Magglio Ordonez hit his second homer of the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Detroit Tigers a 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday and sending them to Major League Baseball's World Series for the first time since 1984.
The three-run homer to left completed Detroit's four-game sweep of the Athletics in the American League championship series and earned it a meeting against the New York Mets or St Louis Cardinals starting next Saturday at home.
After posting the worst record in MLB over the past 13 seasons, including losing 119 games in 2003, the Tigers turned around their fortunes in their first year under manager Jim Leyland.
With the crowd of 42,967 at Comerica Park in delirium, joined by fans watching from distant downtown buildings, the Tigers celebrated.
Members of the Tigers' bullpen rushed in from left field and nearly beat Ordonez to the plate as fans twirled white towels.
Down 3-0 early, the Tigers clawed back to tie it against Dan Haren when Ordonez hit a solo home run in the sixth.
Then after Craig Monroe and series most valuable player award winner Placido Polanco singled with two outs in the ninth off Huston Street, Ordonez launched his drive over the wall.
As the Tigers celebrated, Leyland walked across the field to Oakland's first-base dugout to congratulate the A's. He had special words for A's slugger Frank Thomas, who went 0-for-13 in the series