History of the Tigers 5: 1941-1950. A Second Title!

Today will be the fifth post in the History of the Tigers series, and we will be looking at the years 1941-1950. To stay updated on new posts and sports news, follow my Twitter, and like my Facebook page.

1941-1943

In 1941, the Tigers finished tied for 4th in the AL, and they were 26 games behind the first place Yankees. Barney McCosky was their best hitter, with a .324 average, 3 home runs and 55 RBI’s. Their best pitcher was Al Benton, with a record of 15-6 and 2.97 ERA. At the end of the 1942 season, the Tigers were 5th, with a record 8 games under the .500 mark. Once again the Yankees won the AL. Barney McCosky hit .293 with 7 home runs and 50 RBI’s, and Virgil Trucks had a record of 14-8 and a 2.74 ERA. In the 1943 season, the Tiger hired Steve O’Neill as their manager. They finished 5th again, but this time they were 2 games over .500. The Yankees won the AL again. Dick Wakefield hit .316 with 7 homers and 79 RBI’s, while Tommy Bridges had a record of 12-7 and a 2.39 ERA.

1944-1945

In 1944 the Tigers finished 2nd in the AL, just one game behind the St. Louis Browns. They finished with a record of 88-66. Their best hitter was Dick Wakefield, with an average of .355, 12 homers, and 55 RBI’s. Pitching was led by Hal Newhouser, with a 29-9 record and a 2.22 ERA. He was named the American League MVP.

In 1945, the Tigers won their 2nd World Series title! They beat the Chicago Cubs in 7 games to claim the championship. Roy Collinbine lead the team in hitting with a .277 average, 18 homers and 93 RBI’s.  In the pitching category, Hal Newhouser was amazing again, with a 25-9 record and a 1.81 ERA, winning his second consecutive MVP.

1946-1948

In 1946, the Tigers had a great record, they just didn’t win the pennant because the Boston Red Sox had an amazing season. The Tigers finished with a record of 92-62, but they were still 12 games behind the Red Sox. Hank Greenberg returned to the Tigers in 1945 after World War II service, and in 1946 he had a power season. He hit .277 with 44 home runs and 127 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser pitched well again, with a 26-9 record and a 1.94 ERA. In 1947, the Tigers had another winning season, but they were still 12 games behind the Yankees. They were on local television for the first time, on WWDT with Harry Heilmann, Ty Tyson, and Paul Wilson. George Kell hit .320 5 home runs and 93 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser had a 17-17 record and a 2.87 ERA. The next season, the Tigers fell all the way to 5th place in the AL.  They changed their TV station to WWJ, but they had the same commentators. They were 78-76, and 18.5 games behind the Indians. Hoot Evers had a .314 average, 10 home runs and 103 RBI’s. On the pitching side, Hal Newhouser had a 21-12 record and a 3.01 ERA.

1949-1950

In the second to last season of this post, the Tiger finished fourth. They hired Red Rolfe to be their new manager. They were 20 games over .500 and 10 games behind the pennant winning Yankees. Vic Wertz had a .304 average 20 home runs and 133 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser once again was the Tigers best pitcher, with an 18-11 record and a 3.36 ERA. In the final season of this post, the Tigers were close to winning the AL season all year, but they ended up finishing three games behind the championship winning Yankees. George Kell was the best hitter again, with a .340 average 8 home runs and 101 RBI’s, and Fred Hutchinson had a 17-8 record and a 3.96 ERA.

Thank you for reading the 5th part of this History of the Tigers series and make sure to read the next post next Friday, covering the years 1951-1960!

History of the Tigers 4: 1931-1940. World Series Victory!

In today’s History of the Tigers, we will be looking at the years 1931-1940, when the Tigers finally broke through to win a World Series. Make sure that you check out my previous posts about the History of the Tigers here, follow my Twitter, and like my facebook page.

1931-1933

In 1931, the Tigers did not have a successful season, as they finished 32 games under .500, and they also were 47 games out of first place, in seventh place in the American League. Their best hitter statistically was John “Rocky” Stone, with an average of .327, 10 homers and 76 RBI’s. Their best pitcher was George Uhle, with a record of 11-12 and an ERA of 3.50. In 1932, the Tigers finished over .500 with a record of 76-75, but they were still 29.5 games behind the first place Yankees. Gee Walker hit very well, with an average of .323, 8 homers and 78 RBI’s. Tommy Bridges was their best pitcher, with a record of 14-12 and an ERA of 3.36. In 1933, the Tigers fired manager Bucky Harris during the season and made third base coach Del Baker interim manager for the remainder of the season. They finished 4 games under .500, and 25 games behind the Washington Senators. Charlie Gehringer was their best hitter, with an average of .325, 12 homers and 105 RBI’s. Tommy Bridges once again went 14-12 and had an ERA of 3.09.

