2. June 20, 2003: FLA 3 – TBR 1 – First Career Game, First Career Home Run
Cabrera was magic from the start, evident from his first career game in a Marlins uniform. Playing the then-known Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the game was a pitching duel with both teams only allowing a single run after nine innings of play.
In extras, the newly called-up prospect Cabrera came up to the plate after going 0-for-4 in the game, and hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 11th, a fairy-tale start for a 20-year-old. Cabrera was the real deal, and he proved it from his first game in a Marlins uniform.
It is such a great story to see a player who started with the Marlins make it to such amazing heights including winning a triple crown, multiple silver sluggers, a World Series title, and now hitting the 500 home run mark.
1. October 22, 2003: FLA 4 – NYY 3 – Home Run off Roger Clemens in the 2003 World Series
If Cabrera did prove that the spotlight was not too bright for him in the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs, he definitely proved it in game four of the World Series against the stacked Yankees with Roger Clemens on the mound. The rookie Cabrera was facing the veteran Clemens who was coming off his ninth career All-Star appearance.
The first pitch is high-and-inside, and Cabrera takes the pitch but feels that the Clemens is trying to push him off the plate and stares him down, 1-0.
For the second pitch, Clemens goes right at the youngster who swings and misses at a pitch nearly down the middle, 1-1.
Clemens loads up for the next pitch, and gets Cabrera to swing again at a pitch that almost hits the dirt, 1-2.
Clemens tries to go back to the well with a low pitch, but Cabrera takes this time, 2-2.
After fouling off a 2-2 pitch, Cabrera hit a home run off the veteran that would go down as one of biggest home runs in Marlins franchise history. The entire sequence of the at-bat was a movie featuring the towering Yankees facing the underdog Marlins. The veteran Clemens facing the young-upstart Cabrera.
As Cabrera has now surpassed the 500 home run mark for his career, it’s fun to look back at some of his greatest moments at the plate. When looking at his 138 career home runs with the Florida Miami Marlins, these five moments stick out most from his time with the Fish.