Who is the Detroit Tigers playing on September 10th?


The Detroit Tigers are playing the Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 PM ET on September 10, 2010. It is a home game, and it will be broadcast live on FS-D HD.

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Detroit Tigers (MLB) (1912–1999)
Detroit Lions (NFL) (1938–1974)
Detroit Cougars (NPSL / NASL) (1967–1968)
Little League Baseball (2002)
Bud Bowl (2006) Tiger Stadium (formerly known as Navin Field and Briggs Stadium) was a stadium located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. It hosted the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team from 1912–99, as well as the National Football League's Detroit Lions from 1938–74. It was declared a State of Michigan Historic Site in 1975 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989. The stadium was nicknamed "The Corner" for its location on Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue. In the decade after the Tigers baseball team vacated the stadium, several rejected redevelopment and preservation efforts finally gave way to demolition. The stadium's demolition was completed on September 21, 2009. There are currently no plans for redevelopment at the site. However, Tiger Stadium's actual playing field remains at the corner where the stadium once stood. Since the spring of 2010, a volunteer group known as the Navin Field Grounds Crew (composed of Tiger Stadium fans, preservationists, and Corktown residents) has restored and maintained the field. The decade-long delay in the fate of Tiger Stadium has been cited as an example of the decaying landscape of Detroit. In 1895, Detroit Tigers owner George Vanderbeck had a new ballpark built at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues. That stadium was called Bennett Park and featured a wooden grandstand with a wooden peaked roof in the outfield. At the time, some places in the outfield were only marked off with rope. In 1911, new Tigers owner Frank Navin ordered a new steel-and-concrete baseball park on the same site that would seat 23,000 to accommodate the growing numbers of fans. On April 20, 1912, Navin Field was opened, the same day as the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park. The intimate configurations of both stadiums, both conducive to high-scoring games featuring home runs, prompted baseball writers to refer to them as "bandboxes" or "cigar boxes" (a reference to the similarly intimate Baker Bowl). Over the years, expansion continued to accommodate more people. In 1935, following the death of Frank Navin, new owner Walter Briggs oversaw the expansion of Navin Field to a capacity of 36,000 by extending the upper deck to the foul poles and across right field. By 1938, the city had agreed to move Cherry Street, allowing left field to be double-decked, and the now-renamed Briggs Stadium had a capacity of 53,000. Also in 1938, the NFL's Detroit Lions began a relationship that allowed them to host their home games at Briggs Stadium. They would play there through the 1974 season, before moving to the Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Pontiac. In 1961, new owner John Fetzer took control of the stadium and gave it its final name: Tiger Stadium. Under this name, the stadium witnessed World Series titles in 1968 and 1984. In mid 1968, area sports enthusiasts were excited at the prospects that professional sports teams, the Detroit Lions and the Tigers, were actively investigating the possibilities of a new major sports facility. The excitement was generated by the fact that the city of Pontiac and its community leaders made a presentation to the Metropolitan Stadium Committee of a 155-acre (0.63 km2) site on the city's east side at the intersection of M-59 and I-75. The Metropolitan Stadium Committee voted unanimously for the Pontiac site. The city commission later appointed a Stadium Authority which spent the greater part of 1969 completing the necessary economic feasibility studies in constructing such a stadium. The city made the professional sports franchises aware that a stadium could be built and financed in Pontiac. Initially, a dual stadium complex was planned that included a moving roof that was later scrapped due to high costs and the lack of a commitment from the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise. In 1973, ground was broken for a stadium to exclusively house the Detroit Lions. The stadium gained a reputation in the 1970s and 1980s for its aging facilities and obstructed views, but was beloved by local baseball fans for its historic feel. Box and most reserved seats were close to the action. In 1977, the Tigers sold the stadium to the city of Detroit, which then leased it back to the Tigers. As part of this transfer, the green wooden seats were replaced with blue and orange plastic ones and the stadium's interior, which was green, was painted blue to match. In 1992, new owner Mike Ilitch began many cosmetic improvements to the ballpark, primarily with the addition of the Tiger Den and Tiger Plaza. The Tiger Den was an area in the lower deck between first and third base that had padded seats and section waiters. The Tiger Plaza was constructed in the old players parking lot and consisted of many concessionaires and a gift shop. After the 1994 strike, plans began to construct a new park, but many campaigned to save the old stadium. Plans to modify and maintain Tiger Stadium as the home of the Tigers, known as the Cochrane Plan, were supported by many in the community, but were never seriously considered by the Tigers. Ground was broken for the new Comerica Park during the 1997 season. On September 27, 1999, the final Detroit Tigers game was held at Tiger Stadium; an 8–2 victory over the Kansas City Royals, capped by a late grand slam by Robert Fick. Fick's 8th inning grand slam hit the right field roof and fell back onto the playing field, where it was retrieved by Tigers personnel. Fick's blast was the final hit, home run, and RBI in Tiger Stadium's history. The whereabouts of the ball are currently unknown. Following the game, an emotional ceremony with past and present Tigers greats was held to mark the occasion. The Detroit Tigers moved to the newly constructed Comerica Park for their 2000 season leaving Tiger Stadium largely unused. From the departure of the Detroit Tigers in 1999 through early 2006, the city of Detroit spent nearly US$4 million maintaining Tiger Stadium. In the summer of 2000, the HBO movie 61* was filmed in Tiger Stadium. The film dramatized the efforts of New York Yankees teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris during the 1961 season to break fellow Yankee Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60. Maris actually accomplished the feat. The process of converting Tiger Stadium to Yankee Stadium began with painting seats, columns, walls, stairs, facades and anything that was visible to the distinctive pale light green color of Yankee Stadium before the park underwent a massive renovation in the mid-1970s. In the DVD documentary about the making of the film, production designer Rusty Smith revealed that he believed no accurate representation of the exact shade of green existed until someone in the Yankees organization said that director Billy Crystal, a diehard New York Yankees fan who idolized Mickey Mantle, had a wooden seat from the old stadium. While it was mostly painted blue, there was a large chip that revealed the green paint underneath. However, old Yankee Stadium had three tiers whereas Tiger Stadium had only two. In post-production, the uppermost tier was cloned and pasted on top. Filligrees and other distinctive elements of old Yankee Stadium as well as vistas of The Bronx beyond the walls of the park were also added via CG. Signage completed the illusion. In the ending credits, Tiger Stadium is credited as playing Yankee Stadium. Rusty Smith recounted that when Billy Crystal saw Tiger Stadium dressed as the Yankee Stadium he remembered from his youth, he became very emotional. Coincidently, Roger Maris hit his first home run of the 1961 season at Tiger Stadium. During the very last days in which part of Tiger Stadium was still standing, scenes for the film, Kill the Irishman depicting the old Cleveland baseball stadium were shot at the stadium, extending for a day (demolition continued the day after the single day shoot at the stadium on June 5, 2009) the life of Tiger Stadium. Upon completion of filming of the Yankee Stadium scenes, the seats and ballpark were repainted to their Tiger Stadium colors and appearance. On July 24, 2001, the day Detroit celebrated its 300th birthday, a Great Lakes Summer Collegiate Game between the Motor City Marauders and the Lake Erie Monarchs was played at Tiger Stadium. It was in an effort by a local sports management company that is seeking to bring a minor league franchise to Detroit in the Frontier League. In July 2002, the Tigers sponsored a fantasy camp with instructors Jason Thompson and Milt Wilcox. For many, this was the final time that Tiger Stadium was opened to the public for a baseball-related purpose. Since then, The Corner has been used periodically to videotape special segments, such as the appearance of Denny McLain on Fox Sports Net's Beyond the Glory and a pregame piece for the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game featuring Ernie Harwell. On Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5, 2006, a tent on Tiger Stadium's field played host to Anheuser-Busch's Bud Bowl 2006. Among performers at the nightclub-style event was Snoop Dogg. After several years out of the public eye, the Bud Bowl event led the Detroit Free Press to make the interior of the stadium the feature of a photo series on February 1, 2006. These photos showed the stadium's deteriorating condition, which included trees and other vegetation growing in the stands. Anheuser-Busch promoted the advertising event as Tiger Stadium's Last Call. In early 2006, the feature-length documentary Stranded at the Corner was released. Funded by local businessman and ardent stadium supporter Peter Comstock Riley, and directed by Gary Glaser, it earned solid reviews and won three Telly awards and two Emmy awards for the film's writer and co-producer, Richard Bak (a local journalist and the author of two books about the stadium). It was also shown at the inaugural National Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival, held in Cooperstown, New York, November 2006. During the summer of 2010, a group known on Facebook as "The spirit of Tiger Stadium" began maintaining the playing field and hosting informal baseball games at the site. (Their activities are not condoned by the city and the group's members risk trespassing charges because of their efforts.) There is also a sign on the enclosing fence labelling the site "Ernie Harwell Park". Many private parties, non-profit organizations and financiers expressed interest in saving the ballpark after its closure. These included multiple proposals to convert the stadium into mixed-use condominiums and residential lofts overlooking the existing playing field. One of the more ambitious plans involved recruiting and housing a minor league baseball team in a reconfigured, Navin Field-era park (with its original size and layout). This redevelopment would also encompass a museum, shops, and conference space. By 2006, demolition appeared inevitable when then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced the stadium would be razed the following year, making many of the prior plans seem contradictory or speculative. On December 18, 2006, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) hosted a walk-through for potential bidders on a project to remove assets from Tiger Stadium that qualified as "memorabilia" and to sell these items in an online auction hosted by Schnieder Industries. Once the stadium was stripped of seating, signage, and other items classified as non-structural (i.e. support columns) which would yield income for the City of Detroit at auction, demolition would commence. According to individuals familiar with the meeting between potential bidders and the DEGC, all items except the foul poles, the center field flagpole, the auxiliary scoreboards along the first and third base lines, and the neon "TIGER STADIUM" lettering would be available. The DEGC made their proposal official in June, 2007, following an initial delay of the demolition decision by the city in March, 2007. Initially, this announcement from DEGC seemed to settle the longstanding matter of what would happen to the old and abandoned stadium. On July 27, 2007, the Detroit City Council approved a plan to demolish Tiger Stadium before September 2008. However, they did not vote to give control of the project to the DEGC. Removal of the neon "TIGER STADIUM" lettering on the structure, as well as some seating, commenced but were not auctioned; instead these were reportedly donated to the Detroit Historical Society. By November 2007, with the neon lettering and much of the seating already removed, the DEGC issued a request for proposals from companies interested in a partial demolition of the site. Preliminary plans included in the DEGC's request showed that the lower deck of the stadium would remain from dugout to dugout (also including the elevator tower at the corner of Michigan Ave. & Cochrane, as well as the broadcast booth). The upper deck in that section, along with the remainder of the structure, would be demolished. The plan called for any seating removed from the saved area to be replaced at a later date. The DEGC awarded the demolition contract on April 22, 2008, with the stipulation that demolition revenue would come from the sale of scrap metal, and not from the City of Detroit. Wrecking crews commenced operations on June 30, in the wall behind the old bleacher section facing I-75 near the intersection of Trumbull Avenue. The demolition of the left field stands opened up the stadium's interior to view for the first time in decades on July 9, 2008 (the ballpark had been double-decked since the late 1930s). Plans to keep the dugout-to-dugout portion of the stadium were contingent upon the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy being able to: This partial demolition was completed in September 2008, at which time a March 1, 2009 deadline was set for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy to raise $15.5 million for preservation and construction of the museum, educational space and working ballfield. The conservancy raised $150,000 the following month (the first of two proposed payments to the city towards purchase), but faced a deadline three days later to provide another $69,000, as well as an additional payment in December to offset costs for site and architectural plans. Over the ensuing months, the conservancy asked for extensions in order to secure funding and delay demolition of the remaining structure. A $3.8 million earmark was included in a proposed spending bill sent to Congress by U.S. Senator Carl Levin[MI], which would help aid the process. This bill was passed by the House. Citing the numerous delays brought about by the conservancy's requests, and alleging the conservancy ultimately could not raise the remainder of the money, the Detroit Economic Development Corp., led by chairman George Jackson, voted to demolish the remainder of the ballpark on June 7, 2009. The conservancy subsequently requested a restraining order barring demolition; however, when the court reconvened on June 8, the order was not extended, with the judge citing that the conservancy had not met the DEGC's demands. The razing of the park's remains was to commence almost immediately after the higher court's ruling. Just prior to this ruling, Tiger Stadium was the site of a scene filmed for the upcoming independent movie Kill the Irishman, starring Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken. In the same way the ballpark was featured as Yankee Stadium in the movie "61*", Kill the Irishman features Tiger Stadium portraying Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium. In spite of the final demolition issue, Senator Levin stated on June 10 that $3.8 million in federal earmarks were still available for preservation of the field: "...preservation and redevelopment of a public park and related business activities." The pilot of the HBO series Hung featured the stadium's demolition in its opening scene. The last remaining part of the structure fell at approximately 9:24 am, Monday, September 21, 2009. Tiger Stadium had a 125 foot (38 m) tall flagpole in fair play, to the left of dead center field near the 440 foot (134 m) mark. The same flag pole was originally to be brought to Comerica Park, but this never took place. A new flagpole in the spirit of Tiger Stadium's pole was positioned in fair play at Comerica Park until the left field fence was moved in closer prior to the 2003 season. The original Tiger Stadium flagpole is still in its original position on the now vacant site. When the stadium closed, it was tied with Fenway Park as the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball the way the dates are normally reckoned. The two stadiums opened on exactly the same date in 1912. Taking predecessor Bennett Field into account, this was the oldest site in use in 1999. The right field upper deck overhung the field by 10 feet (3 m), prompting the installation of spotlights above the warning track. The overhang would occasionally "catch" some extremely high arced fly balls and prevent the right fielder standing underneath it with his back to the fence from catching the ball, resulting in a home run for the batter, in what otherwise would have been a long out. Other batted balls would occasionally hit the facing of the overhang, and bounce far back into right field (still resulting in a home run). The reason for the overhang was that when the park was expanded in 1936 and the second deck was added over the right field pavilion and bleachers, there was a limited amount of space between the right field fence and the street behind it. Wanting to fit as many seats as possible in the expansion, the second deck was extended over the fence by 10 feet in order to fit in additional rows of seats. For a time after it was constructed, the right field upper deck had a "315" marker at the foul pole (later painted over), with a "325" marker below it on the lower deck fence (which was retained). The design of the right field section was copied and used in the construction of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX., although the right field second deck of Rangers Ballpark does not actually extend over the right field fence, but comes close. Supposedly due to then-owner Walter Briggs' dislike of night baseball, lights were not installed at the stadium until 1948. The first night game at the stadium was held on June 15, 1948. Among major league parks whose construction predated the advent of night games, only Chicago's Wrigley Field went longer without lights (1988). Unlike Comerica Park and many other modern stadiums, Tiger Stadium featured an upper deck bleacher section that was separated from the rest of the stadium. Chainlink fence separated the bleachers from the reserved sections and was the only section of seating not covered by at least part of the roof. The bleachers had their own entrance, concession stands, and restrooms. Tiger Stadium saw exactly 11,111 home runs, the last a right field, rooftop grand slam by Detroit's Robert Fick as the last hit in the last game played there. There were over 30 home runs hit onto the right field roof over the years. It was a relatively soft touch compared to left field, with a 325-foot (99 m) foul line and with a roof that was in line with the front of the lower deck. In left field, it was 15 feet (4.6 m) farther down the line, and the roof was set back some distance. Only four of the game's most powerful right-handed sluggers (Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard, Cecil Fielder and Mark McGwire) reached the left field rooftop. In his career, Norm Cash hit four home runs