1934-1935

In 1934, the Tigers hired a new manager, and they immediately saw that they had picked a great leader. Mickey Cochrane was a competitive manager who was also a great catcher. The Tiger won the American League, and they won 101 games. They also were broadcast on a second radio station for the first season. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games. Charlie Gehringer hit .356 with 11 homers and 127 RBI’s, and Schoolboy Rowe went 24-8 with an ERA of 3.45. In 1935, the Tigers broke through to win their first World Series ever. In the regular season, they won 93 games, and they beat the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, 4 games to 2. Hank Greenberg hit .328, belted 36 home runs and drove in 170 runs. Elden Auker had a record of 18-7 and a 3.83 ERA.

1936-1938

In 1936, Walter Briggs Sr. became the Detroit Tigers full owner. He had been a part owner of the Tigers since 1919, and in 1936 he became the sole owner. The Tigers finished 12 games over .500, but they were still 19.5 games out of first place. Charlie Gehringer hit .354 with 15 homers and 116 RBI’s. In pitching, Schoolboy Rowe had a 19-10 record and a 4.51 ERA. In 1937, the Tigers continued their run of winning seasons, as they won 89 games, but once again the Yankees beat them out in the American League. Charlie Gehringer once again had an amazing season, batting .371 with 14 homers and 96 RBI’s. Elden Auker was their best pitcher, with a 17-9 record and a 3.88 ERA. In the 1938 season, the Tigers won 84 games and lost 70, and Hank Greenberg competed for the single season home run record. He had 58 homers going into the final weekend, but he couldn’t hit enough to tie or beat Babe Ruth’s then-record of 60. He was the first player to win the American League MVP unanimously though. He hit .315 with 58 home runs and 146 RBI’s. In the pitching category, Tommy Bridges had a 13-9 record and an ERA of 4.59.

1939-1940

In the penultimate season of this decade, 1939, the Tigers once again had a record of 84-70 and were fourth in the AL. Hank Greenberg was their best hitter again, with a .312 average, 33 home runs and 112 RBI’s. Tommy Bridges was their best pitcher again, with a record of 17-7 and a 3.50 ERA. In the final season of this post’s coverage, the Tigers were the American League Champions with a record of 90-64, just 1 game ahead of the Cleveland Indians and 2 games ahead of the New York Yankees. Del Baker became their manager. However, they lost in the World Series 4 games to 3 to the Cincinnati Reds. Hank Greenberg hit .340 with 41 home runs and 150 RBI’s, and Bobo Newsome had a record of 21-5 and a 2.83 ERA.

Thank you for reading the  4th History of the Tigers post and make sure you stay tuned for the next one coming out next Friday.

Rich Hill’s Near No Hitter Ends Up Being a Loss

Last night, Rich Hill, starting left-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had a no hitter through 9 innings. The problem was, the Dodgers’ offense couldn’t back him up with any runs. So the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates went into extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Pirate Josh Harrison hit a home run with no one on and no one out, becoming the first player to break up a no hitter with a walk off homer. Hill also had a perfect game bid going into the 9th inning, but Logan Forsythe couldn’t handle Jory Mercer’s grounder to 3rd. Hill has had a long career of injuries and team changes, but he took the blame for the loss because of one bad pitch.

Hill was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 4th round of the 2002 draft, after playing college baseball at the University of Michigan. He made his debut in the MLB on June 15, 2005. He pitched 1 inning of relief and got his first major league strike out against Carlos Delgado. Hill made his first start against the Giants, starting because Kerry Wood was injured. In his career, his record is 47-33, and he has an ERA of 3.99. He has struck out 738  batters in his career. He has played for the Cubs, Orioles, Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Yankees, Nationals, Athletics, and Dodgers.

I hope that the Dodgers win the World Series this year because they have veteran players that have never won the World Series and they are my favorite National League team. Right now, I’ll just say that I predict a Dodgers-Yankees World Series, but I will be doing a full post on predicting the MLB Playoffs when the Wild Card games are over.

