This is for the American League Detroit Tigers. For the Detroit Tigers that played in the Western League and minor league American League, please click here.
Postseason Record: 57-62 (.479)
Ballparks: Recreation Park (1894-95), Bennett Park (April 28, 1896-September 10, 1911) (14,000), Burns Park (April 28, 1901-September 7, 1902) (6,500), Ramona Park, Grand Rapids, MI (May 24, 1903) (6,000), Armory Park, Toledo, OH (June 28 & August 16, 1903), Neil Park II, Columbus, OH (July 23-24, 1903), Tiger Stadium (April 20, 1912-September 27, 1999) (52,416), Comerica Park (April 11, 2000-) (40,000)
Franchise Players: Miguel Cabrera, Norm Cash, Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Rocky Colavito, Bill Freehan, Charlie Gehringer, Kirk Gibson, Hank Greenberg, Willie Horton, Al Kaline, George Kell, Mickey Lolich, Jack Morris, Magglio Ordoñez, Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell, Justin Verlander, Lou Whitaker
The Detroit Tigers were founded in 1901 with the formation of the American League. Led by energetic manager Hughie Jennings and legendary outfielder Ty Cobb, the Tigers won the AL pennant three years in a row (1907-1909) but lost the World Series each season. Cobb played 22 seasons with the Tigers until 1927 when he signed with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics.
In 1934 the Tigers acquired catcher Mickey Cochrane from the Philadelphia Athletics. Led by Cochrane, second baseman Charlie Gehringer, and first baseman Hank Greenberg, the Tigers reached the Series that season and won it in 1935. The club again won the World Series in 1945, with P Hal Newhouser its biggest star, and in 1968 when OFs Al Kaline and Willie Horton and Ps Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich defined the team. They returned to the postseason in 1972, with essentially the same team. They finished half a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox after a great pennant race in a strike-shortened season, then lost in 5 games in the ALCS against the Oakland A's. The team quickly fell to the bottom of the standings, the victim of age, although the 1976 season was magical because of the presence of Mark "The Bird! Fidrych, who took the baseball world by storm before blowing out his arm the following year.
In 1983, the Tigers were bought by Domino's Pizza mogul Tom Monaghan. The following year, 1984 the team, managed by Sparky Anderson, won the World Series. OF Kirk Gibson, P Jack Morris and the double-play combination of SS Alan Trammell and 2B Lou Whitaker defined the Tiger teams of the 1980s, although it was otherwise journeyman reliever Willie Hernandez who won both the MVP and Cy Young awards in 1984. The team returned to the postseason after winning an epic pennant race with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987, but they were stunned by the Minnesota Twins in the ALCS. Monaghan sold the club to business rival Mike Ilitch, owner of the Little Caesar's pizza chain, in 1992. Ilitch oversaw the move of the club to new Comerica Park from Tiger Stadium, but the team finished below .500 for more than a decade. In 2003, Trammell took over as manager of the club. In his first season, the team lost 119 games, one shy of the modern single-season record. He was fired after the 2005 season.
After over a decade of teams with losing records, Detroit finally rewarded long-suffering fans with an unforgettable season in 2006. The club surprised many people by winning the American League pennant and making it to the World Series, where they came up short against the St. Louis Cardinals. They almost returned to the postseason in 2009, losing an epic one-game playoff to the Minnesota Twins. In 2011, the Tigers won the first AL Central title of their history - their previous participation in the postseason since 1995 had been as a wild card - and then upset the New York Yankees in the ALDS before falling to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. The 2011 team was led by P Justin Verlander, who repeated Hernandez's feat by winning both the Cy Young Award and MVP, closer Jose Valverde and 1B Miguel Cabrera. The Tigers repeated as AL Central champions in 2012 after having added 1B Prince Fielder as a free agent during the off-season; Cabrera moved over to 3B but did not skip a beat, winning baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967 as the Tigers made it to the 2012 World Series, sweeping the Yankees in the ALCS in the process. However, they faced an unlikely juggernaut in the Fall Classic, being shut out twice on their way to being swept in four games by the San Francisco Giants.
Owner Mike Ilitch passed away before the start of the 2017 season, without seeing his dream of the Tigers winning the World Series again come to fruition. Control of the team passed to his son, Chris Ilitch.
- 2 Charlie Gehringer (1983)
- 5 Hank Greenberg (1983)
- 6 Al Kaline (1980)
- 11 Sparky Anderson (2011)
- 16 Hal Newhouser (1997)
- 23 Willie Horton (2001)
- 42 Jackie Robinson (retired by MLB in 1997; worn by Jose Lima until 2002)
- In addition, Ty Cobb's name is included in the list of players whose numbers have been retired on Comerica Park's left-field wall; Cobb played before the introduction of uniform numbers in 1931.
- William M. Anderson: The Detroit Tigers: A Pictorial Celebration of the Greatest Players and Moments in Tigers History, Great Lake Books, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI, 2008. ISBN 0814334148
- William M. Anderson: The Glory Years of the Detroit Tigers 1920-1950, Wayne State University Press, Detroit, MI, 2012. ISBN 0814335896
- George Cantor: Detroit Tigers Yesterday & Today, Publications International Ltd., Lincolnwood, IL, 2009. ISBN 1412775159
- Dan D'Addona: In Cobb's Shadow: The Hall of Fame Careers of Sam Crawford, Harry Heilmann and Heinie Manush, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7864-9716-4
- Joe Falls: The Detroit Tigers, Macmillan, New York, NY, 1975. ISBN 0132026988
- Scott Ferkovitch: Tigers by the Tale: Great Games at Michigan & Trumbull, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2016. ISBN 978-1-943816-21-7
- Terry Foster: 100 Things Tigers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (100 Things...Fans Should Know), Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2009. ISBN 1600781772
- George Gmelch: Playing with Tigers: A Minor League Chronicle of the Sixties, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2016. ISBN 978-0-8032-7681-9
- David Green: 101 Reasons to Love the Tigers, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Abrams, New York, NY, 2009. ISBN 1584797568
- Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer: The Ultimate Tigers Companion: A Complete Statistical and Reference Guide, Maple Street Press, Hingham, MA, 2008.
- Patrick Harrigan: The Detroit Tigers: Club and Community, 1945-1995, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON, 1997.
- Herm Krabbenhoft: "Fascinating Aspects About the Retired Uniform Numbers of the Detroit Tigers", in The National Pastime - A Review of Baseball History, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, number 26 (May, 2006), pp. 77-84.
- Frederick G. Lieb: The Detroit Tigers, Kent State University Press, Kent, OH, 2008 (originally published in 1946).
- Richard Rambeck: The History of the Detroit Tigers, Creative Co (Sd), 1998. ISBN 0886829089
- Tom Stanton: The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark, St,. Martin's Griffin, New York, NY, 2002. ISBN 0312291566
- Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, March 1993
- John Thorn: Total Baseball, Total Sports Publishing, 1989, 1995
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