over the Tiger Stadium roof in right field and is the all-time leader. Like other older baseball stadiums such as Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium offered "obstructed view" seats, some of which were directly behind a steel support beam; while others in the lower deck had sight lines obstructed by the low-hanging upper deck. By making it possible for the upper deck to stand directly above the lower deck, the support beams allowed the average fan to sit closer to the field than at any other major league baseball park, creating what many consider to be some of the finest upper deck views of the field in baseball. When Ty Cobb played at Tiger Stadium, the area of dirt in front of home plate was kept wet by the groundstaff in order to slow down Cobb's bunts and cause opposing infielders to slip as they fielded them. The area was nicknamed "Cobb's Lake". At the Corner on July 13, 1934, Babe Ruth hit his 700th career home run. As noted in Bill Jenkinson's The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, the ball sailed over the street behind the then-single deck bleachers in right field, and is estimated to have traveled over 500 feet (150 m) on the fly. Ruth also had a good day in Detroit earlier in his career, on July 18, 1921, when he hit what is believed to be the verifiably longest home run in the history of major league baseball. It went to straightaway center, as many of Ruth's longest homers did, easily clearing the then-single deck bleacher and wall, landing almost on the far side of the street intersection. The distance of this blow has been estimated at between 575 and 600 feet (180 m) on the fly. On May 2, 1939, an ailing New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig voluntarily benched himself at Briggs Stadium, ending a streak of 2,130 consecutive games. Due to the progression of the disease named after him, it was the final game in his career. The stadium hosted the 1941, 1951, and 1971 MLB All-Star Games. All three games featured home runs. Ted Williams won the 1941 game with an upper deck shot. The ball was also carrying well in the 1951 and 1971 games. Of the many homers in those games, the most often replayed is Reggie Jackson's literally towering drive to right field that hit so high up in the light tower that the TV camera lost sight of it, until it dropped to the field below. Jackson dropped his bat and watched it sail, seemingly astonished at his own power display. On April 7, 1986, Dwight Evans hit a home run on the first pitch of the Opening Day game, for the earliest possible home run in an MLB season (in terms of innings and at bats, not dates). After the Tigers moved, Michigan&Trumbull, LLC. rented the stadium for four separate baseball games (Collegiate Wood Bat League games, vintage base ball games, and a women's baseball game; the women's game was played between the [Detroit Danger Women's Baseball Club and the Toronto All-Stars and was hosted by the WBL (Women's Baseball League, Inc.) on August 11, 2001. The Danger beat the All-Stars, 3–2. The women's baseball game became the first-ever all-women's baseball game played at Tiger Stadium in its entire history). Tiger Stadium was home to the Detroit Lions from 1938 to 1974 when they dropped their final Tiger Stadium game to the Denver Broncos on Thanksgiving Day. The football field ran mostly in the outfield from the right field line to left center field parallel with the third base line. The benches for both the Lions and their opponents were on the outfield side of the field. A "possession" symbol, with its light bulbs, for football games could still be seen on the auxiliary scoreboards for the remainder of their time at Tiger Stadium. The stadium was depicted in Disney's award-winning Tiger Town, a 1983 made-for-television baseball film written & directed by Detroit native, Alan Shapiro, starring Roy Scheider, Sparky Anderson, Ernie Harwell, and Mary Wilson, and (as Briggs Stadium) in the 1980 feature film Raging Bull where the stadium was the site of two of Jake LaMotta's championship boxing matches. Tiger Stadium was also seen in the film Hardball starring Keanu Reeves, Renaissance Man with Danny DeVito and in the aforementioned film 61*, where it "played" the part of Yankee Stadium as well as itself. In the film 61*, Tiger Stadium is shown painted blue, with blue and orange seats, but that was its appearance after a renovation in the late 1970s. In the year 1961, the stadium and the seats were painted dark green. During the very last days in which part of Tiger Stadium was still standing, scenes for the film, Kill the Irishman, depicting the old Cleveland baseball stadium were shot at the stadium, extending for a day (demolition continued the day after the single day shoot at the stadium on June 5, 2009) the life of Tiger Stadium. On June 28, 1996, hard rock band Kiss performed their first show for their Reunion tour at Tiger Stadium in front of 39,867 fans, with Alice in Chains and Sponge as the opening acts. It had been postulated by numerous residents that the stadium could have been used and converted into a soccer arena, allowing for a potential MLS franchise, but lack of support by government officials has essentially killed this idea. Northern Irish professional soccer club Glentoran called the stadium home for two months in 1967. The Glens, as the team from Belfast are known played under the name Detroit Cougars as one of several European teams invited to the States during their off/close season to play in the United Soccer Association. In February 2006, Tiger Stadium's field was used for the 2006 Anheuser-Busch Bud Bowl advertising event, part of the unofficial Super Bowl XL festivities. The Detroit Police Department has been to known to use the stadium as a practice sniper range. Clips of this were aired on the show Detroit SWAT. The seating capacity went as followed for baseball: The seating capacity went as followed for football: An empty Tiger Stadium in January 2005 Tiger Stadium showing signs of neglect in 2006. Tiger Stadium with facade lettering removed in November 2007. of visitors' bullpen and right field from lower deck, November 2007. Tiger Stadium with seats removed in November 2007. Abandoned in April 2008; Tigers now play in Comerica Park. Demonstration against a School Amendment at Navin Field in 1920
Comerica Park is an open-air ballpark located in Downtown Detroit. It serves as the home of the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball, replacing historic Tiger Stadium in 2000. The park is named after Comerica Bank, which was based in Detroit at the time the park opened. Comerica's headquarters have since been moved to Dallas, though the bank still retains a large presence in Detroit. The stadium's seating capacity is 41,255. There is a Detroit People Mover station about a block from the stadium (at Grand Circus Park). Comerica Park sits on the original site of the Detroit College of Law. Groundbreaking for a new ballpark to replace Tiger Stadium for the Tigers was held on October 29, 1997 and the new stadium was opened to the public in 2000. At the time of construction, the scoreboard in left field was the largest in Major League Baseball. The first game was held on April 11, 2000, against the Seattle Mariners. The new stadium is part of a downtown revitalization plan for the city of Detroit, which included the construction of Ford Field, adjacent to the park. In December 1998, Comerica Bank agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights for the new ballpark. Upon its opening, there was some effort to try to find a nickname for the park, with the abbreviation CoPa suggested by many. It is often referred to simply as Comerica. The first playoff game at Comerica was played on October 6, 2006 against the New York Yankees. It hosted its first World Series later that month. In contrast to Tiger Stadium, which had long been considered one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, Comerica Park is considered to be extremely friendly to pitchers. Except for dead center—420 feet (130 m) versus Tiger Stadium's 440 feet (130 m)—the outfield dimensions were more expansive than those at Tiger Stadium. This led to complaints from players and fans alike, and engendered the sarcastic nickname Comerica National Park. Although a few public figures—notably radio announcer Ernie Harwell—supported the dimensions, most agreed that the left-field wall, in particular, needed to be brought closer to home plate. Before the 2003 MLB season the club did so, moving the distance from left-center field from 395 to 370 feet (120 to 110 m). This also removed the flagpole from the field of play, originally incorporated as an homage to Tiger Stadium. Two years later, the bullpens were moved from right field to an empty area in left field created when the fence was moved in. In place of the old bullpens in right field, 950 seats were added for a new capacity of 41,070. Also of note, the current layout of the playing field at Comerica Park means that when a player is at bat, the direction he is facing looks farther to the south than at any other Major League Baseball park. The stadium also includes many baseball-themed features, including a "Monument Park" in the deep center field stands, complete with statues of former Tigers Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Willie Horton. The first game at Comerica Park was held on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 with 39,168 spectators attending, on a cold snowy afternoon. Temperatures during the afternoon ranged from 33.8 to 34 degrees F. Grounds crew had to clear snow off the field from the night before. The Tigers defeated the Seattle Mariners 5–2. The winning pitcher, as in the final game at Tiger Stadium, was Brian Moehler. Original plans called for an F-16 flyover from nearby Selfridge Air National Guard Base and a parachutist carrying the first pitch ball and the rosin bag. Unfortunately, the weather caused a scratch of both occurrences. Nonetheless, there was a passing of the flag to the flagpole in center in reverse order as there was to take it down from Tiger Stadium. Elden Auker, who had received the flag at Tiger Stadium and given it to Brad Ausmus, passed the flag along a line of players to the flagpole in center. The unfurled 150x300 American flag is the largest in the nation, for the singing of the national anthem. Entrance to the ballpark is located across from the Fox Theatre and between two historic downtown churches, St. John Episcopal Church and Central United Methodist Church. Outside of the main entrance to the stadium there is a tiger statue that is approximately 15 feet (4.6 m) in height. There are eight other heroic-sized tiger statues throughout the park, including two prowling on top of the scoreboard in left field. These tigers' eyes light up after a Tigers home run or a victory and the sound of a growling tiger plays as well. The tigers were originally created by sculptor Michael Keropian and fabricated by ShowMotion Inc. in Norwalk, Connecticut. Along the brick walls outside of the park are thirty-three tiger heads with lighted baseballs in their mouths. At the left-center field concourse there are statues of all of the players whose numbers have been retired by the Tigers (with the exception of Jackie Robinson, whose number was retired in every MLB park in 1997). They include Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Willie Horton, Hank Greenberg. A statue of Ty Cobb is also there, but he does not have a number, as he played baseball before players began to wear numbers on their uniforms. These players' names, along with the names of Hall of Fame players who spent a significant part of their career with the Tigers, are also on a wall in left center field, and to them is added Ernie Harwell, the team's long-time radio announcer, who is also in the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster. Harwell has a statue just inside the stadium on the first base side. The field itself features a distinctive dirt strip between home plate and the pitcher's mound. This strip, sometimes known as the "keyhole", was common in early ballparks, yet very rare in modern facilities (the only other current ballpark to feature this is Chase Field in Phoenix). In the northeastern corner of the stadium behind the stands from the third base line is a Ferris wheel with twelve cars designed like baseballs. In the northwestern corner of the stadium behind the stands from the first base line is a carousel where guests ride on tigers instead of horses. The flagpole located between center and left fields was originally in play, as was the flag pole in Tiger Stadium. However, the left field wall was moved in front of the pole before the 2003 season. A ball that hits the pole is now ruled a home run. The right field of the stadium features the Pepsi Porch, a picnic deck between the 100 and 200 level seating bowls. Also in right field, and part of the 100 level seating bowl, is an area of seats know as "Kaline's Corner" an homage to Hall of Fame right fielder Al Kaline who once played for the Tigers when the team played in Tiger Stadium. An LED scoreboard was added to the right-center field wall, and the upper deck fascia for the 2007 season. A giant fountain is located behind center field; playing displays during pre- and post-game activities, between innings, and whenever the Tigers score. General Motors sponsored the fountain from 2000 to 2008, and used the area to showcase GM manufactured vehicles as well. While GM dropped its sponsorship for the 2009 season due to financial issues, the GM branding was not removed from the fountain. Instead, signs for Chrysler and Ford were also added to the display, along with the message "The Detroit Tigers Support Our Automakers." In 2010, GM returned to sponsoring the display, now known as the Chevrolet Fountain A completely redesigned and upgraded left field video display debuted for the 2012 season. The serif "TIGERS" letters were removed, replaced by light-up cursive lettering. The tiger cats were taken down, sent for cleaning and polishing, and replaced in similar spots. The analog clock was removed completely. A high-definition LED display was installed, much larger than the three displays that had existed there previously. The previous scoreboard utilized light bulbs - still a popular scoreboard technology around the time the park opened, though they were quickly aging as LED displays became available and were installed around other Major League ballparks. The scoreboard was also raised 16 feet in an effort to address complaints that the scoreboard was too far left and thus obstructed by the left field upper deck. Along with the replacement scoreboard, all remaining bulb fascia scoreboards were also upgraded to LED. Other features include: See Detroit Tigers#Retired numbers and honorees Comerica Park primarily serves as the home ballpark for the Detroit Tigers, who moved to the venue from Tiger Stadium in 2000. In 2005, Comerica Park hosted the 76th MLB All-Star Game, the first to be played in Detroit since 1971. In the Home Run Derby, held the day before, Bobby Abreu slammed 24 home runs in the first round, breaking the previous record of 15. Abreu won the Derby over Tiger Iván Rodríguez and hit a record 41 homers during the event. In the All-Star Game, the American League won 7–5 with Miguel Tejada winning the game's MVP award. On October 21, 2006, Comerica Park hosted the first World Series game in the history of the ballpark (Game 1 of the 2006 World Series). On June 12, 2007, the first no-hitter was thrown at Comerica Park by Justin Verlander. The Tigers won the game 4–0 against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was also the first no-hitter thrown by a Tiger in the city of Detroit since Virgil Trucks accomplished the feat in 1952. On May 24, 2008, the Tiger statue at the main entrance to the ballpark was dressed with a Detroit Red Wings jersey as the Red Wings were playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals during that time. Detroit defeated Pittsburgh in 6 games for the Stanley Cup. The jersey is usually worn by the Spirit of Detroit, but it was undergoing restoration during that time. On April 29, 2009 in a game between the Tigers and the New York Yankees a fire alarm went off in the eighth inning. The scoreboard told fans to evacuate the ballpark without using the elevators. Players were about to be called off the field but home plate umpire Brian Runge checked with Tigers' manager Jim Leyland, who called the field security to confirm it was a false alarm. Fans returned to their seats. Yankees reliever Phil Coke, who had retired Curtis Granderson to start the inning, retired the side with no runs allowed. The Tigers then rallied for 5 runs in the ninth but the Yankees hung on to win 8-6. Comerica Park hosted its second World Series in 2012, with the Tigers getting swept by the San Francisco Giants. Comerica Park has played host to major recording acts in concert such as Eminem (2005), The Rolling Stones (2005), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (2003), Bon Jovi (2003) and Paul McCartney (2011). The first act to play the venue was the Dave Matthews Band on July 5, 2000. In full-stage shows, the stage is to the back of the center field grass with fan seating on the grass up to, but not on, the infield diamond. No seating is allowed on the infield diamond. The center field grass has been covered by special tiles during concerts. Tiger players and former manager Alan Trammell complained about the quality of the playing outfield in 2005 after successive concerts by Eminem and The Rolling Stones; however, concerts at the venue are popular for Detroiters since Comerica is one of the only outdoor concert venues in the city of Detroit, along with Chene Park and the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, approximately 40 miles (64 km) north of Detroit. On July 27, 2007, Comerica hosted a stop of the 2007 Vans Warped Tour. Since then, Comerica become the annual stop of Detroit for The Warped Tour. Bands perform in the parking lot while merchandise and food vendors set up in the park itself. Comerica hosts the festival Kid Rock with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Robert Randolph and the Family Band performed at Comerica July 17, 2009. Kid Rock added a second night show for the 18th that featured Alice in Chains and Cypress Hill as opening acts. On August 15, 2003, a concert co-headlined by Kiss and Aerosmith and featuring local favorite Ted Nugent and Saliva had been planned for Comerica Park, but was postponed due to the Northeast Blackout of 2003 the day before; the rescheduled concert took place on September 7. Eminem and Jay-Z performed at Comerica Park on September 2, 2010, and a second show on September 3, 2010. On July 24, 2011 the stadium hosted a sellout concert featuring Paul McCartney on his On the Run Tour. On July 28, 2012 Jimmy Buffett and his "Lounging at the Lagoon" tour came to Comerica Park. This concert was one of the first times Jimmy Buffett and his band had played in such a large venue, and outdoors. Lionel Richie was the opening act for the night. On February 9, 2012, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that Comerica Park would host many events leading up to the 2013 NHL Winter Classic. These events would have included the alumni game, which would have been held on December 31, 2012, as well as outdoor games from all levels, including youth, the OHL, and the Great Lakes Invitational. The actual 2013 Winter Classic game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the host Detroit Red Wings was to be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, who also owns the Tigers, has wanted Detroit to host the Winter Classic ever since 2009 (when the Wings faced the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field). Ilitch wanted this event to have a positive impact on downtown Detroit and recommended the use of Comerica Park. However, due to the work stoppage during the 2012-13 NHL season lasting into November, the viability of the event in the absence of a new bargaining agreement was called into question. Being without play less than two months before the original scheduled date, logistical concerns were raised about holding both the Classic itself as well as the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park with such uncertainty, even if an agreement was reached within the next few days or weeks. On November 2, 2012, the NHL announced the cancellation of the Classic and the Winter Festival and associated activities at Comerica. The cancellation came as a result of a deadline in the league's contract with Michigan Stadium, in which the league would have incurred additional expenses if they cancelled after November 2. During the announcement, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated that the next edition of the Winter Classic would be awarded to Ann Arbor and would also feature the Maple Leafs and Red Wings. It also stated the Hockeytown Winter Festival will return to Michigan; the statement did not specify any time frame for these. Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
