1909 Detroit Tigers

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1909 Detroit Tigers / Franchise: Detroit Tigers / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 98-54-6, Finished 1st in American League (1909 AL)

Clinched Pennant: September 30, 1909

Managed by Hughie Jennings

Ballpark: Bennett Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1909 Detroit Tigers won their third straight pennant thanks to a great offensive team, led by 22-year-old Ty Cobb, who was already the best player on the American League. Another future Hall of Famer, Sam Crawford, who led the league in doubles and finished second to Cobb in total bases, and SS Donie Bush who led the circuit in runs scored and walks in his first full season with the Bengals. On the mound, George Mullin had a career year: he pitched a one-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox on Opening Day, April 14th, won his first 11 decisions, and ended up at 29-8.

The Tigers were given a run for their money by a revamped Philadelphia Athletics team. They moved into a first-place tie with the A's on August 24th thanks to a 7-6 win that came in the middle of a 14-game winning streak. In that game, Cobb spiked A's 3B Frank Baker, prompting a complaint to league President Ban Johnson by A's manager Connie Mack, who stated: ""Cobb is too aggressively inclined on the ball field... Cobb is the greatest ball player in the world, but he is also one of the dirtiest. He boasted before the game that he would get some of the Athletics before the game was over, and he made good by spiking Baker and all but cutting the legs off Collins. Action against Cobb should be taken by the league officials." Johnson issued a warning to Cobb that he must stop that type of play or face being banned from the league. But there was no concrete action taken, and by the end of the winning streak, the Tigers were leading by five games, with Cobb having hit .531 during the 14 games. The A's managed to close the gap a bit in September, but never got closer than two games back and ended up 3 1/3 back of the Tigers.


American League W L Pct. GB
Detroit Tigers 98 54 .645 --
Philadelphia Athletics 95 58 .621
Boston Red Sox 88 63 .583
Chicago White Sox 78 74 .513 20
New York Highlanders 74 77 .490 23½
Cleveland Naps 71 82 .464 27½
St. Louis Browns 61 89 .407 36
Washington Senators 42 110 .276 56

World Series[edit]

Main article: 1909 World Series
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Tigers - 1, Pirates - 4 October 8 Forbes Field 29,624
2 Tigers - 7, Pirates - 2 October 9 Forbes Field 30,915
3 Pirates - 8, Tigers - 6 October 11 Bennett Park 18,277
4 Pirates - 0, Tigers - 5 October 12 Bennett Park 17,036
5 Tigers - 4, Pirates - 8 October 13 Forbes Field 21,706
6 Pirates - 4, Tigers - 5 October 14 Bennett Park 10,535
7 Pirates - 8, Tigers - 0 October 16 Bennett Park 17,562

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Finoli and Bill Ranier: When Cobb Met Wagner: The Seven-Game World Series of 1909, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2011.
  • Washington Post: "Detroit, though defeated, wins Pennant when Sox down Athletics twice", Historic-newspapers.com, October 1, 1909

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Pirates over Tigers (4-3)