DETROIT TIGERS IN THE POSTSEASON
The Detroit Tigers are one of the oldest teams in the Major Leagues, dating back to their first game in 1901. The Tigers turned out to be surprise playoff contenders right out of the gate thanks to the lucky pickup of future Hall of Fame outfielder Ty Cobb, who would win nine straight batting titles with the team. In 1907, the Tigers would make their first appearance in the World Series, but would unfortunately fall to the Chicago Cubs for two straight years, and then again in 1909 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. For years, the Tigers seemed like the team with all the talent in the world but without the wherewithal to close the deal, and it wasn't until the mid-1930s that the team finally got its chance at a title.
By the mid-'30s, the storied career of Ty Cobb had ended and a new brand of Tigers baseball had begun. Lead by future Hall of Famers like catcher Mickey Cocherane, first baseman Hank Greenburg and second baseman Charlie Gehringer, the Tigers cruised to a 101-53 record in 1934 and made an appearance in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Tigers would again fall in a heartbreaking Game 7 loss, the team came roaring back in 1935 and capture their first World Series title, winning a six-game series against their old rivals, the Chicago Cubs.
Over the years, the Tigers would enjoy brief spurts of success, but one of the most special was their improbable victory in 1945 over the Chicago Cubs for their second World Championship. With Hank Greenburg as the American League MVP and relying on the steady pitching of Hal Newhouser, the Tigers prevailed in seven games and denied the Cubs at another title. Amazingly, for the next 23 years, the Tigers wouldn't even sniff the postseason until 1968 when the Tigers won 103 games and picked up the American League pennant by 12 games over the Baltimore Orioles. Behind the strong pitching of AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain, the Tigers played a tight series with the St. Louis Cardinals and emerged triumphant in seven games.
In 1984, the Tigers would win 35 out of their first 40 games and were certainly a team of destiny. The squad swept the Kansas City Orioles in the ALCS and made quick work of the Padres in the World Series to capture their fourth championship. In recent years, the Tigers have made appearances in the 2006 and 2012 World Series, but fans are eagerly awaiting for the fifth Tigers championship that may be closer than they think.
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