Rogers Centre (Toronto Blue Jays)
Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays)
Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees) Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)
Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City Royals)
Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians)
Target Field (Minnesota Twins)
U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox) Angel Stadium of Anaheim (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) Coliseum (Oakland Athletics)
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Texas Rangers)
Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners) Citi Field (New York Mets)
Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)
Marlins Park (Miami Marlins)
Nationals Park (Washington Nationals)
Turner Field (Atlanta Braves) Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds)
Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)
PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs) AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants)
Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Petco Park (San Diego Padres)
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often beleaguered years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds. The Orioles experienced their greatest success from 1964–1983, as well as the mid-1990s, winning eight Division Championships (1969–1971, 1973–1974, 1979, 1983, 1997), six pennants (1966, 1969–1971, 1979, 1983), three World Series Championships (1966, 1970, 1983), two wild card berths (1996 & 2012), and five Most Valuable Player awards (3B Brooks Robinson 1964, OF Frank Robinson 1966, 1B Boog Powell 1970 and SS Cal Ripken, Jr. 1983 & 1991). Despite being one of the most historic major league franchises, the O's suffered a stretch of fourteen straight losing seasons from 1998 to 2011. However, the Orioles posted a winning record in 2012 and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1997. The Orioles are also well known for their successful stadium, the trend-setting Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992 in downtown Baltimore. The modern Orioles franchise can trace its roots back to the original Milwaukee Brewers of the minor Western League, beginning in 1894 when the league reorganized. The Brewers were there when the WL renamed itself the American League in 1900. At the end of the 1900 season, the American League removed itself from baseball's National Agreement (the formal understanding between the NL and the minor leagues). Two months later, the AL declared itself a competing major league. As a result of several franchise shifts, the Brewers were one of only two Western League teams that didn't fold, move or get kicked out of the league (the other being the Detroit Tigers). In its first game in the American League, the team lost to the Detroit Tigers 14–13 after blowing a nine-run lead in the 9th inning. To this day, it is a major league record for the biggest deficit overcome that late in the game. During the first American League season in 1901, they finished last (eighth place) with a record of 48–89. During its lone Major League season, the team played at Lloyd Street Grounds, between 16th and 18th Streets in Milwaukee. The Miles-Krieger (Gunther Brewing Company)-Hoffberger group renamed their new team the Baltimore Orioles soon after taking control of the franchise. The name has a rich history in Baltimore, having been used by a National League team in the 1890s. In 1901, Baltimore and McGraw were awarded an expansion franchise in the growing American League, naming the team the Orioles. The team was transferred to New York in 1903, becoming the New York Yankees. As a member of the high-minor league level International League, the Orioles competed at what is now known as the AAA level from 1903–1953. Their large postseason crowds at their temporary home, Municipal Stadium, caught the attention of the major leagues, leading to a new MLB franchise in Baltimore.][ After starting the 1954 campaign with a two-game split against the Tigers in Detroit, the Orioles returned to Baltimore on April 15 to a welcoming parade that wound through the streets of downtown, with an estimated 350,000 spectators lining the route. In its first-ever home opener at Memorial Stadium later in the afternoon, they treated a sellout crowd of 46,354 to a 3–1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The remainder of the season would not be as pleasant, with the team enduring 100 losses while avoiding the AL cellar by only three games. With fellow investors both frustrated with his domination of the franchise's business operations and dissatisfied with yet another seventh-place finish, Clarence Miles resigned in early November 1955. Real estate developer James Keelty, Jr. succeeded him as president with investment banker Joseph Iglehart the new board chairman. The seeds of long-term success were planted on September 14, 1954, when the Orioles hired Paul Richards to become the ballclub's manager and general manager. He laid the foundation for what would years later be called the Oriole Way. The instruction of baseball fundamentals became uniform in every detail between all classes within the organization. Players were patiently refined until fundamentally sound instead of being hastily advanced to the next level. For the remainder of the 1950s, the Orioles crawled up the standings, reaching as high as fifth place with a 76–76 record in 1957. Richards succeeded in stocking the franchise with a plethora of young talent which included Dave Nicholson, Pete Ward, Ron Hansen (1960 AL Rookie of the Year), Milt Pappas, Jerry Adair, Steve Barber (20 wins in 1963), Boog Powell, Dave McNally and Brooks Robinson. Unfortunately, Richards also had the tendency to recklessly spend money on individuals with dubious baseball skills. This became a major problem as bidding wars between the ballclubs to land the best amateur players escalated signing bonuses. The solution came on November 5, 1958, when Lee MacPhail was appointed general manager, allowing Richards to focus on his managerial duties. MacPhail added much needed discipline to the scouting staff by establishing cross-checkers who thoroughly evaluated young hopefuls to determine whether they were worthy of being tendered a contract. He also accepted the title of president after Keelty resigned in mid-December 1959. One month prior to the end of the 1961 season, Richards resigned as the team's skipper to become the general manager of the expansion Houston Colt 45s. A year earlier, he succeeded in establishing the Orioles as a legitimate contender when they stood atop the AL standings as late as early September before finishing in second place at 89–65. In 1964, the Birds, piloted by Hank Bauer in his first year of managing the ballclub, were involved in a tight pennant race against the Yankees and White Sox. They ended up in third place with a 97–65 record, only two games out. It has been suggested that they would likely have advanced to the Fall Classic had it not been for a minor wrist injury that sidelined Powell for two weeks in late August. Nevertheless, Robinson enjoyed a breakout season with a league-high 118 RBIs and won the AL Most Valuable Player Award. CBS' purchase of a majority stake in the Yankees on September 9 of that same year resulted in a change to the ownership situation in Baltimore. Iglehart, the Orioles' largest shareholder at 32% and owner of a sizable amount of CBS stock, straightened out his conflict of interest issues on May 25, 1965 by selling his 64,000 shares in the ball-club to the National Brewing Company, an original team investor which finally had controlling interest at 65%. Brewery president Jerold Hoffberger became the Orioles' new chairman of the board. Hoffberger's first action was installing Frank Cashen, the Director of Advertising for the National Brewery, as Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for the Orioles. With the benefit of a deep talent pool and superior scouts, the franchise continued to make improvements at the major league level. Three months before the start of the 1963 season, the Orioles stabilized its infield by acquiring Luis Aparicio in a transaction that involved sending a trio of homegrown players (Hansen, Nicholson and Ward) to the White Sox. They also scoured the minor leagues for selections in the Rule 5 draft (Paul Blair from the Mets in 1962, Moe Drabowsky from the Cardinals in 1965) and claims off waivers (Curt Blefary, 1965 AL Rookie of the Year, from the Yankees in 1963). On December 9, 1965, the Orioles traded pitcher Milt Pappas (and several others) to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for slugging outfielder Frank Robinson. The following year, Robinson won the American League Most Valuable Player award, thus becoming the first (and so far only) man to win the MVP in each league (Robinson won the NL MVP in 1961, leading the Reds to the pennant). In addition to winning the 1966 MVP, Robinson also won the Triple Crown (leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in), a feat also achieved the following season by Boston's Carl Yastrzemski. The Orioles won their first-ever American League championship in 1966, and in a major upset, swept the World Series by out-dueling the Los Angeles Dodgers aces Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. The only home run ball ever hit completely out of Memorial Stadium was slugged by Robinson on Mother's Day in 1966, off Cleveland Indians pitcher Luis Tiant. It cleared the left field single-deck portion of the grandstand. A flag was later erected near the spot the ball cleared the back wall, with simply the word "HERE" upon it. The flag is now in the Baltimore Orioles Museum. Pappas went 30–29 in a little over two years with the Reds before being traded. Although he would go on to have back-to-back 17-win seasons for the Chicago Cubs in 1971 and 1972, including a no-hitter in the latter season, this did not help the Reds, who ended up losing the 1970 World Series to Robinson and the Orioles. This trade has become renowned as one of the most lopsided in baseball history, including a mention by Susan Sarandon in her opening soliloquy in the 1988 film Bull Durham: "Bad trades are a part of baseball. I mean, who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas?" In the 1960s, the Orioles farm system produced an especially large number of high-quality players and coaches and laid the foundation for two decades of on-field success. This period included eighteen consecutive winning seasons (1968–1985) -- an unprecedented run of success that saw the Orioles become the envy of the league, and the winningest team in baseball. During this period, the Orioles played baseball the Oriole Way, an organizational ethic best described by longtime farm hand and coach Cal Ripken, Sr.'s phrase "perfect practice makes perfect!" The Oriole Way was a belief that hard work, professionalism, and a strong understanding of fundamentals were the keys to success at the major league level. It was based on the belief that if every coach, at every level, taught the game the same way, the organization could produce "replacement parts" that could be substituted seamlessly into the big league club with little or no adjustment. Elaborations on the Oriole way include pitching coach and manager Ray Miller's maxim "Work fast, change speeds, and throw strikes" and manager Earl Weaver's maxim "Pitching, defense and three-run homers." The Oriole Way began flourishing in 1966 after the Robinson-for-Pappas deal, as Robinson won the Triple Crown Award. His Orioles would easily sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1966 World Series. After a mediocre 1967 season, Hank Bauer would be replaced by Earl Weaver halfway into 1968. The Orioles would finish second in the American League. This would only be a prelude to 1969, when the Orioles won 109 games and easily won the newly-created American League East division title. Mike Cuellar shared the Cy Young Award with Detroit's Denny McLain. After sweeping Minnesota in the American League Championship Series, Baltimore was shocked by losing to the New York Mets in a five-game World Series. The next year, Boog Powell won the MVP and the Orioles won another 108 games. After sweeping the Twins once again in the ALCS, the Orioles won the 1970 World Series by defeating the Cincinnati Reds' Big Red Machine in five games. In 1971, the Orioles won another division title thanks to four 20-game winners on their pitching staff (Cuellar, Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson, and Dave McNally). After defeating the young Oakland A's in the ALCS, the Orioles would lose a heartbreaking seven-game World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Orioles would miss the playoffs in 1972, but rebounded to win the division in 1973 and 1974. Each time, they would lose to Oakland in the ALCS. During this stretch, the Orioles began to phase out their veteran infield by replacing Davey Johnson and Brooks Robinson with younger stars Bobby Grich and Doug DeCinces, respectively. Johnson would be dealt along with Johnny Oates to the Atlanta Braves for catcher and 1971 National League Rookie of the Year Earl Williams. Although Williams would hit 63 home runs in two seasons with Atlanta, he would only hit 36 homers in two seasons with the Orioles. In 1975, the Birds acquired slugger Lee May in a trade with Houston, and traded Dave McNally, Rich Coggins and minor-league pitcher Bill Kirkpatrick to Montreal for star outfielder Ken Singleton, and future 20-game winner Mike Torrez. Jim Palmer won the Cy Young Award, but the Orioles lost the division title to the Boston Red Sox and their mega-rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. The 1976 season brought Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman from a trade with Oakland, but the Orioles only won 88 games. It was this season when the Orioles made a trade that brought them players such as Tippy Martinez and Rick Dempsey. This young foundation, along with the departures of the unhappy Jackson and Holtzman, would create the basis for 1977. The "No Name Orioles", along with Rookie of the Year Eddie Murray, won 97 games and finished tied for second place with Boston. After finishing fourth in 1978, the Orioles finally won the division in 1979 thanks to strong play from Ken Singleton and Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan. The Orioles defeated the Angels in the ALCS, but lost to Pittsburgh in another stunning World Series. This started a short period of heartbreak for Baltimore that would nevertheless culminate in a championship. The Orioles won 100 games in 1980 thanks to Cy Young winner Steve Stone, but the Yankees won 103 games. Although Baltimore had the best overall record in the AL East in 1981, they finished second in each half. As a result, they were out of the playoffs due to the postseason structure that year because of the strike. The 1982 campaign saw Baltimore eliminated on the final weekend of the season by the Milwaukee Brewers. In an unforgettable scene, despite the season-ending loss eliminating them from the playoffs, fans stayed to honor the retiring Earl Weaver, who would be succeeded by Joe Altobelli. In 1983, Altobelli would lead the Orioles to 98 wins and a division title thanks to MVP Cal Ripken, Jr.. The Orioles defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS thanks to a 10th-inning homer by Tito Landrum in the deciding game. The Orioles won the World Series in five games by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies. During their most productive years and only World Series championships thus far, the Orioles saw three of its players named MVP: Frank Robinson in 1966; Boog Powell in 1970; and Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1983). Additionally, Brooks Robinson was named Most Valuable Player in 1964, just two years before the 1966–1983 golden era began. The pitching staff was phenomenal, with four pitchers winning six Cy Young Awards (Mike Cuellar in 1969; Jim Palmer in 1973, 1975, and 1976; Mike Flanagan in 1979; and Steve Stone in 1980). In 1971, the team's four starting pitchers, McNally, Cuellar, Palmer, and Pat Dobson, all won 20 games, a feat that has not been replicated. In that year, the Birds went on to post a 101–61 record for their third-straight AL East title. Also during this stretch three players were named rookies of the year: Al Bumbry (1973); Eddie Murray (1977); and Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982). One might date the glory years of the Orioles dating back to 1964, which would include two third-place seasons, 1964–65, in which the Orioles won 97 and 94 games, respectively, and a year in which third-baseman Brooks Robinson won his Most Valuable Player Award (1964). The glory years of the Orioles effectively ended when the Detroit Tigers, a divisional rival at the time, went 35–5 to open the 1984 season on the way to winning the World Series, in which Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim Palmer retired during the 1984 season. After winning the 1983 World Series, the Orioles spent the next five years in steady decline, finishing 1986 in last place for the first time since the franchise moved to Baltimore. The team hit bottom in 1988 when it started the season 0–21, en route to 107 losses and the worst record in the majors that year. The Orioles surprised the baseball world the following year by spending most of the summer in first place until September when the Toronto Blue Jays overtook them and seized the AL East title on the final weekend of the regular season. The next two years were spent below the .500 mark, highlighted only by Cal Ripken, Jr. winning his second AL MVP Award in 1991. The Orioles said goodbye to Memorial Stadium, the team's home for 38 years, at the end of the 1991 campaign. Opening to much fanfare in 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards was an instant success, spawning other retro-designed major league ballparks within the next two decades. The stadium became the site of the 1993 All-Star Game. The Orioles returned to contention in those first two seasons at Camden Yards, only to finish in third place both times. Also in 1993, with then-owner Eli Jacobs forced to divest himself of the franchise, Baltimore-based attorney Peter Angelos was awarded the Orioles in bankruptcy court, returning the team to local ownership for the first time since 1979. After the 1993 season, the Orioles acquired first baseman Rafael Palmeiro from the Texas Rangers. The Orioles, who spent all of 1994 chasing the New York Yankees, occupied second place in the new five-team AL East when the players strike, which began on August 11, forced the eventual cancellation of the season. The labor impasse would continue into the spring of 1995. Almost all of the major league clubs held spring training using replacement players, with the intention of beginning the season with them. The Orioles, whose owner was a labor union