 7 of the 1968 World Series in terms of intensity in the season's biggest moment. While Detroit's Mickey Lolich famously outdueled Cardinals legend Bob Gibson to win the Fall Classic, the game remained scoreless all the way until Jim Northrup's two-run triple off Gibby in the top of the seventh. The Tigers first picked up momentum the previous half-inning -- one that began just the way Cards fans wanted when Lou Brock led off with a single.

Brock had stolen a pair of bases off Lolich in Game 2, but this time his lead off first was too big, and Lolich picked him off easily for the first out. Lolich would also pick off Curt Flood for the inning's third out, helping him escape one of his toughest innings of the day in Detroit's upset 4-1 victory. Lolich is still the only pitcher on record to notch two outs via pickoff in the same inning of a postseason game.

Oct. 9, 1984: Beautiful relay saves Morris' Game 1 victory
There wasn't much that Sparky Anderson's 1984 Tigers juggernaut didn't do well, and that includes the fundamentals on defense, as you'll see here. Tigers ace Jack Morris was protecting a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh in Game 1 of the World Series when Padres designated hitter Kurt Bevacqua knocked a leadoff double into the right-field corner. The ball skipped under a bench in the Tigers' bullpen and Bevacqua thought he could stretch it to a triple, but he was thrown out thanks to a beautiful relay from right fielder Kirk Gibson to second baseman Lou Whitaker to third baseman Marty Castillo.

Bevacqua stumbled coming around second to make the play closer, but check out the absolute seed thrown by Whitaker. This play helped Morris avoid a late-game jam, and the Tigers took the Series opener.

April 2, 1996: 1,000+ games in, Fielder gets first steal
Statcast's sprint speed metric wasn't around back in 1996, but if it was, let's just assume that Cecil Fielder -- known more for stealing pitcher's souls with stadium-clearing home runs than stealing bases -- would have been somewhere toward the bottom of the leaderboard. Still, Fielder's final career statistics do include two stolen bases, and it took him 1,097 career games to swipe the first one shown here.

Fielder's 1,097 career games logged before his first steal is still a Major League record, per the Elias Sports Bureau, and he would have to wait longer had Twins shortstop Pat Meares not dropped the throw from catcher Greg Myers. But a steal is a steal, and the swipe was so unexpected that Fielder wanted to take second base home with him.

Oct. 1, 2000: Halter plays all nine positions
Tigers manager Phil Garner spiced up an otherwise meaningless season finale between the Tigers and Twins when he announced that his utilityman, Shane Halter, would becime just the fourth big leaguer to play all nine positions in the same game. Halter began at first base and then rotated around to third, right field, center, left, shortstop, catcher, pitcher (where he walked his only batter) and finally second.

Garner's lineup juggling meant that his regular catcher, Brad Ausmus, made the first of just four total appearances at third base across his 18-year career. Another Tiger, Austin Romine, would become the fifth Major Leaguer to play all nine positions in 2017.

June 30, 2014: Rajai's walk-off grand slam
Yes, you likely know about one extremely clutch late-game homer off Rajai Davis' bat, but don't forget about this blast from 2014. Davis provided the perfect exclamation point to a night in which the Tigers honored the 1984 World Series champion club, lining an "ultimate slam" (a walk-off slam in a team's final at-bat when trailing by three runs) off A's All-Star closer Sean Doolittle