Donald Thomas Kelly. Not a known MLB player by most fans but after today he is. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 8th round of the 2001 Player draft.
He was a great prospect as he was knocking the snot out of the ball. Yet the Tigers never gave him a chance to play in the Majors during the regular season. They let him walk as a free agent after the 2006 season.
He signed with his home town team Pittsburgh Pirates and they gave him a chance in the Big Leagues. He made his Major League Debut April 2nd 2007. He didn't last it in the Majors for long as he was demoted to Triple A Indianapolis June 23rd.
He spent the 2008 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple A team.
After the 2008 season, he resigned with the Tigers to a minor league deal. He was called up on June 11th.
The 2009 and 2010 seasons were nothing to be rememberable or to be excited about. Same goes for all of the 2011 regular season.
So why am I writing about him? Well in Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS he hit a lead off homerun in New York to start the scoring as the Tigers went on to win the game, and the series 3-2. His homerun was probably one of the biggest reasons why they won.
And now this year. Most of the year he never did anything really special but in ALDS Game 2 he came in as a pich hitter for Delmon Young and had gotten out.
In the bottom of the 9th, he came up with the bases loaded and hit a deep fly ball to right center. Josh Reddick may have caught it but it would be a moment Kelly would never forget. The game winning run came in and the Tigers won the game 5-4 and took a 2-0 series lead.
Every kid dreams of hitting a walkoff hit in a playoff game. Most of the time they would want to hit it in a World Series, but after what he has been through to get there it is surely something that will last a lifetime for him.
He may not be a consistent hitter but he comes through in key situations for his team when they need him most. He is a great utility guy to have on your team and is underated and I am giving him the spotlight.