lawyer, were the lone dissenters against creating an ersatz team, choosing instead to sit out spring training and possibly the entire season. Had they fielded a substitute team, Cal Ripken, Jr.'s consecutive games streak would have been jeopardized. The replacements questions became moot when the strike was finally settled. The Ripken countdown resumed once the season began. Ripken finally broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak of 2,130 games in a nationally televised game on September 6. This was later voted the all-time baseball moment of the 20th century by fans from around the country in 1999. Ripken finished his streak with 2,632 straight games, finally sitting on September 20, 1998, the Orioles final home game of the season against the Yankees at Camden Yards. The Orioles finished two games under .500 in third place in Phil Regan's only season of managing the ballclub. Before the 1996 season, Angelos hired Pat Gillick as general manager. Given the green light to spend heavily on established talent, Gillick signed several premium players like B.J. Surhoff, Randy Myers, David Wells and Roberto Alomar. Under new manager Davey Johnson and on the strength of a then-major league record 257 home runs in a single season, the Orioles returned to the playoffs after a twelve-year absence by clinching the AL wild card berth. Alomar set off a firestorm in September when he spat into home plate umpire John Hirschbeck's face during an argument in Toronto. He was later suspended for the first five games of the 1997 season, even though most wanted him banned from the postseason. After dethroning the defending AL Champion Cleveland Indians 3–1 in the Division Series, the Orioles fell to the Yankees 4–1 in an ALCS notable for right field umpire Rich Garcia's failure to call fan interference in the first game of the series, when 11-year-old Yankee fan Jeffrey Maier reached over the outfield wall to catch an in-play ball, which was scored as a home run for Derek Jeter, tying the game at 4-4 in the eighth inning. Absent Maier's interference, it appeared as if the ball might have been off the wall or caught by right fielder Tony Tarasco. The Yankees went on to win the game in extra innings, so it is likely that the call affected the result of the game, and possibly the series. The Orioles went "wire-to-wire" (first place from start to finish) in winning the AL East title in 1997. After eliminating the Seattle Mariners 3–1 in the Division Series, the team lost again in the ALCS, this time to the underdog Indians 4–2, with each Oriole loss by only a run. Johnson resigned as manager after the season, largely due to a spat with Angelos concerning Alomar's fine for missing a team function being donated to Johnson's wife's charity. Pitching coach Ray Miller replaced Johnson. With Miller at the helm, the Orioles found themselves not only out of the playoffs, but also with a losing season. When Gillick's contract expired in 1998, it was not renewed. Angelos brought in Frank Wren to take over as GM. The Orioles added volatile slugger Albert Belle, but the team's woes continued in the 1999 season, with stars like Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Alomar, and Eric Davis leaving in free agency. After a second straight losing season, Angelos fired both Miller and Wren. He named Syd Thrift the new GM and brought in former Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove. In a rare event on March 28, 1999, the Orioles staged an exhibition series against the Cuban national team in Havana. The Orioles won the game 3–2 in 11 innings. They were the first Major League team to play in Cuba since 1959, when the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Orioles in an exhibition. The Cuban team visited Baltimore in May 1999. Cuba won the second game 10–6. Cal Ripken, Jr. achieved his 3000th hit early in the season. A fire sale occurred late in the season, where the Orioles traded away many veterans for unproven young players and minor league prospects. The Orioles called up many of their AAA players to finish the season. The only acquired player that would have a long-term career with the organization was Melvin Mora. This was Cal Ripken, Jr.'s final season. His number (8) was retired in a ceremony before the final home game of the season. In an effort to right the Orioles' sinking ship, changes began to sweep through the organization in 2003. General manager Syd Thrift was fired and to replace him, the Orioles hired Jim Beattie as executive vice-president and Mike Flanagan as the vice president of baseball operations. After another losing season, manager Mike Hargrove was not retained and Yankees coach Lee Mazzilli was brought in as the new manager. The team signed powerful hitters in SS Miguel Tejada, C Javy López, and former Oriole 1B Rafael Palmeiro. The following season, the Orioles traded for OF Sammy Sosa. The team got hot early in 2005 and jumped out in front of the AL East division, holding onto first place for 62 straight days. However, turmoil on and off the field began to take its toll as the Orioles started struggling around the All-Star break, dropping them close to the surging Yankees and Red Sox. Injuries to Lopez, Sosa, Luis Matos, Brian Roberts, and Larry Bigbie came within weeks of each other, and the team grew increasingly dissatisfied with the "band-aid" moves of the front office and manager Mazzilli to help them through this period of struggle. Various minor league players such as Single-A Frederick OF Jeff Fiorentino were brought up in place of more experienced players such as OF David Newhan, who had batted .311 the previous season. After starting the season 42–28 (.600), the Orioles finished the season with a stretch of 32–60 (.348), ending at 74–88 (.457). Only the Kansas City Royals (.346) had a worse winning percentage for the season than did the Orioles for the final 92 games. The club's major off-season acquisition, Sammy Sosa, posted his worst performance in a decade, with 14 home runs and a .221 batting average. The Orioles did not attempt to re-sign him. The Orioles also allowed Palmeiro to file for free agency and publicly stated they would not re-sign him. On August 25th, pitcher Sidney Ponson was arrested for DUI, and on September 1st, the Orioles moved to void his contract (on a morals clause) and released him. The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on Ponson's behalf and the case was sent to arbitration and was eventually resolved. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, the Orioles contributed more players than any other major league team, with eleven players suiting up for their home nations. Érik Bédard and Adam Loewen pitched for Canada; Rodrigo López and Gerónimo Gil (released before the season began by the club) played for Mexico; Daniel Cabrera and Miguel Tejada for the Dominican Republic; Javy López and Luis Matos for Puerto Rico; Bruce Chen for Panama; Ramón Hernández for Venezuela; and John Stephens for Australia. The Orioles finished the 2006 season with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses, 27 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees. On June 18th, the Orioles fired Sam Perlozzo after losing eight straight games. He was replaced on interim basis by Dave Trembley. On June 22nd, Miguel Tejada's consecutive-games streak came to an end due to an injury, the fifth-longest streak in major league history. Aubrey Huff became the first Oriole to hit for the cycle at home, on June 29th against the Angels. On July 7th, Érik Bédard struck out 15 batters in a game against the Texas Rangers to tie a franchise record held by Mike Mussina. On July 31, 2007, Andy MacPhail named Dave Trembley as the Orioles manager through the remainder of the 2007 season, and advised him to "Keep up the good work." Facing the Texas Rangers in a doubleheader at Camden Yards on August 22, the Orioles surrendered 30 runs in the first game-a modern-era record for a single game-in a 30–3 defeat. The Orioles led the game 3–0 after three innings of play. Sixteen of Texas' thirty runs were scored in the final two innings. The Orioles would also fall in the nightcap, 9–7. The Orioles began the 2008 season in a rebuilding mode under President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail. The Orioles traded away star players Miguel Tejada to the Astros and ace Érik Bédard to the Seattle Mariners for prized prospect Adam Jones, lefty reliever George Sherrill, and minor league pitchers Kam Mickolio, Chris Tillman, and Tony Butler. The Orioles started off the first couple weeks of the season near the top of their division as players such as Nick Markakis and newcomer Luke Scott led the team offensively. Although the Orioles hovered around .500 for much of the season, they had fallen back by September and were over 20 games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays. They finished the season losing 11 of their final 12 games and 28 of their final 34. The team finished last for the first time since their 1988 season. After the season ended, the Orioles showcased altered uniforms, with a circular 'Maryland' patch added to the left-hand sleeve of all jerseys and the grey road jerseys displaying Baltimore across the chest for the first time since 1972. On June 30th, the Orioles rallied to score 10 runs against Boston Red Sox after facing a 10–1 deficit in the 7th inning, winning the game by 11–10, setting a Major League Baseball record for the largest comeback by a last-place team over a first-place team. However, the team finished the 2009 season with 64 wins and 98 losses, making it the worst record in the 2009 American League season. Despite this, Manager Dave Trembley was re-hired for the 2010 season. Centerfielder Adam Jones was named to the 2009 All Star team and awarded a Gold Glove award for his defensive play. On April 12th, the team set a club record for the lowest paid attendance in Camden Yards history, only 9,129 attended the game versus the Tampa Bay Rays The Orioles then went 2–16 to begin the season, one of the worst openings in MLB history. For much of the first half of the season, they had the worst record in the league.][ On June 4, the Orioles replaced Dave Trembley as manager with third base coach Juan Samuel as interim manager. They did well at first, but then they started losing again. The Orioles hired Buck Showalter on July 30 to be the full-time manager. He was introduced on August 2 and made his debut on August 3, after the Orioles fired Samuel. Showalter's arrival produced, or coincided with, a turnaround; the Birds went 34–24 in August, September and October. On February 4th, the Orioles signed free agent Vladimir Guerrero to be the team's designated hitter. Guerrero hit 29 home runs and had a .300 batting average in the 2010 season with the Texas Rangers. He has a career average of .320 and 436 home runs. The Orioles 2011 record was 69–93, the 14th consecutive losing season for the franchise dating back to 1998. The highlight of the season was their final game on September 28th, when they defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-3 thanks to 9th inning heroics by Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino. The Orioles victory prevented the Red Sox from earning the wild card berth as part of "Game 162", one of the most dramatic nights in Major League Baseball history. On November 8, the Orioles announced the hiring of Dan Duquette as the vice president of baseball operations (de facto GM) in the hopes of turning the corner. The Orioles finished the first half of the 2012 season with a winning record for only the second time since 1998, with a record of 45-40 before the All-Star break. On May 6, the Orioles played a 17-inning game against the Boston Red Sox, the first game since 1925 in which both teams used a position player as a pitcher. The Orioles won that game, and designated hitter Chris Davis received the win. The Orioles won their 81st game on September 13th, ending the streak of 14 straight years with a losing record, as well as ensuring that the team would spend the entire year with a record of .500 or higher. On September 16th, they won their 82nd game, securing the first season with a winning record since 1997. On September 21st, closer Jim Johnson earned his 46th save of the season, setting a new Orioles franchise record for saves by one pitcher in a single season. It was previously held by Randy Myers, who had 45 saves in 1997. Johnson became the tenth player to record 50 saves in Major League history. He finished the regular season with 51 saves. With the win against the Boston Red Sox on September 30 and the loss of the Los Angeles Angels to the Texas Rangers in the second game of a double header, the Orioles clinched a playoff berth. This season marked the Orioles return to postseason play. The Orioles finished the regular season in second place in the AL East with a record of 93-69, reversing the 69-93 record from the previous year. Despite a poor run differential (+7, the lowest of all playoff teams in 2012), they benefited from a 29-9 record in games decided by one run and a 16-2 record in extra-inning games. They went on the road to face the team that finished first in the Wild Card race, the Texas Rangers for a one-game playoff series on October 5, winning 5-1 to advance to the ALDS against the New York Yankees on October 7. The season was also distinctive for the fact that Orioles became the only team in MLB history, since 1900, never to have lost a game due to an opponent's walk-off hit. Despite a regular season of avoiding walk-off losses, they lost in Game 3 of the ALDS when Yankee Raúl Ibañez hit his own record-setting, game-winning home run in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Orioles would lose the 2012 American League Division Series in five games. The Orioles' home uniform is white with the word "Orioles" written across the chest. The road uniform is gray with the word "Baltimore" written across the chest. An alternate uniform is black with the word "Orioles" written across the chest. The Orioles wear their black alternate jerseys for Friday night games with the alternate "O's" cap, whether at home or on the road; the cartoon bird batting helmet is still used with this uniform (see description on home and road design below). For 2012, the team unveiled its new uniforms. There was a change to the cap insignia, with the cartoon Oriole returning. Home caps are white in front and black at the back with an orange bill, while the road caps are all black with an orange bill. The Orioles also introduced a new alternate orange uniform to be worn on Saturday home games throughout the 2012 season. In 2013, ESPN ran a "Battle of the Uniforms" contest between all 30 Major League Clubs. Despite using a ranking system that had the Orioles as a #13 seed, the Birds beat the #1 seed Cardinals in the Championship round. In Baltimore, Orioles games on radio can be heard over WBAL (1090 AM). Fred Manfra and Joe Angel alternate as play-by-play announcers. WBAL's 50,000-watt clear-channel signal covers much of the Eastern United States at night. WBAL also feeds the games to a network of 43 stations, covering Washington, D.C. and all or portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. The 2011 season marked the Orioles' return to WBAL following four seasons on WJZ-FM (105.7 FM). The Orioles have had their games broadcast on WBAL for much of the team's history in Baltimore over three separate stints (the other two were from 1957 to 1978, and 1988 to 2006). Previous radio flagships for the Orioles have been WCBM from 1954 to 1956, and again for the 1987 season; and the now-defunct WFBR from 1979 through 1986. The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), co-owned by the Orioles and the Washington Nationals, is the team's exclusive television broadcaster. MASN airs all games with the exception of selected Saturday afternoon games on Fox (via its Baltimore affiliate, WBFF) or Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Many MASN telecasts in conflict with Nationals' game telecasts air on an alternate MASN2 feed. MASN also produces an over-the-air package of games for broadcast locally by CBS–owned WJZ-TV (channel 13); these broadcasts are branded as "O's TV". Veteran sportscaster Gary Thorne is the current lead television announcer, with Jim Hunter as his backup along with Hall of Fame member and former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer and former Oriole infielder Mike Bordick as color analysts. All telecasts on MASN and WJZ-TV are shown in high-definition. As part of the settlement of a television broadcast rights dispute with Comcast SportsNet over the Washington Nationals, the Orioles severed their Comcast ties at the end of the 2006 season. Comcast SportsNet is the successor to Home Team Sports (HTS), the Orioles' original cable partner. WJZ-TV has been the Orioles' broadcast TV home since 1994. The station has previously carried the team from their arrival in Baltimore in 1954 through 1978; in the first four seasons, WJZ-TV shared coverage with WMAR-TV and WBAL-TV. WMAR-TV (flagship from 1979 through 1993) and WNUV-TV (alternating with WJZ-TV from 1994-2009) have also aired Orioles games locally. Six former Oriole franchise radio announcers have received the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting: Chuck Thompson (who was also the voice of the old NFL Baltimore Colts); Jon Miller (now with the San Francisco Giants); Ernie Harwell, Herb Carneal; Bob Murphy and Harry Caray (as a St. Louis Browns announcer in the 1940s.). Other former Baltimore announcers include Josh Lewin (currently with New York Mets), Bill O'Donnell, Tom Marr, Scott Garceau, Mel Proctor, Michael Reghi, former major league catcher Buck Martinez (now Toronto Blue Jays play-by-play), and former Oriole players including Brooks Robinson, pitcher Mike Flanagan and outfielder John Lowenstein. In 1991, the Orioles experimented with longtime TV writer/producer Ken Levine as a play-by-play broadcaster. Levine was best noted for his work on TV shows such as Cheers and M*A*S*H, but only lasted one season in the Orioles broadcast booth. Since its introduction at games by the "Roar from 34", led by Wild Bill Hagy and others, in the late 1970s, it has been a tradition at Orioles games for fans to yell out the "Oh" in the line "Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave" in "The Star-Spangled Banner". "The Star-Spangled Banner" has special meaning to Baltimore historically, as it was written during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812 by Francis Scott Key, a Baltimorean. "O" is not only short for "Oriole", but the vowel is also a stand-out aspect of the Baltimorean accent. The tradition is often carried out at other sporting events, both professional or amateur, and even sometimes at non-sporting events where the anthem is played, throughout the Baltimore/Washington area and beyond. Fans in Norfolk, Virginia, chanted "O!" even before the Tides became an Orioles affiliate. The practice caught some attention in the spring of 2005, when fans performed the "O!" cry at Washington Nationals games at RFK Stadium. At Cal Ripken, Jr.'s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the crowd, comprising mostly Orioles fans, carried out the "O!" tradition during Tony Gwynn's daughter's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner". Additionally, a faint but audible "O!" could be heard on the television broadcast of Barack Obama's pre-inaugural visit to Baltimore as the National Anthem played before his entrance. A resounding "O!" bellowed from the nearly 30,000 Ravens fans that attended the November 21, 2010 away game at the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. There have been many complaints about the tradition, claiming that it is disrespectful. The most recent was in May 2012, when Washington Post columnist Mike Wise published a piece entitled "Fans who yell ‘Oh!’ during national anthem are tainting a moment meant to unite Americans". Likely the most extreme criticism of the practice was given by Sun sports columnist John Steadman