Do you want to know what it feels like to be the center of the sports world? Just ask the Metrodome about Oct. 5 and 6 of 2009.
On October 5, newly acquired Viking quarterback Brett Favre led the Vikings to a 30-23 victory over the rival Green Bay Packers. To make it more exciting, it was a Monday night game and Favre’s first game against the Packers where he threw three touchdowns and 271 yards.
If that wasn’t dramatic enough for you, it was only the appetizer for one of the most memorable baseball games in recent memory: the tiebreaker for the American League Central title between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins.
In the top of the third, the Tigers got on the board first thanks to a Magglio Ordonez RBI single and a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera. The Twins got a run on the board after an error by Tiger pitcher Rick Porcello let Twins third baseman Matt Tolbert scamper home, leaving the score Tigers 3, Twins 1 after three innings.
The next run didn’t occur until the sixth when right fielder Jason Kubel belted a home run off of Porcello cutting the Tiger lead to a run. The Twins scored again the next inning when second baseman Nick Punto singled to lead off the inning and two batters later, shortstop Orlando Cabrera homered off Zach Miner. This gave the Twins a 4-3 lead after seven innings.
The Twins had the ball in the hands of their reliable bullpen and their set-up man Matt Guerrier in the top of the eighth when it was quickly tied up by the Tigers courtesy of a Maggilo Ordonez solo jack.
From then on the game just got more intense, leading to extra innings, where the teams traded runs in the 10th frame with a RBI double for Brandon Inge for the Tigers and an RBI single for Matt Tolbert. On the next play, Alexi Casilla tried to score on a Nick Punto liner to left but to no avail; it was 5-5 after 10 innings.
The 12th is when the magic happened for the Twins. Fernando Rodney was on the hill for the Tigers and gave up a leadoff single to the speedy Carlos Gomez. Next up was Michael Cuddyer, who grounded out, but did his job and advanced Gomez to second.
The Tigers then intentionally walked Delmon Young to get to Alexi Casilla; who came through with a clutch single, scoring Gomez and winning the Twins the AL Central Crown.
It was one of the most memorable games in Twins history and a very appropriate way to close out the Metrodome…we’ll forget about what the Yankees did to the Twins in the Dome during the division series.