History of the Tigers #1: 1894-1910

This is the first entry of a new series starting on BSW, where every week we will be looking back at a decade of the Detroit Tigers history. This series will be posted every Friday, so make sure you look for it on the blog or on the BSW facebook page. Also, I will soon be starting a weekly series where you can vote for the topic you want me to write an article about, so make sure you stay tuned for that. Thanks!

When were the Tigers founded?

Most people think that the Tigers were founded in 1901, when they started playing as a major league team in the American League, but they were actually formed as a minor league club in 1894, when they played in the Western League. The Western League was renamed as the American League in 1900, but the Tigers still competed as a minor league club, as did the entire AL. The following year, the Tigers and the rest of the American League decided to compete at the major league level, directly competing with the existing National League (this is why you often hear the National League referred to as the “Senior Circuit”). Beginning in 1901,  the AL and NL fiercely competed for players and fans.

First Major League Game

On April 24, 1901, the Detroit Tigers prepared to play their first major league game in the American League. But the game was postponed, so the fans had to wait another day to see the Tigers play. On April 25, 1901, the Tigers officially made their AL debut. Going into the bottom of the 9th the Tigers were down 13-4. But the Tigers rallied back and they ended up winning with a walk off 2 run double from Frank “Pop” Dillon. The Tigers had a record of 74-61, which now would probably be good enough today to make the playoffs, but the World Series did not commence until 1903, and even then only the top team from each League competed, as the winner of the regular season in each League went directly to the World Series.

Losing then Winning

The Tigers had a very rough 3 years after that having a losing record in all 3 seasons and a combined record of 179-244. Those years must have been tough for Tiger fans, but in 1905 the future of the Tigers changed forever. And it came in the form of a skinny kid from Georgia. His name was Tyrus Raymond Cobb. The Tigers acquired Cobb from Augusta in the Sally League for Eddie Cicotte and $700, plus $50 for immediate delivery. Cobb played his first game with the Tigers on August 30, 1905. The Tigers had their second winning season ever that year, going 79-74. The next year the Tigers had a losing record of 71-78, but in 1907, the Tigers changed their manager from Bill Armour to Hughie Jennings. The Tigers needed a long term manager after they had changed their managing 5 times in their first 6 seasons in the American League. And Hughie Jennings was the man for the job. Known for his “Eh-yah’s” and hollering in the third base coaching box, Jennings led the Tigers to the pennant in his first season as their manager! The Tigers went 92-58 but lost to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

The American League Dynasty

The Tigers were the best team in the American League for 3 straight years, making the World Series in 1907, 08, and 09. The problem is, they lost all 3 times. They were just 4-12-1 in the 3 World Series, and they couldn’t seem to beat the Cubs or Pirates. In the last season of this period of time, the Tigers had another impressive season, with a record of 86-68, but the Philidelphia Athletics went 102-48, and the Tigers finished 3rd in the American League.

I hope you enjoyed the first post in the new History of the Tigers series, and if you do, it would be greatly appreciated if you liked the Facebook post and liked my page so all your friends can see my page. Thank you!

 

Sources: All post-1900 info is provided by this website. Pre-1900 info is from here.  All records are from here.

 

My Favorite Detroit Sports Moment: 50th Post Special

This is my 50th post on my blog, and before I get into the post I would just like to thank anyone and everyone who has read the blog. You are the reason that I love doing this almost every day. If you have any ideas for me to write about or suggestions for the blog, feel free to comment on the blog posts or on my Facebook page. Thank you, everyone!

Today I am going to be sharing my favorite Detroit sports moment (that I have seen in person). I have been to many Detroit sports games, including Tigers, Lions, Pistons, Red Wings, and Detroit City FC. But there was one moment that was my favorite.

It was the 2012 World Series, and it was the Tigers vs. the Giants. The Giants were leading 3-0 in the series, and then I got surprised when my dad got tickets to Game 4. The seats were in Section 343, and everyone was screaming the entire game. In the 3rd inning, Miguel Cabrera was up to bat. Cabrera hit a high fly ball off the Giants starter Matt Cain, and the ball carried into the right field seats. Hunter Pence had a chance to catch it, but a strong wind pushed it out of the park.

The reason I love this moment is that it was the first time I had seen Miguel Cabrera play. I didn’t know it then, but Cabrera is one of the best hitters in baseball history. And to see him hit a home run in the World Series was special. He was the first player whose jersey I got, and he is still my favorite player.