suggested that Baltimore forfeit any game where a fan shouts "O!" during the anthem. To date, the Orioles have taken no action to discourage the tradition. It has been an Orioles tradition since 1975 to play John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the seventh inning stretch. In the July 5, 2007 edition of Baltimore's weekly sports publication Press Box, an article by Mike Gibbons covered the details of how this tradition came to be. During "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", Charlie Zill, then an usher, would put on overalls, a straw hat, and false teeth and dance around the club level section (244) that he tended to. He also has an orange violin that spins for the fiddle solos. He goes by the name Zillbilly and had done the skit from the 1999 season until shortly before he passed away in early 2013. During a nationally televised game on September 20, 1997, Denver himself danced to the song atop the Orioles' dugout, one of his final public appearances before dying in a plane crash three weeks later. Songs from notable games in the team's history include "One Moment in Time" for Cal Ripken's record-breaking game in 1995, as well as the theme from Pearl Harbor, "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill, during his final game in 2001. The theme from Field of Dreams was played at the last game at Memorial Stadium in 1991, and the song "Magic to Do" from the stage musical Pippin was used that season to commemorate "Orioles Magic" on 33rd Street. During the Orioles' heyday in the 1970s, a club song, appropriately titled "Orioles Magic", was composed, and played when the team ran out until Opening Day of 2008. Since then, the song (a favorite among all fans, who appreciated its references to Wild Bill Hagy and Earl Weaver) is only played (along with a video featuring several Orioles stars performing the song) after wins. For 23 years, Rex Barney was the PA announcer for the Orioles. His voice became a fixture of both Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards, and his expression "Give that fan a contract", uttered whenever a fan caught a foul ball, was one of his trademarks – the other being his distinct "Thank Yooooou..." following every announcement (He was also known on occasion to say "Give that fan an error" after a dropped foul ball). Barney died on August 12, 1997, and in his honor that night's game at Camden Yards against the Oakland Athletics was held without a public–address announcer. Barney was replaced as Camden Yards' PA announcer by Dave McGowan, who held the position until December 2011. Lifelong Orioles fan and former MLB Fan Cave resident Ryan Wagner is the current PA announcer after being chosen out of a field of more than 670 applicants in the 2011–2012 offseason. Of the eight original American League teams, the Orioles were the last of the eight to win the World Series, doing so in 1966 with its four–game sweep of the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers. When the Orioles were the St. Louis Browns, they played in only one World Series, the 1944 matchup against their Sportsman's Park tenants, the Cardinals. The Orioles won the first-ever American League Championship Series in 1969, and in 2012 the Orioles beat the Texas Rangers in the inaugural American League Wild Card game, where for the first time two Wild Card teams faced each other during postseason play. Hugh Duffy Jim Bottomley
Willard Brown
Jesse Burkett Dizzy Dean
Rick Ferrell
Goose Goslin
Rogers Hornsby Tommy Lasorda **
Heinie Manush
Christy Mathewson **
Joe Medwick ** Satchel Paige
Eddie Plank
Branch Rickey
George Sisler* Bill Veeck
Rube Waddell*
Bobby Wallace Roberto Alomar
Luis Aparicio
Pat Gillick† Whitey Herzog
Reggie Jackson
George Kell Eddie Murray
Jim Palmer
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Robin Roberts Brooks Robinson
Frank Robinson
Earl Weaver Hoyt Wilhelm
Dick Williams Harry Caray
Bob Murphy Herb Carneal
J. Roy Stockton* Milo Hamilton
Chuck Thompson Ernie Harwell Jon Miller The Orioles will only retire a number when a player has been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but have placed moratoriums on other former Orioles's numbers following their deaths (see note below). To date, the Orioles have retired the following numbers: Note: Cal Ripken, Sr.'s number 7 and Elrod Hendricks' number 44 have not been retired, but a moratorium has been placed on them and they have not been issued by the team since their deaths. †Jackie Robinson's number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball See also: Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame The Orioles also have an official team hall of fame, located on display on Eutaw Street at Camden Yards. The most recent inductees are Roberto Alomar and Don Pries, who will be inducted in 2013. Pitchers
Starting rotation Bullpen Closer Catchers Infielders Outfielders
Pitchers Catchers Infielders Outfielders Designated hitters Manager Coaches 60-day disabled list
25 active, 14 inactive Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 15-day disabled list
† Suspended list
# Personal leave
updated July 28, 2013

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Orioles fans perceive fellow AL East team New York Yankees as their main rivals due to their geographic proximity and frequent clashes within the division. The Orioles have a burgeoning regional rivalry with the nearby Washington Nationals nicknamed the Beltway Series or Battle Of The Beltways. Baltimore currently leads the series with a 26-20 record over the Nationals. Baltimore Orioles (1901–1902) • Kansas City Athletics (1955–1967) • Milwaukee Brewers I (1901) • Milwaukee Brewers II (1970–1997) • Seattle Pilots (1969)
The 1983 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 1st in the American League East with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses. The season culminated with the winning of the 1983 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Infielders Other batters Coaches Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; Avg. = Batting Average; SB= Stolen Bases Note: Pos = position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; Avg. = Batting Average; SB= Stolen Bases AL Baltimore Orioles (4) vs. NL Philadelphia Phillies (1) All-Star Game
The 1984 Detroit Tigers won the 1984 World Series, defeating the San Diego Padres, 4 games to 1. The season was their 84th since they entered the American League in 1901 and their fourth World Series championship. Detroit relief pitcher Willie Hernández won the Cy Young Award and was chosen as the American League Most Valuable Player. The 1984 season is also notable for the Tigers leading the AL East division wire-to-wire. They opened with a 9–0 start, were 35–5 after 40 games, and never relinquished the lead during the entire season. Catcher Lance Parrish, known as the "Big Wheel", led the team in home runs (33) and RBIs (98) -- and strikeouts (120) as well. Parrish was the starting catcher for the American League All Star team and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 1984. He hit 2 home runs and had 5 RBIs in postseason play. Dave Bergman was acquired from the Giants (via the Phillies) in March 1984 and became the Tigers' principal first baseman, playing 114 games at the position. He hit .273 in the regular season, but failed to get a hit in 5 games of the 1984 World Series. On June 4, 1984, Bergman had an 11th inning at-bat at home in a big game against second-place Toronto, who at that point trailed the Tigers by only five games. The at-bat lasted 13 pitches (7 minutes), with Bergman fouling off seven straight pitches from Roy Lee Jackson before hitting a walk-off, three-run home run. Sparky Anderson called it the greatest at-bat he had ever seen. Second baseman Lou Whitaker, known as "Sweet Lou", had his best year in 1983, hitting .320 with 40 doubles and 206 hits. Though his batting numbers were much lower in 1984 (.289 average, 25 doubles and 161 hits), he was selected as the starting second baseman for the American League All Star team and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 1984. Shortstop Alan Trammell had a big year in 1984. His .314 batting average was 5th best in the American League and 25 points higher than any other Tiger. He was selected for the American League All Star team and won his 4th Gold Glove award at shortstop. Trammell was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 1984 World Series after batting .450, driving in 6 runs and hitting 2 home runs. Third base was a weak spot in the Detroit lineup, with light-hitting Tom Brookens entering as the starter from 1980–1983. In 1984, manager Sparky Anderson searched for the right third baseman, as five different players appeared in 19 or more games at the position that season: 108 by Howard Johnson, 68 by Brookens, 33 by Marty Castillo, 20 by Bárbaro Garbey, and 19 by Darrell Evans. Howard Johnson, nicknamed "HoJo", was the starting third baseman on Opening Day and through most of the 1984 season. Johnson had a disappointing year, batting .248 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. In the 1984 World Series, Sparky Anderson gave the third base job to Marty Castillo, and HoJo had only 1 pinch-hit at bat. Johnson was traded to the Mets less than 2 months after the World Series, and went on to have some big years in New York (36 HRs, 101 RBIs in 1989). The image of Kirk Gibson with his arms raised above his head after hitting a 3-run home run in the 1984 World Series has become the iconic symbol of the Tigers' 1984 season. The blast came off Goose Gossage, the best reliever in the National League, in the 8th inning of the 5th and final game. It put the Tigers ahead, 8–4, and sealed the championship. During the regular season, the Detroit area native played right field and led the team with a .516 slugging percentage. He also contributed 27 home runs, 91 RBIs and 29 stolen bases, and was #6 in the American League Most Valuable Player voting. Chet Lemon was the starting center fielder in the 1984 All Star game and a major contributor to the Tigers’ success in 1984. One of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, Lemon had 427 putouts in 1984 with a .995 fielding percentage; his 3.09 Range factor rating was far above the league average of 2.17. Lemon also contributed to the team's offensive output with a .287 batting average, 20 home runs, 34 doubles, 76 RBIs, and a.495 slugging percentage. Larry Herndon played 117 games in left field for the 1984 Tigers and hit .280. In the World Series, he had a .333 batting average and hit a home run. His 2-run homer in Game 1 was the difference in a 3–2 Tigers win. He also caught the final out of the World Series, a fly ball off the bat of Tony Gwynn. Jack Morris was the leader of the Tigers pitching staff. He started the season with a no-hitter in April and was 10–1 before the end of May. He was selected for the 1984 All Star team, but finished the season 9–10 from June through September. He was 19–11 in the regular season with a 3.60 ERA. He won all three of his post-season starts, tossing two complete games and allowing only five earned runs in 25 innings (1.80 ERA). The team's #2 starter, Dan Petry, finished the year 18–8 with the 3rd best winning percentage (.692) in the American League. His 3.24 ERA in the regular season was the lowest among the Tiger starters. The team's #3 starter, Milt Wilcox, was 17–8 with a 4.00 ERA. Wilcox was 2–0 in the post-season, giving up only 1 run in 14 innings. He combined with the bullpen to shut out the Royals, 1–0, in the third and final game of the ALCS. Though Morris was the ace, the Tigers' MVP was Willie Hernández. The Tigers traded John Wockenfuss and Glenn Wilson to the Phillies in March for Hernandez and Dave Bergman. Hernandez appeared in a team record 80 games for the 1984 Tigers and was virtually unhittable. He allowed only 6 home runs in 140-1/3 innings and finished the season with a remarkable 1.92 ERA. His Adjusted ERA+ of 204 is one of the highest in Detroit Tigers history. With 32 saves and 68 games finished, Hernandez won the Cy Young Award and was voted the American League's Most Valuable Player. His 32 saves came in 33 opportunities, his only blown save coming in late September after the Tigers had already secured the AL East Division title. Hernandez saved three post-season games, including the series-clinching games in both the ALCS and World Series. The popular Aurelio López, known as "Señor Smoke", also had a strong season as the Tigers #2 relief pitcher. Lopez finished the season with 41 games finished, a record of 10–1 and a 2.94 ERA. Lopez earned a win in Game 2 of the ALCS, tossing three scoreless innings as the Tigers won in 11 innings. Almost lost in the World Series Game 5 hitting heroics of Kirk Gibson was Lopez earning the win with 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, in which he didn't allow a baserunner. Darrell Evans was the Tigers' big free agent signing before the 1984 season. Though he had big years in 1985 (40 HRs, 94 RBIs) and 1987 (34 HRs, 99 RBIs), Evans struggled in his first year in the American League, batting .232 with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs. In the 1984 World Series, Evans went 1-for-15 for an .067 batting average. The 1984 Tigers had several non-starters who made big contributions to the team's success. As a rookie in 1984, Bárbaro Garbey played in 110 games, including appearances at first base, second base, third base, DH, and each of the outfield positions. Garbey hit .287 and had more RBIs (52) than several starters, including Howard Johnson, Larry Herndon and Dave Bergman. Ruppert Jones was signed as a free agent one week into the season on April 10, 1984. He played in 79 games, mostly as a backup in left field. Jones contributed 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in only 215 at-bats. His .516 slugging percentage was tied with Kirk Gibson for the team lead. Slick-fielding outfielder Rusty Kuntz played in 84 games, primarily as a late-inning defensive replacement, and hit .286 in 140 at-bats—easily the best offensive season of his major league career. The most popular of the role players was Marty Castillo. In 1984, Castillo appeared in 70 games as a third baseman and backup catcher, and came through in the clutch at several key moments, including: scoring 3 runs to secure a win on August 26; hitting a home run to beat the Yankees on September 23; collecting the game-winning, pennant clinching RBI in Game 3 of the ALCS, a 1–0 victory; catching the ball at third base for the final out of the ALCS; hitting .333 with a .455 on base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage in the World Series; hitting a two-run home run in Game 3 of the World Series; and scoring in Game 5 when Kirk Gibson hit his 3-run home run off Goose Gossage. Detroit manager Sparky Anderson is fifth on the all-time list for manager career wins in Major League Baseball, and in 1984 he became the first manager to win the World Series while leading clubs in both leagues. He previously managed the Cincinnati Reds to the 1975 and 1976 championships, but the Reds inexplicably fired him after a second place finish in the 1978 season. Sparky kept a journal during the 1984 season, which was published under the title "Bless You Boys: Diary of the Detroit Tigers' 1984 Season". On the day the Tigers clinched the pennant, Sparky wrote in his journal: "I have to be honest. I’ve waited for this day since they fired me in Cincinnati. I think they made a big mistake when they did that. Now no one will ever question me again."
Infielders Other batters Coaches The Tigers began the year with an unprecedented start of 35–5. For the rest of the season, the team went 69–53. There was a stretch in late July and August where the team went 6–12. The Tigers finished with a 104–58 record, 15 games ahead of the second place Toronto Blue Jays. They outscored their opponents 829–643. The 1984 Tigers' winning percentage ranks as the 4th best in team history, as follows: Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In Note: G = Games; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Note: G = Games pitched; W= Wins; L= Losses; SV = Saves; GF = Games Finished; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts The Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals in the 1984 American League Championship Series, three games to none. Detroit won the opening game 8–1. Jack Morris pitched 7 innings and allowed a single run, with Willie Hernández pitching the final 2 innings. Alan Trammell hit a triple and a home run for 3 RBIs, and Larry Herndon and Lance Parrish also hit home runs for Detroit. In Game 2, the Tigers won in extra innings 5–3. Kirk Gibson doubled to drive in Lou Whitaker in the 1st inning and hit a home run in the 3rd. Dan Petry pitched 7 innings and gave up 2 runs. Johnny Grubb hit a double off Dan Quisenberry in the 11th inning to drive in Darrell Evans and Ruppert Jones. Aurelio López held the Royals scoreless in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings to earn the win. Game 3 was a pitching duel between Milt Wilcox and Charlie Leibrandt. Leibrandt pitched a complete game, allowing only 1 run and 3 hits, while Wilcox gave up 2 hits and struck out 8 Royals, with Hernández pitching the 9th inning for the save. Marty Castillo batted in Chet Lemon for the game's only run, as the Tigers completed a 3-game sweep and advanced to the World Series. Kirk Gibson was named the Most Valuable Player of the AL Championship Series. The Tigers beat the San Diego Padres in the 1984 World Series, winning the series 4 games to 1. In Game 1, the Padres led, 2–1, until Larry Herndon hit a 2-out, 2-run home run in the 5th. Jack Morris did not allow another run in his complete-game effort, and the Tigers won, 3–2. The Padres evened the series in Game 2, on the strength of a Kurt Bevacqua 3-run homer off Dan Petry, as San Diego won its first (and to date only) World Series game. In Game 3, the Tigers scored 4 runs in the 2nd inning, including 2 on a home run by Marty Castillo, en route to a 5–2 victory for Milt Wilcox. In Game 4, Alan Trammell hit a pair of 2-run home runs to account for all of Detroit's offense as the Tigers beat Eric Show, 4–2. Jack Morris got his 2nd Series victory and 2nd complete game. In Game 5, the Tigers scored 3 runs in the 1st inning, but the Padres rallied to tie it in the 4th inning. In the 8th, with Detroit leading 5–4, the Tigers got runners to 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Padres manager Dick Williams called on Goose Gossage to walk Kirk Gibson and set up a possible double play. Gossage talked Williams into letting him pitch to Gibson, and Gibson responded with a 3-run blast into the right-field upper deck. Detroit radio announcer Ernie Harwell called Gibson's home run on WJR radio as follows: Following the Tigers’ victory in Game 5, the celebration by Detroit fans turned violent. A well known photograph taken outside Tiger Stadium shows a Tigers "fan" holding a World Series pennant in front of an overturned burning Detroit Police car. The image was printed in newspapers across the country, and became a symbol of Detroit's decline. One writer described the press reaction to the post-game violence as follows: Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Sparky Anderson Kirk Gibson Willie Hernández Chet Lemon Jack Morris Lance Parrish Alan Trammell Lou Whitaker The following members of the 1984 Detroit Tigers are among the Top 100 of all time at their position (in fact, they are all in the Top 50), as ranked by The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract: Not one of the players named above is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although manager Sparky Anderson was inducted in 2000. Only two members of the '84 Tigers are even still eligible for baseball's highest honour (the others have dropped off the ballot): Trammell (who received just 94 votes in 2009, or 17.4%) and pitcher Jack Morris, who received 237 votes (44.0%) in 2009, his tenth year on the ballot. 75 percent is needed for induction.
