Tidrow wasn't expecting a repeat performance
DETROIT Of all the people who witnessed Pablo Sandoval's three-homer performance in Game 1 of the World Series, Dick Tidrow had a unique perspective. Tidrow, the Giants' vice president of player personnel, was a pitcher on the Yankees' title team in 1977, the year Reggie Jackson had his three-homer night in Game 6 against the Dodgers.
"If I'm not mistaken, Reggie hit them off three different guys, did he not?" Tidrow said on the field at Comerica Park before Game 3 on Saturday. "And basically, Sandoval's first two were against probably as good a pitcher as there is around in this time frame in baseball. I don't think anybody was prepared for that."
Jackson, famously, hit his on three swings, against Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa and Charlie Hough. Sandoval went deep against Tigers ace Justin Verlander twice, then off reliever Al Alburquerque in the fifth inning to join Jackson, Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols as the only players to homer three times in a World Series game.
"I surely didn't think I was going to see it that night, no," Tidrow said. "I was expecting a 2-1 game, something along those lines. I did not expect us to knock Verlander around like we did, and Pablo to have the night he did.
"The guy (Verlander) is still throwing as good as most people can throw. ... Pablo just had a night, I think, just like Reggie had a night."
Jackson's night helped earn him the nickname "Mr. October." Will Sandoval's performance resonate the same way?
"We'll wait and see, but for Pablo, yeah, it's a great moment for him," Tidrow said. "Things you do in the World Series don't go away."
Like the Giants, the Tigers are one of baseball's oldest teams, one of eight charter franchises in the American League. Founded in 1894, nine years after the Giants, the Tigers have been located in one city and played under one franchise name longer than any team in the American League. Also like the Giants, the Tigers moved out of their antiquated former home Tiger Stadium after the 1999 season. Comerica Park, like AT&T Park, opened in 2000.
While the Giants celebrate their legends with statues outside AT&T Park, Tigers legends are immortalized in the concourse beyond the wall in left-center field. The most celebrated living Tiger, Hall of Famer Al Kaline, is one of six former Tigers cast in likenesses of stainless steel and granite.
The real Kaline, 77 years old, threw out the first pitch before Game 3.
Tigers slugger and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera was presented with an actual crown featuring the Tigers' "D" logo before the game.
Frank Robinson, who achieved the honor in 1966 by leading the league in average, home runs and RBIs, and Commissioner Bud Selig were on hand for the presentation.
Hank Aaron, also on hand to present Cabrera with an award, said of the Triple Crown: "I look back over my career, and I say that was the one thing that I didn't do."
Aaron, who retired as baseball's all-time home run leader with 755, continued: "You've got to look at Ted Williams, (Carl) Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson, those players were something special. When you win the Triple Crown, it is very special, very special."
In keeping with the series of Fox TV show-related personages being tabbed to perform the national anthem before World Series games, actress Zooey Deschanel, star of "New Girl," sang the anthem before Game 3. She did so in a sleeveless dress, minutes before the first pitch, at which time the temperature was 47 degrees.
Matt Kawahara, Marcos Breton