Matt Kinzer: The only person to play for both the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers

Ladies and gentlemen: We give you the only true Liger! Matt Kinzer is the only person to ever play for both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions.

It's the NFL off-season and EVERYBODY is thinking hard about some unique content to put up as they await the arrival of training camp. On Wednesday, ESPN writer Brooke Proyer dropped an article titled, “Cups of coffee: Seven former NFL players remember their one and only game”. In the article, Proyer included Matt Kinzer, who just so happens to be the only person to ever play in a game for both the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Tigers. In fact, he played in exactly one single game for each of those teams, making him the only real “Liger” in the history of Detroit sports!

Matt Kinzer Detroit Lions Detroit Tigers

1 of 68

According to Baseball Almanac, Kinzer is one of 68 men to play in both Major League Baseball and in the National Football League. Overall, he played in one NFL game and nine MLB games. His one NFL game came with the Lions, while he played eight MLB games with the St. Louis Cardinals and one game with. the Tigers.

“I joke about it saying, yeah, Deion [Sanders] and Bo [Jackson], they were just OK,” Kinzer said with a chuckle. “But I do take a lot of pride in it.”

Matt Kinzers one game with the Detroit Lions

Kinzer's only NFL game came on Oct. 11, 1987: Lions at Packers, when he had 7 punts for 238 yards (34 yards per punt) with a long of 42 yards. Here is some of what Kinzler told ESPN about that game. (You are absolutely going to want to click here to read the full article)

“It was so cold, and I had to go to the bathroom, and you can't go until halftime,” Kinzer said. “It was the middle of the first quarter, and I'm just like, this is something else.”

Afterward, Kinzer knew pretty quickly that game would be his last. Once the adrenaline wore off, he felt excruciating pain from a pulled hamstring and several bone spurs under his right knee cap.

“I'm like, this is so easy, like riding a bike,” Kinzer said. “And then I'm like, ‘Oh my gosh, I haven't done this in three years. I'm out of shape. My legs are killing me.' And I couldn't do it anymore.”

“I enjoy telling the story,” Kinzer said, “and enjoy saying, yes, I played at Lambeau Field.”

Matt Kinzer Detroit Tigers Detroit Lions

Matt Kinzler's one game with the Detroit Tigers

Kinzler's one game with the Tigers went about as well as his one game with the Lions… not very well. On May 26, 1990, Kinzler was summoned from the Tigers' bullpen to finish out the game against the Chicago White Sox. In the game, he gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings of work (16.20 ERA).

In his career, Kinzler was 0-2 with a 13.20 ERA in nine total games with the Cardinals and Tigers.

Bottom Line: The One True Liger

Though Kizler's professional sports career will not go down as one of the best of all time, the fact is that he is the only person on earth (EVER) to play for both the Tigers and Lions. Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Kinzer absolutely is the one true Liger!