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. They are the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in the American League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984) and have won the American League pennant 11 times (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, and 2012). The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit. The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000. The club is a charter member of the American League, one of four clubs (with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) still located in its original city. Detroit is also the only member of the Western League, the AL's minor league predecessor, that remains in its original city under its original name. It was established as a charter member in 1894. The current Detroit club was a charter member when the Western League reorganized for the 1894 season. They originally played at Boulevard Park, sometimes called League Park. It was located on East Lafayette, then called Champlain Street, between Helen and East Grand Boulevard, near Belle Isle. In 1895, owner George Vanderbeck decided to build Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues, which would remain their base of operations for the next 104 seasons. The first game at the corner was an exhibition on April 13, 1896. The team, now occasionally called the "Tigers", beat a local semi-pro team, known as the Athletics, 30–3. They played their first Western League game at Bennett Park on April 28, 1896, defeating the Columbus Senators 17–2. When the Western renamed itself the American League in 1900, it was still a minor league, but next year it broke with the National Agreement and declared itself major, openly competing with the National League for players, and for fans in three contested cities. For a few years there were rumors of abandoning Detroit to compete for Cincinnati or Pittsburgh but the two leagues made peace in 1903 after similar moves into St. Louis and New York. The Tigers played their first game as a major league team at home against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 25, 1901, with 10,000 fans at Bennett Park. After entering the ninth inning behind 13–4, the team staged a dramatic comeback to win 14–13. The team finished third in the eight-team league. Eleven years later, an elegant stadium was constructed on the site of Bennett Park and named Navin Field for owner Frank Navin. In 1938 it was improved and named Briggs Stadium and renamed "Tiger Stadium" in 1961. Tiger Stadium was used by the Tigers until the end of the 1999 season. Since 2000 they have played in Comerica Park. There are various legends about how the Tigers got their nickname. One involves the orange stripes they wore on their black stockings. Tigers manager George Stallings took credit for the name; however, the name appeared in newspapers before Stallings was manager. Another legend concerns a sportswriter equating the 1901 team's opening day victory with the ferocity of his alma mater, the Princeton Tigers. Richard Bak, in his 1998 book, A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium, pp. 46–49, explains that the name originated from the Detroit Light Guard military unit, who were known as "The Tigers". They had played significant roles in certain Civil War battles and in the 1898 Spanish–American War. The baseball team was still informally called both "Wolverines" and "Tigers" in the news. The earliest known use of the name "Tigers" in the media was in the Detroit Free Press on April 16, 1895. Upon entry into the majors, the ballclub sought and received formal permission from the Light Guard to use its trademark. From that day forth, the team has been officially called the Tigers. In 1905, the team acquired Ty Cobb, a fearless player with a mean streak, who came to be regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. The addition of Cobb to an already talented team that included Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings, Bill Donovan and George Mullin quickly yielded results, as the Tigers won their first American League pennant in 1907. Cobb and the Tigers lost in the 1907 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. With the exception of Game 1, which ended in a rare tie, the Tigers failed to score more than one run in any game and lost four straight. The Cubs would deny Detroit the title again in 1908, holding Detroit to a .209 batting average for the series, which the Cubs again won in five games. It was hoped that a new opponent in the 1909 Series, Pittsburgh, would yield different results, but the Tigers were blown out 8–0 in the decisive seventh game at Bennett Park. In 1915, the Tigers won a then-club record 100 games but narrowly lost the American League pennant to the Boston Red Sox who won 101 games. The 1915 Tigers were led by an outfield consisting of Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford, and Bobby Veach that finished #1, #2, and #3 in RBIs and total bases. Cobb also set a stolen base record with 96 steals in 1915 that stood until 1962, when it was broken by Maury Wills. Baseball historian Bill James has ranked the 1915 Tigers outfield as the greatest in the history of major league baseball. The only team in Tigers' history with a better winning percentage than the 1915 squad was the 1934 team that lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. In the teens and twenties, Cobb remained the marquee player on many Tigers teams that would remain mired in the middle of the American League. Cobb himself took over managerial duties in 1921, but during six years at the helm, his Tigers never had a record better than 86–68. In 1921, the Tigers amassed 1724 hits and a team batting average of .316—the highest team hit total and batting average in American League history. (The Elias Book of Baseball Records, 2008, p. 88) That year, outfielders Harry Heilmann and Ty Cobb finished #1 and #2 in the American League batting race with batting averages of .394 and .389. As early proof of the baseball adage that good pitching beats good hitting, the downfall of the 1921 Tigers was the absence of good pitching. The team ERA was 4.40, and they allowed nine or more runs 28 times. Without pitching to support the offense, the 1921 Tigers finished in sixth place in the American League, 27 games behind the Yankees with a record of 71–82. The Tiger teams of the 1930s were consistently among the league's best with "Black Mike" Mickey Cochrane behind the plate, slugger Hank Greenberg at first, and consistent Charlie Gehringer, "The Mechanical Man", at second. All three players are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Tigers won the AL Pennant but would lose again in the 1934 World Series in seven games to the "Gashouse Gang" St. Louis Cardinals. Again, when the chips were down in the deciding game, Detroit folded, giving up seven third-inning runs and losing Game Seven 11–0 at Navin Field (Tiger Stadium). The game was marred by an ugly incident. After spiking Tiger third baseman Marv Owen in the sixth inning, the Cardinals' Joe "Ducky" Medwick had to be removed from the game for his own safety by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after being pelted with fruit and garbage from angry fans in the large temporary bleacher section in left field. With a lineup that featured four future Hall of Famers (Hank Greenberg, Mickey Cochrane, Goose Goslin and Charlie Gehringer), the Tigers eventually won the World Series the following year, defeating the Cubs, 4 games to 2. Game 6 concluded with Goslin's dramatic game-ending single, scoring Cochrane to seal a 4–3 victory. After team owner Frank Navin died that year, plumbing fixture manufacturer Walter Briggs, Sr. took control of the team. Despite being forecast to win the American League title again in 1936 the Tigers returned to the middle of the American League standings in the late 1930s. At the close of the 1938 season, however, the Tigers presciently held out doubts about a pennant in 1939, but figured that 1940 would be their year. The Tigers won the American League Championship and reached the World Series once again. But the Tigers lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in a seven-game series. This was the third time the Tigers had lost a World Series in a deciding seventh game. With the end of World War II and the timely return of Hank Greenberg and others from the military, the Tigers took the 1945 American League pennant. With Virgil Trucks, Hal Newhouser and Dizzy Trout on the mound and Greenberg leading the Tiger bats, Detroit responded in a Game 7 for the first time, staking Newhouser to a 5–0 lead before he threw a pitch en route to a 9–3 victory over the Cubs. Because many baseball stars had not yet returned from the military, some baseball scholars have deemed the '45 Series to be among the worst-played contests in Series history. For example, prior to the Series, Chicago sportswriter Warren Brown was asked who he liked, and he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it!" But the Cubs had no answer to Greenberg, and the Series went Detroit's way. After their 1945 Series win, the Tigers continued to have strong seasons for the remainder of the decade, finishing second in the AL three times but never winning the pennant. The 1950 season was particularly frustrating, as the Tigers posted a 95-59 record for a .617 winning percentage, the fourth best in team history at the time. But they finished that season three games behind a strong New York Yankees team that went on to sweep the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. During the 1946 season, the Tigers acquired George Kell, a third baseman who was a 10-time all-star and future Hall of Famer. He batted over .300 in eight straight seasons (1946-53), and finished with a career .306 mark. Kell won a batting title in a very close race with Ted Williams in 1949, going 2-for-3 on the last day of the season to edge out the Red Sox slugger, .3429 to .3427. Over the next ten years, the Tigers sank to the middle and lower ranks of the American League. The team had only three winning records over this span and never finished higher than fourth place. The last-place 1952 team went 50-104 (.325), which was the worst season in Tigers history until the 2003 team lost 119 games. Despite the dismal season, starter Virgil Trucks threw two no-hitters in 1952, only the third time in major league history that a pitcher had accomplished that feat. Also, team owner Walter Briggs, Sr. died in 1952. His son Walter Briggs, Jr. inherited the team, but he was forced to sell it in 1956 to broadcast media owners John Fetzer and Fred Knorr. Notwithstanding Detroit's fall in the standings, the decade saw the debut of outfielder Al Kaline in 1953. One of the few Major League players who never played a day in the minor leagues, he would hit over .300 nine times in his career. He also made 15 All-Star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves, and featured one of the league's best arms in right field. In 1955, the 20-year old Kaline hit .340 to became the youngest-ever batting champion in major league history. 1958 saw the Tigers become the 15th of the then 16 MLB teams to field an African-American player. In the Tigers' case, it was an Afro-Caribbean player, Ozzie Virgil, Sr. who finally broke the team's color barrier. Only the Boston Red Sox trailed the Tigers in integrating their roster. As the American League expanded from 8 to 10 teams, Detroit began its slow ascent back to success with an outstanding 1961 campaign. The Tigers won 101 games, a whopping 30-game improvement over the 71-83 1960 team, but still finished eight games behind the Yankees. This marked one of the few times a team had failed to reach the postseason despite winning over 100 games. First baseman Norm Cash had the best batting average in the American League, a remarkably high .361, while teammate Al Kaline finished second. Cash never hit over .286 before or after the '61 season, and would later say of the accomplishment: "It was a freak. Even at the time, I realized that." Cash's plate heroics, which also included 41 home runs and 132 RBI, might have earned him MVP honors that season were it not for New York's Roger Maris bashing a record 61 homers the same year. Cash also drew 124 walks that season for a league-leading .487 on-base percentage. The 1961 club featured two nonwhite starters, Jake Wood and Bill Bruton, and later in the 1960s, black players such as Willie Horton, Earl Wilson, and Gates Brown would contribute to Detroit's rise in the standings. As a strong nucleus developed, Detroit repeatedly posted winning records throughout the 1960s. Pitchers Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain entered the rotation during the middle of the decade, with outfielders Willie Horton (1963), Mickey Stanley (1964) and Jim Northrup (1964) also coming aboard at this time. The team managed a third-place finish during a bizarre 1966 season, in which manager Chuck Dressen and acting manager Bob Swift were both forced to resign their posts because of health problems. Thereafter, Frank Skaff took over the managerial reins until the end of the season. Both Dressen and Swift died during the year – Dressen in August because of a kidney infection, Swift in October due to cancer. Skaff was replaced by Mayo Smith in 1967, perhaps the last step before World Series contention. Indeed, in 1967 the Tigers were involved in one of the closest pennant races in history. Because of rainouts, the Tigers were forced to play back-to-back doubleheaders against the California Angels over the final two days of the season. They needed to sweep the doubleheader on the last day of the season to force a one-game playoff with the Boston Red Sox. The Tigers won the first game but lost the second, giving the Red Sox the flag with no playoff. Detroit finished the season at 91–71, a single game behind Boston. Starter Earl Wilson, acquired the previous season from the Red Sox, led the Tigers with 22 wins and would form a strong 1–2–3 combination with Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich over the next few years. The Tigers finally returned to the World Series in 1968. The team grabbed first place from the Baltimore Orioles on May 10 and would not relinquish the position, clinching the pennant on September 17 and finishing with a 103–59 record. In a year that was marked by dominant pitching, starter Denny McLain went 31–6 (with a 1.96 ERA), the first time a pitcher had won 30 or more games in a season since the St. Louis Cardinals' Dizzy Dean accomplished the feat in 1934; no pitcher has accomplished it since. McLain was unanimously voted American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner for his efforts. In the 1968 World Series, the Tigers met the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, led by starter Bob Gibson (who had posted a record 1.12 ERA during the regular season) and speedy outfielder Lou Brock. This was the first time the Tigers and Cardinals had met in the World Series since 1934, when as it was said, they were choked by the Gashouse Gang. The series was predicated with a bold decision by manager Mayo Smith to play center fielder Mickey Stanley at shortstop, replacing the slick fielding but weak hitting of Ray Oyler. Stanley had never played shortstop before, but was a gold glover in the outfield and an excellent athlete. Smith started him at short for the final nine games of the regular season and all seven World Series games, with Oyler only appearing as a late-inning defensive replacement. This allowed Smith to play an outfield of Willie Horton, Jim Northrup and Al Kaline in every Series game. In Game 1, Gibson completely shut down the Detroit lineup, striking out 17 batters, still a World Series record, en route to an easy 4–0 win. However, due in no small part to pitcher Mickey Lolich's victories in Games 2 and 5, the Tigers climbed back into the Series. Many fans believe the turning point in the Series came in the fifth inning of Game 5, with the Tigers down three games to one, and trailing in the game, 3–2. Left fielder Willie Horton made a perfect throw to home plate to nail Lou Brock (who tried to score from second base standing up), as catcher Bill Freehan blocked the plate with his foot. The Tigers came back with three runs in the seventh to win that game, 5–3, and stay alive in the Series. The Cardinals would not threaten to score the rest of this game, and scored only two more meaningless runs over the remainder of the series. In Game 6, McLain ensured a Game 7 by notching his only win of the Series, a 13–1 blowout, despite pitching on only two days' rest. In Game 7 at Busch Memorial Stadium, Lolich, also pitching on two days' rest, faced Gibson. Both men pitched brilliantly, putting zeros up on the scoreboard for much of the game. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cardinals looked primed to take the lead as Lou Brock singled to lead off the inning, only to be promptly picked off first base by Lolich. One out later, Curt Flood followed with another single, and was also picked off first by Lolich. In the top of the seventh, an exhausted Gibson finally cracked, giving up two-out singles to Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Jim Northrup then struck the decisive blow, lashing a triple to center field over the head of Flood, who appeared to mis-judge how hard the ball was hit. That scored both Cash and Horton; Northrup himself was then brought home by a Bill Freehan double. Detroit added an insurance run in the ninth. A solo home run by Mike Shannon was all the Cardinals could muster against Lolich as the Tigers took the game, 4–1, and the Series, 4–3. For his three victories that propelled the Tigers to the World championship, Lolich was named the World Series Most Valuable Player. 1969 saw further expansion as both leagues realigned into two divisions of six teams, and the Tigers were placed in the American League East. That year, Detroit failed to defend its '68 title, despite Denny McLain having another outstanding season with a 24-9 campaign, earning him his second straight Cy Young Award. The Tigers' 90 wins placed them a distant second in the division to a very strong Baltimore Orioles team, which had won 109 games. McLain, suspended three times in 1970, was only 3-5 that season and was traded after the season was done. Mayo Smith was also let go after a disappointing fourth-place finish in 1970, to be replaced by Billy Martin. In the final year of his playing career, which was primarily spent with the New York Yankees, Martin spent his final games with the Minnesota Twins and stayed in that organization after his retirement. He managed the Twins to an AL West Division title in 1969, but was fired after that season due to rocky relationships with his players which included a legendary fight with pitcher Dave Boswell in an alley behind Detroit's Lindell AC sports bar. He would spend the 1970 season out of baseball. After the 1970 regular season, Denny McLain was part of a seven-player deal with the Washington Senators in what would turn out to be a heist for Detroit. The Tigers acquired pitcher Joe Coleman, shortstop Eddie Brinkman and third baseman Aurelio Rodríguez. Coleman paid immediate dividends for Detroit, winning 20 games in 1971, while McLain went 10-22 for the Senators and was out of baseball by age 29. Martin's Tigers posted 91 wins in 1971, but again had to settle for a second-place finish behind the Orioles, who won 101 games to take their third straight AL East Division crown. The season was highlighted by Mickey Lolich's 308 strikeouts, which led the AL and is still the Detroit Tigers single-season record as of 2012. Lolich also won 25 games and posted a 2.92 ERA while throwing an incredible 376 innings and completing 29 of his 45 starts. The Tigers post-1970 acquisitions (Joe Coleman, Eddie Brinkman and Aurelio Rodríguez) all played critical roles in 1972, when the Tigers captured their first AL East division title. Oddities of the schedule due to an early-season strike allowed the 86-70 Tigers to win the division by just ½ game, just as they had won the pennant in 1908. Brinkman was named Tiger of the Year by the Detroit Baseball Writers, despite a .203 batting average, as he committed just 7 errors in 728 chances (.990 fielding percentage) and had a 72-game errorless streak during the season. Mickey Lolich was his steady self for the Tigers, winning 22 games with a sparkling 2.50 ERA, while Coleman won 19 and had a 2.80 ERA. Starter Woodie Fryman, acquired on August 2, was the final piece of the puzzle as he went 10–3 over the last two months of the regular season and posted a miniscule 2.06 ERA. Fryman was also the winning pitcher in the division-clinching game against the Boston Red Sox, a 3-1 victory on October 3. In the 1972 American League Championship Series, Detroit faced the American League West division champion Oakland Athletics, who had become steadily competitive ever since the 1969 realignment. In Game 1 of the ALCS in Oakland, Mickey Lolich, the hero of '68, took the hill and allowed just one run over nine innings. The Athletics' ace, Catfish Hunter, matched Lolich, and the game went into extra innings. Al Kaline hit a solo homer to break a 1–1 tie in the top of the 11th inning, only to be charged with a throwing error on Gonzalo Marquez's game-tying single in the bottom half of the frame that allowed Gene Tenace to score the winning run. Blue Moon Odom shut down Detroit 5–0 in Game 2. The end of Game 2 was marred by an ugly incident in which Tiger reliever Lerrin Lagrow hit A's shortstop and leadoff hitter Bert Campaneris on the ankle with a pitch. An angered Campaneris flung the bat at Lagrow, and Lagrow ducked just in time for the bat to sail over his head. Both benches cleared, and though no punches were thrown, both Lagrow and Campaneris were suspended for the remainder of the series. It was widely thought (and years later confirmed by Lagrow) that Martin had ordered the pitch that hit Campaneris, who had three hits, two stolen bases and two runs scored in the game. As the series shifted to Detroit, the Tigers caught their stride. Joe Coleman held the A's scoreless on seven hits in Game 3, a 3–0 Tiger victory. Game 4 was another pitchers' duel between Hunter and Lolich, resulting again in a 1-1 tie at the end of nine innings. Oakland scored two runs in the top of the 10th and put the Tigers down to their last three outs. Detroit pushed two runs across the plate to tie the game before Jim Northrup came through in the clutch again. His single off Dave Hamilton scored Gates Brown to give the Tigers a 4-3 win and even the series at two games apiece. A first-inning run on an RBI ground out from Bill Freehan, set up by a Gene Tenace passed ball that allowed Dick McAuliffe to reach third, gave Detroit an early lead in the deciding fifth and final game in Detroit. Reggie Jackson's steal of home in the second inning tied it up, though Jackson was injured in a collision with Freehan and had to leave the game. Tenace's two-out single to left field plated George Hendrick to give Oakland a 2–1 lead in the fourth inning. The run was controversial to many Tiger fans, as Hendrick was ruled safe at first base two batters prior to the Tenace hit. Hendrick appeared to be out by two steps on a grounder to short, but umpire John Rice ruled that Norm Cash pulled his foot off first base. Replays and photos, however, show that Cash did not pull his foot. Thanks to that play and four innings of scoreless relief from Vida Blue, the A's took the American League pennant and a spot in the World Series. The 1973 season saw the Tigers drop to third place in the division, with an 85-77 record. Joe Coleman posted another 23 wins, but the other Tiger starters had subpar seasons. Willie Horton hit .316, but injuries limited him to just 111 games. Jim Northrup posted the best batting average of his career (.307) but was inexplicably limited to part-time duty (119 games played), which Northrup attributed to an ongoing feud with Billy Martin that had actually started in the 1972 ALCS. Northrup even proclaimed to the press that Martin "took the fun out of the game." Martin did not survive the 1973 season as manager. He was fired that September after ordering his pitchers to throw spitballs (and telling the press that he did so) in protest of opposing Cleveland Indians pitcher Gaylord Perry, whom Martin was convinced was doing the same. Base coach Joe Schultz served as interim manager for the final 28 games of the season. A bright spot for the Tigers in 1973 was relief pitcher John Hiller, who marked his first full season since suffering a heart attack in 1971 by collecting a league-leading 38 saves and posting a brilliant 1.44 ERA. Hiller's saves total would stand as a Tiger record until 2000, when it was broken by Todd Jones' 42 saves. (Jones' record would later be broken by Jose Valverde's 49 saves in 2011.) The Tigers spent much of the next decade in the middle or lower ranks of the AL East. In 1974, Ralph Houk, who managed the dominant Yankee teams of the early 1960s, was named manager of the Tigers. "The Major" served in that capacity for five full seasons, through the end of the 1978 season. The roster of players who played under Houk were mostly aging veterans from the 1960s, whose performance had slipped from their peak years. The Tigers did not have a winning season from 1974 to 1977, and their 57 wins in the 1975 season was the team's lowest since 1952. Perhaps the biggest signal of decline for the Tigers was the retirement of Kaline following the 1974 season, after he notched his 3,000th career hit. Kaline finished with 3,007 hits and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1980. Tiger fans were provided a glimmer of hope when 21-year old rookie Mark Fidrych made his debut in 1976. Fidrych, known as "The Bird", was a colorful character known for talking to the baseball and other eccentricities. During a game against the Yankees, Graig Nettles responded to Fidrych's antics by talking to his bat. After making an out, he later lamented that his Japanese-made bat didn't understand him. Fidrych was the starting pitcher for the American League in the All Star Game played that year in Philadelphia to celebrate the American Bicentennial. He finished the season with a record of 19–9 and an American League-leading ERA of 2.34. Fidrych, the AL Rookie of the Year, was one of the few bright spots that year with the Tigers finishing next to last in the AL East in 1976. Aurelio Rodríguez won the Gold Glove Award for 1976 at third base, snapping a 16-season streak in which Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson had won every award at the position. Injuries to his knee, and later his arm, drastically limited Fidrych's appearances in 1977–78, as the Tigers remained in the lower ranks of the AL East. Perhaps more important, however, was the talent coming up through the Tigers farm system at the time. Houk's immediate successor as Tiger manager in 1979 was Les Moss, but Moss would only last until June of that year. From June 14, 1979 until the end of the 1995 season, the team was managed by George "Sparky" Anderson, one of baseball's winningest managers and owner of two World Series rings as manager of the Cincinnati Reds during their peak as The Big Red Machine. When Anderson joined the Tigers in 1979 and assessed the team's young talent, he boldly predicted that it would be a pennant winner within 5 years. Acerbic sports anchor Al Ackerman of Detroit's WXYZ-TV (and later WDIV-TV) initiated the phrase "Bless You Boys" whenever the Tigers would win a game—sarcastically at first, because the team still wasn't winning enough to be respectable. But the Tigers became steadily competitive, with winning records in each of Anderson's first four full seasons (1980–83), and Ackerman's phrase would take on a new meaning in 1984. As in 1968, the Tigers' next World Series season would be preceded by a disappointing second-place finish, as the 1983 Tigers won 92 games to finish six games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. The first major news of the 1984 season actually came in late 1983, when broadcasting magnate John Fetzer, who had owned the club since 1957, sold the team to Domino's Pizza founder and CEO Tom Monaghan. The sale of the franchise caught everyone by surprise, as the negotiations culminating in the sale of the franchise were conducted in total secrecy. There were no rumors or even speculation that Fetzer had put the franchise up for sale. The 1984 team got off to a 9-0 start highlighted by Jack Morris tossing a nationally-televised no-hitter against Chicago in the fourth game of the season. They stayed hot for most of the year, posting a 35-5 record over their first forty games and cruising to a franchise-record 104 victories. The Tigers led the division from opening day until the end of the regular season and finished a staggering 15 games ahead of the second-place Toronto Blue Jays. Closer Willie Hernández, acquired from the 1983 NL champion Philadelphia Phillies in the offseason, won both the AL Cy Young and AL Most Valuable Player awards, a rarity for a relief pitcher. The Tigers faced the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series, which would prove to be no contest, not surprising given the fact the Royals won 20 fewer games during the season. In Game 1, Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish and Larry Herndon went deep to crush the Royals 8–1 at Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium). In Game 2, the Tigers scored twice in the 11th inning when Johnny Grubb doubled off Royals closer Dan Quisenberry en route to a 5–3 victory. The Tigers completed the sweep at Tiger Stadium in Game 3. Marty Castillo's third-inning RBI fielder's choice would be all the help Detroit would need. Milt Wilcox outdueled Charlie Leibrandt, and after Hernandez got Darryl Motley to pop out to preserve the 1–0 win, the Tigers were returning to the World Series. In the NLCS, a San Diego rally from 2–0 down prevented a fifth Cubs-Tigers series and meant the Tigers would open the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres in Trammell's hometown. In Game 1, Larry Herndon hit a two-run home run that gave the Tigers a 3–2 lead. Morris pitched a complete game with 2 runs on 8 hits, and Detroit drew first blood. The Padres evened the series the next night despite pitcher Ed Whitson being chased after pitching two-thirds of an inning and giving up three runs on five Tiger hits. Tiger starter Dan Petry exited the game after four and one-third innings when Kurt Bevacqua's three-run homer gave San Diego a 5–3 lead they would hold onto. When the series shifted to the Motor City, the Tigers took command. In Game 3, a two-out rally in the second inning led to four runs and the yanking of Padre starter Tim Lollar after one and two-thirds innings. The Padres, plagued by poor starting pitching throughout the series, never recovered and lost 5–2. Eric Show continued the parade of bad outings in Game 4, getting bounced after two and two-thirds innings after giving up home runs to Series MVP Trammell in his first two at-bats. Trammell's homers held up with the help of another Morris complete game, and the Tigers held a commanding lead. In Game 5, Gibson's two-run shot in the first inning would be the beginning of another early end for the Padres' starter Mark Thurmond. Though the Padres would pull back even at 3–3, chasing Dan Petry in the fourth inning in the process, the Tigers retook the lead on a Rusty Kuntz sacrifice fly (actually a pop-out to retreating second baseman Alan Wiggins that the speedy Gibson was able to score on), and doubled it on a solo homer by Parrish. A "Sounds of the Game" video was made during the Series by MLB Productions and played on TV a number of times since then. When Kirk Gibson came to bat in the eighth inning with runners on second and third and the Tigers clinging to a 5–4 lead, a situation that might call for San Diego reliever Goose Gossage to pitch around him, Padres manager Dick Williams was summoned to the mound. Anderson was seen and heard yelling to Gibson, "He don't want to walk you!" and making a swing-the-bat gesture. As Anderson had suspected, Gossage threw a 1–0 fastball on the inside corner, and Gibson was ready. He launched a hard smash into Tiger Stadium's right field upper deck, effectively clinching the game and the series. Aurelio López pitched 2-1/3 innings of relief without putting a runner on base for the win. Despite allowing a rare run in the top of the 8th inning, Willie Hernandez got the save as Tony Gwynn flied out to Larry Herndon to end the game, sending Detroit into a wild victory celebration. The Tigers led their division wire-to-wire, from opening day and every day thereafter, culminating in the World Series championship. This had not been done in the major leagues since the 1927 New York Yankees. With the win Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. After a pair of third-place finishes in 1985 and 1986, the 1987 Tigers faced lowered expectations – which seemed to be confirmed by an 11–19 start to the season. However, the team hit its stride thereafter and gradually gained ground on its AL East rivals, eventually finishing with the best record in the Majors. This charge was fueled in part by the acquisition of pitcher Doyle Alexander from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league pitcher John Smoltz. Alexander started 11 games for the Tigers, posting a 9–0 record and a 1.53 ERA. Smoltz, a Lansing, Michigan native, went on to have a long and productive career, mostly with the Braves, winning the Cy Young Award in 1996. The Tigers won the division this year but possibly gave up some of their future. The Tigers had a great season but despite their improvement, they entered September neck-and-neck with the Toronto Blue Jays. The two teams would square off in seven hard-fought games during the final two weeks of the season. All seven games were decided by one run, and in the first six of the seven games, the winning run was scored in the final inning of play. At Exhibition Stadium, the Tigers dropped three in a row to the Blue Jays before winning a dramatic extra-inning showdown. The Tigers entered the final week of the 1987 season 3.5 games behind. After a series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Tigers returned home trailing by a game and swept the Blue Jays. Detroit clinched the division in a 1–0 victory over Toronto in front of 51,005 fans at Tiger Stadium on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Frank Tanana went all nine innings for the complete game shutout, and outfielder Larry Herndon gave the Tigers their lone run on a second-inning home run. Detroit finished the season a Major League-best 98–64, two games ahead of Toronto. In what would prove to be their last postseason appearance until 2006, the Tigers were upset in the 1987 American League Championship Series by the Minnesota Twins (who in turn won the World Series that year) four games to one. The Twins clinched the Series in Game 5 at Tiger Stadium, 9–5. Despite their 1987 division title victory, the Tigers proved unable to build on their success. The team lost Kirk Gibson to free agency in the offseason, but still spent much of 1988 in first place in the AL East. A late-season slump left the team in second at 88–74, one game behind division-winning Boston. In 1989, the team collapsed to a 59–103 record, worst in the majors. The franchise then attempted to rebuild using a power-hitting approach, with sluggers Cecil Fielder, Rob Deer and Mickey Tettleton joining Trammell and Whitaker in the lineup (fitting for the team with the most 200+ home run seasons in baseball history). In 1990, Fielder led the American League with 51 home runs (becoming the first player to hit 50 since George Foster in 1977, and the first AL player since Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961), and finished second in the voting for AL Most Valuable Player. He hit 44 home runs and collected 132 RBI in 1991, again finishing second in the AL MVP balloting, and would hit at least 28 HR in each of the next four seasons. Behind the hitting of Fielder and others, the Tigers improved by 20 wins in 1990 (79-83), and posted a winning record in 1991 (84–78). However, the team lacked quality pitching, despite Bill Gullickson's 20 wins in 1991, and its core of key players began to age, setting the franchise up for decline. Their minor league system was largely barren of talent as well, producing only a few everyday players (Travis Fryman, Bobby Higginson) during the 1990s. Adding insult to injury, the Tigers and radio station WJR announced in December, 1990, that they were not renewing the contract of long-time Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Ernie Harwell, and that the 1991 season would be Harwell's last with the team. The announcement was met with resounding protests from fans, both in Michigan and around the baseball world. 1992 saw the Tigers win only 75 games, with Fielder being one of the few bright spots as he won the AL RBI title for a third straight season (124). But late in the season, Sparky Anderson won his 1,132nd game as a Tiger manager, passing Hughie Jennings for the most all-time wins in franchise history. Following the 1992 season, the franchise was sold to Mike Ilitch, the President and CEO of Little Caesars Pizza who also owns the Detroit Red Wings. Ilitch made it one of his first priorities to re-hire Ernie Harwell. The team also responded with an 85-77 season in 1993, but it would be their last winning season for a number of years. On October 2, 1995, manager Sparky Anderson chose to not only end his career with the Tigers, but retire from baseball altogether. From 1994 to 2005, the Tigers did not post a winning record. This is by far the longest sub-.500 stretch in franchise history; prior to this, the team had not gone more than four consecutive seasons without a winning record. In fact, the only team in the majors to have a longer stretch without a winning season during this time is the Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Tigers "natural rival" in interleague play), who as of 2013 last had a winning record in 1992. The team's best record over that time was 79–83, recorded in 1997 and 2000. In 1996, the Tigers lost a then-team record 109 games, under new general manager Randy Smith, who served the team from 1996 to 2002. In 1998, the Tigers moved from the American League's Eastern Division, where they had been since divisions were created in 1969, to the Central Division, as part of a realignment necessitated by the addition of the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Tigers were not an original member of the Central, which had been created in 1994. In 2000, the team left Tiger Stadium, then tied with Fenway Park as the oldest active baseball stadium, in favor of the new Comerica Park. This capped an argument among Detroiters, lasting more than a decade, about whether or not a new stadium was needed to keep the club competitive. Soon after it opened, Comerica Park drew criticism for its deep dimensions, which made it difficult to hit home runs; the distance to left-center field (395 ft), in particular, was seen as unfair to hitters. This led to the nickname "Comerica National Park." The team made a successful bid to bring in slugger Juan Gonzalez from the Texas Rangers for the inaugural 2000 season at Comerica Park. Gonzalez hit a meager (for him) 22 home runs that season, and many cited Comerica Park's dimensions as a major reason he turned down multi-millions to re-sign with the club in 2001. In 2003, the franchise largely quieted the criticism by moving in the left-center fence to 370 feet (110 m), taking the flagpole in that area out of play, a feature carried over from Tiger Stadium. In 2005, the team moved the bullpens to the vacant area beyond the left-field fence and filled the previous location with seats. In late 2001, Dave Dombrowski, former general manager of the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins, was hired as team president. In 2002, the Tigers started the season 0–6, prompting Dombrowski to fire the unpopular Smith, as well as manager Phil Garner. Dombrowski then took over as general manager and named bench coach Luis Pujols to finish the season as interim manager. The team finished 55–106. After the season was over, Pujols was let go. Dombrowski hired popular former shortstop Alan Trammell to manage the team in 2003. With fellow '84 teammates Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish on the coaching staff, the rebuilding process began. In 2003, still playing with mostly players Smith had drafted or acquired, the Tigers shattered their 1996 mark for team futility by losing an American League-record 119 games. This eclipsed the previous AL record of 117 losses set by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics, and was just .030 ahead of the 1916 A's .235 win percentage. On August 30, 2003, the Tigers' defeat at the hands of the Chicago White Sox caused them to join the 1962 New York Mets (who were a first year expansion club) as the only modern MLB teams to lose 100 games before September. They avoided tying the 1962 Mets' modern MLB record of 120 losses only by winning five of their last six games of the season, including three out of four against the Minnesota Twins who had already clinched the Central Division (into which the Tigers had moved in 1998), and were resting their stars. Mike Maroth went 9–21 for the 2003 Tigers and became the first pitcher to lose 20 games in more than 20 years. Tigers' pitchers Maroth, Jeremy Bonderman (6–19), and Nate Cornejo (6–17) were #1, #2, and #3 in the major leagues in losses for 2003—the only time in major league history that one team has had the top three losers. While the 2003 Tigers rank as the third worst team in major league history based on loss total, they fare slightly better based on winning percentage. Their .265 win percentage was the majors' sixth-worst since 1900. The Tigers went 43–119 that season, 47 games behind division-winner Minnesota. Although the 2003 season was a complete morass, Dombrowski gave Trammell a chance to finish the remaining two years of his contract over the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Under Dombrowski, the Tigers demonstrated a willingness to sign marquee free agents. In 2004, the team signed or traded for several talented but high-risk veterans, such as Fernando Viña, Iván Rodríguez, Ugueth Urbina, Rondell White and Carlos Guillén, and the gamble paid off. The 2004 Tigers finished 72–90, a 29-game improvement over the previous season, and the largest improvement in the American League since Baltimore's 33-game improvement from 1988 to 1989. However, the team was still sub-.500. Prior to the 2005 season, the Tigers spent a large sum for two prized free agents, Magglio Ordóñez and Troy Percival. On June 8, 2005, the Tigers traded pitcher Ugueth Urbina and infielder Ramón Martínez to the Philadelphia Phillies for Plácido Polanco (and later signed him for 4 years). The Tigers stayed on the fringes of contention for the American League wild card for the first four months of the season, but then faded badly, finishing 71–91. The collapse was perceived as being due both to injuries and to a lack of player unity; Rodriguez in particular was disgruntled, taking a leave of absence during the season to deal with a difficult divorce. Trammell, though popular with the fans, took part of the blame for the poor clubhouse atmosphere and lack of continued improvement, and he was fired at the end of the season. A highlight of the 2005 campaign was Detroit's hosting of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, its first since 1971. In the Home Run Derby, Rodriguez finished second, losing to the Phillies' Bobby Abreu. In October 2005, Jim Leyland, who managed Dombrowski's 1997 World Series–winning Marlins club, replaced Trammell as manager; two months later, in response to Troy Percival's '05 arm problems, closer Todd Jones, who had spent five seasons in Detroit (1997–2001), signed a two-year deal to return to the Tigers. Veteran left-hander Kenny Rogers also joined the Tigers from Texas in late 2005. These offseason additions set the stage for the resurgence of "Tiger Fever" in Detroit and its environs the following year. After years of futility, the 2006 season showed signs of hope. The impressive rookie campaigns of eventual American League Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander, centerfielder Curtis Granderson, and flamethrowing relief pitcher Joel Zumaya, coupled with a well-publicized early-season tirade by Leyland, helped the team explode and quickly rise to the top of the AL Central. The team reached a high point when they were 40 games over .500, but a second half swoon started to raise questions about the team's staying power. On August 27, a 7–1 victory over the Cleveland Indians gave the Tigers their 82nd victory and their first winning season since 1993. On September 24, the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 11–4 to clinch their first playoff berth since 1987. A division title seemed inevitable. All that was required was one win in the final five games of the season, which included three games against the Royals, whom the Tigers had manhandled much of the season. However, the Tigers lost all five games and the division title went to the Minnesota Twins. The Tigers were the AL wild card winner, the first time a team from the AL Central had won the honor. The playoffs saw the Tigers beat the heavily favored New York Yankees 3 games to 1 in the ALDS and sweep the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 ALCS, thanks to a walk-off home run in Game 4 by right fielder Magglio Ordóñez. They advanced to the World Series, where they lost to the underdog St. Louis Cardinals in five games. The Tigers would field competitive teams over the next four years, but struggles in the second half of all four years kept them from repeating their 2006 playoff appearance. In 2007, the Tigers returned 22 of 25 players from their 2006 World Series roster, and traded for outfielder Gary Sheffield, who had been a part of the 1997 Marlins World Series team managed by Jim Leyland. In addition to acquisitions, Dombrowski developed a productive farm system. Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya, the most notable rookie contributors to the 2006 team, were followed by Andrew Miller, who was drafted in 2006 and called up early in the 2007 campaign, and minor-leaguer Cameron Maybin, an athletic five-tool outfielder ranked #6 in Baseball America's 2007 Top-100 Prospects. The Tigers suffered from injuries in the 2007 season, especially to their pitching staff. Kenny Rogers did not start until late June because of surgery to remove a blood-clot in his throwing arm. Other pitchers who were injured included Tim Byrdak, Fernando Rodney, Jair Jurrjens and Joel Zumaya. The 2007 Tigers had the best record in baseball in mid-July, but lost a few players to injuries and started to play poorly in the second half and fade from contention. This pattern of good starts followed by a poor second half would be repeated over the next three seasons. The Tigers gave up their division lead to the Cleveland Indians in early September and were officially eliminated from playoff competition on September 26, 2007, when the New York Yankees clinched a wild card berth. The Tigers, at 88-74, finished second in the AL Central. Going into the 2008 season, the franchise traded for prominent talent in Edgar Rentería (from the Atlanta Braves) and Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis (from the Florida Marlins). However, the Tigers (who now boasted the second-highest team payroll in the majors at over $138 million) began the regular season by losing seven straight games. The Tigers climbed back, and at the midway point of the season, they were 42–40. In the end, the team finished miserably, slumping to a 74–88 record. Justin Verlander finished with his worst season as a pro, as he went 11–17 with a 4.84 ERA. The Tigers also lost closer Todd Jones to retirement on September 25, 2008. Despite the disappointing season, the team set an attendance record in 2008, drawing 3,202,654 customers to Comerica Park. The Tigers started 2009 very hot, quickly gaining the lead in the AL Central and keeping it for much of the year. This was fueled primarily by the combination of pitching and defense. The Tigers acquired starter Edwin Jackson from the 2008 AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays, and called up rookie and former #1 draft pick Rick Porcello. Jackson was outstanding in the first half, making his first All-Star team, while Porcello was solid most of the year, posting a 14–9 record with a 3.96 ERA and displaying grit and maturity beyond his 20 years of age. Tigers ace Justin Verlander bounced back from an off 2008 to win 19 games. He posted a 3.45 ERA and led the AL in strikeouts (269) to finish third in the AL Cy Young balloting. Fernando Rodney assumed the closer role in spring training, replacing the retired Todd Jones. Rodney responded with 37 saves in 38 tries, while Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon and young Ryan Perry shored up the middle relief that plagued the team in 2007–08. Despite the improvements, the Tigers again found themselves struggling to hold a lead in the AL Central during the second half of the season, and in particular, the final month. The offense they were known for in recent years slumped badly and was unable to support strong outings by the pitching staff. The team entered September with a 7-game lead on its AL Central rivals, but wound up tied with the Minnesota Twins at 86 wins by the final day of the regular season. The season ended on October 6 with a 6–5 loss in 12 innings to the Twins in the tie-breaker game, leaving the Tigers with an 86–77 record. The Tigers spent 146 days of the 2009 season in first place, but became the first team in Major League history to lose a three game lead with four games left to play. Entering 2010, the Tigers parted ways with Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson as part of a three-way trade with the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks; in return they picked up outfield prospect Austin Jackson and pitchers Phil Coke, Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth. Austin Jackson made the Tigers opening day roster, and was American League Rookie of the Month for April. 2010 also saw the debut of Brennan Boesch, who was named the AL Rookie of the Month for May and June. At the All-Star break, the Tigers were a half-game out of first place in the AL Central, behind the Chicago White Sox. But a slow start after the break and injuries to three key players sent the Tigers into yet another second-half tailspin. The Tigers finished the season in third place with an 81–81 record, 13 games back of the division-winning Minnesota Twins. While playing outstanding baseball at home, the Tigers were just 29–52 on the road. Only the Seattle Mariners had fewer road wins than the Tigers among American League teams. Among the 2010 season highlights were Miguel Cabrera hitting .328 with 38 home runs and an AL-best 126 RBI, earning the American League Silver Slugger Award at first base and finishing second in the AL MVP race (earning 5 of 28 first-place votes). Austin Jackson (.293 average, 103 runs, 181 hits, 27 stolen bases) finished second in the AL Rookie-of-the-Year voting. Justin Verlander enjoyed another strong season (18–9 record, 3.37 ERA, 219 strikeouts). On June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga was pitching a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians with 2 outs in the top of the ninth inning when first base umpire Jim Joyce made a controversial call, ruling Jason Donald safe at first. Video replay showed he was out. A tearful Joyce later said "I just cost that kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay." Later Galarraga told reporters Joyce apologized to him directly and gave him a hug. The next day, with Joyce umpiring home plate, Galarraga brought out the Tigers lineup card and the two hugged again. Despite large fan support for overturning the call, commissioner Bud Selig let the call stand, but said he would look into expanding instant replay for the future. The Tigers returned much of their roster from 2010, with four notable departures. The team chose not to re-sign catcher Gerald Laird, outfielder Johnny Damon and pitcher Jeremy Bonderman. They also traded pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor league pitching prospects. Notable offseason additions included catcher/DH Victor Martinez, relief pitcher Joaquín Benoit and starting pitcher Brad Penny. The Tigers sent five players to the 2011 All-Star Game. Catcher Alex Avila was voted in as a starter, while Justin Verlander, José Valverde and Miguel Cabrera were added as reserves. (Verlander was unavailable to play in the game due to the scheduling of his regular-season starts.) Shortstop Jhonny Peralta was later added to the All-Star team when the Yankees' Derek Jeter was unable to play due to injury. On May 7, Justin Verlander took a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays into the 8th inning. After a walk to J. P. Arencibia, Verlander coaxed a double-play grounder and went on to the 9th inning to complete his second career no-hitter by facing the minimum 27 batters. It was the seventh no-hitter in Tigers history. On August 27, Verlander defeated the Minnesota Twins, 6-4, to become the first Tiger since Bill Gullickson in 1991 to win 20 games in a season. Verlander also became the first major league pitcher since Curt Schilling in 2002 to reach 20 wins before the end of August. In May, the Tigers were as many as eight games back of the first-place Cleveland Indians, but slowly pulled back to near-even by the All-Star break. As a three-way battle for the division title developed between the Tigers, Indians, and Chicago White Sox, the Tigers put together an 18-10 record in August to begin to pull away. Starter Doug Fister, acquired via trade on July 30, provided an immediate spark, going 8-1 over the final two months of the season with a sparkling 1.79 ERA. After a loss on September 1, the Tigers reeled off a 12-game winning streak to put any thoughts of another late-season collapse to rest. The streak consisted of four consecutive three-game sweeps over their AL Central Division rivals. It was the Tigers longest winning streak since the 1934 team won 14 straight. On September 16, the Tigers clinched the AL Central Division title with a 3–1 win over the Oakland Athletics. It was their first AL Central title since joining the division in 1998, and first division title of any kind since 1987. The Tigers clinched the division with 11 games left to play, tying the franchise record set by the 1984 team. Members of the 2011 Tigers won multiple statistical awards in 2011. Justin Verlander won the triple crown of pitching, leading the American League in wins (24), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250). On November 15, Verlander was a unanimous selection for the AL Cy Young Award. In a much closer vote six days later, Verlander also won the AL MVP Award. José Valverde was the AL saves leader with 49 (in 49 save opportunities), winning the 2011 MLB Delivery Man of the Year Award. Miguel Cabrera won the AL batting title with a .344 average, while also leading the AL in on-base percentage (.448) and doubles (48). On October 6, the Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3–2 in Game 5 of the ALDS, winning the series 3–2. They advanced to the ALCS, which they lost to the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers, 4 games to 2. In 2012, the Tigers looked to defend their 2011 AL Central Division title, with the hopes of earning a second consecutive playoff appearance. On January 24, the Tigers signed free-agent all-star first baseman Prince Fielder to a 9-year, $214 million contract, the fourth-richest contract in baseball (and sports) history.][ The move came shortly after the Tigers learned that Víctor Martínez had torn his anterior cruciate ligament during offseason training in Lakeland, Florida, and would likely miss the entire 2012 season. Coupled with Miguel Cabrera's move back to his original position of third base, veteran Brandon Inge's performance began to decline and it became apparent that he would no longer be a valuable asset to the Tigers; on April 26, he was released after 12 seasons. Inge was subsequently acquired by the Oakland Athletics. On July 23, the Tigers acquired veteran second baseman Omar Infante (who played for Detroit in 2003-07) and starting pitcher Aníbal Sánchez from the Miami Marlins in exchange for starting pitcher Jacob Turner and two other minor leaguers. At the midway point of the 2012 season, the Tigers were three games under .500 (39-42). The team played much better in the second half and, after a fierce battle down the stretch with the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers clinched the AL Central Division title on October 1 with a 6-3 win against the Kansas City Royals. Coupled with the Tigers' division title in 2011, it marked the first back-to-back divisional titles in team history, and first back-to-back postseason appearances since 1934-35. The Tigers concluded the 2012 regular season with an 88-74 record. On the final day of the season, Miguel Cabrera earned the American League Triple Crown in batting, leading the league in three key statistical categories during the season: batting average (.330), home runs (44), and runs batted in (139). No player had accomplished this feat since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. On the mound, starters Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer finished first and second among the American League strikeout leaders, with 239 and 231, respectively. In the American League Division Series, the Tigers defeated the Oakland Athletics, 3 games to 2, earning their second straight trip to the American League Championship Series. On October 18, the Tigers completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the ALCS to win their 11th American League Pennant and earn a trip to the World Series, their first Series appearance since losing to the Cardinals in 2006. The Tigers lost the 2012 World Series to the San Francisco Giants, four games to none. They were shut out twice (in Games 2 and 3), the same number as in the entire 162-game regular season, and had a team batting average of .159. On November 15, 2012, Miguel Cabrera was named the AL's Most Valuable Player. This gave the Tigers back-to-back AL MVP winners, after Justin Verlander won the award in 2011. The Tigers enter the 2013 season looking to defend their 2012 American League Pennant. Key acquisitions in the offseason included signing free agent outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year, $26 million contract, while also signing their 2012 trade deadline acquisition, pitcher Aníbal Sánchez, to a five-year, $80 million deal. The Tigers also signed free agent catcher Brayan Peña to a one-year contract. Moreover, ace starter Justin Verlander signed a $180 million contract extension, which will keep him on the Tigers until at least 2019. The team chose not to re-sign outfielder/DH Delmon Young, relief pitcher José Valverde, and utility player Ryan Raburn, letting all three become free agents. The team was also unable to re-sign backup catcher Gerald Laird, as he chose instead to sign with the Atlanta Braves. With three left-handed batting outfielders vying for one position (left field), the Tigers later released Brennan Boesch during the 2013 spring training season. Finding no takers as a free agent, José Valverde signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers shortly after the start of the regular season. He returned to the Tigers on April 24, and recorded a save against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers placed six players on the 2013 American League All-Star team: Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta, Torii Hunter, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Cabrera was voted in as the starter at third base in the fan balloting; Fielder, Peralta, Hunter and Scherzer were selected as reserves in the player voting; Verlander was added by manager Jim Leyland. The Tigers had a chance to put seven players in the All-Star Game this season, as Joaquin Benoit was one of the five finalists for the "Final Selection" fan vote. But Benoit was beaten out by pitcher Steve Delabar of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Tigers' rivalries with other baseball franchises have changed throughout the years, with no one rivalry standing out. Some rivalries are with nearby teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays – the latter a holdover from when the Tigers competed in the AL East. There are numerous Tigers fans throughout the state of Michigan, northwestern Ohio, southwestern Ontario, as well as a small fan base in and around the Erie, Pennsylvania area, due in part to Detroit's proximity to these regions as well as the presence of the Tigers' AA affiliate Erie SeaWolves in northwestern Pennsylvania. The Detroit Tigers have their AAA affiliate Toledo Mud Hens in Toledo, Ohio and had a AA affiliate in London, Ontario. The cities of Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario have large fanbases of loyal Detroit Tiger fans. The Detroit Tigers continue to develop a strong and long line of baseball fans in Ontario; the majority of baseball fans in southwestern Ontario are considered Tiger loyalists. Some are rivalries for first place during the regular season, with all American League teams until 1969, with American League East teams from 1969 to 1997, and with American League Central teams from 1998 until the present. Finally, some are rivalries with National League teams the Tigers have faced repeatedly in the World Series, the Chicago Cubs (four times) and St. Louis Cardinals (three times). Had the Cubs beaten the Padres in the 1984 NLCS, they would have faced the Tigers for a fifth time in the World Series. The Pittsburgh Pirates, whom the Tigers faced in the 1909 World Series, is the team's "natural rival" in interleague play and has become a popular rivalry for fans of both teams, due to Tigers manager Jim Leyland having managed the Pirates from 1986-1996 (his two immediate successors in Pittsburgh, Gene Lamont and Lloyd McClendon, currently serve on Leyland's staff with the Tigers), the close proximity of Detroit to Pittsburgh, and the NHL rivalry between the Detroit Red Wings (who, like the Tigers, are owned by Mike Ilitch) and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Cleveland Indians have the Ohio Cup against the Cincinnati Reds, but prefer the rivalry within the American League Central Division with the Detroit Tigers or, as the fans and Tom Hamilton (radio announcer) like to call them, "Motown Kitty Cats". During the 1968 season, the team was cheered on by the phrase, "Go Get 'Em Tigers." The previous year, "Sock It To 'Em, Tigers!" was also popular in the city as the Tigers' close pennant race with Boston coincided with the release of the single "Sock It To Me, Baby!" by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. During the 1984 World Championship Run, the team was cheered on to the well known cry, "Bless You Boys," a phrase coined (in sarcasm) by Al Ackerman, a Detroit sports anchor legend. For the 2006 season, with the team going into July with the best record in baseball, the phrase "Restore the Roar" (a phrase first introduced in 1990 by then-Detroit Lions Head Coach Wayne Fontes) began to catch on, referring to the fact that the Tigers had not had a winning season since 1993 and seem to be returning to their former glory. Another 2006 phrase found in several Detroit commercials was "Who's your Tiger?" A popular rally cry for the Detroit Pistons has also been adapted for the Tigers, resulting in "Deee-troit Base-ball!" A second rally cry also caught on in the Tigers' dugout in 2006. In a June game versus the New York Yankees, Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson was featured on FSN Detroit's "Sounds of the Game", in which the TV station will mic a player on the bench or a coach. To appease the fans, Nate began to stuff Big League Chew bubble gum into his mouth, hoping to spark a late-inning rally. The trend caught on, with Jeremy Bonderman, Zach Miner and Justin Verlander all chewing from time to time. The Tigers came back to tie the game, and the phrase "It's Gum Time" became the new "Rally-cap" for all of Tigertown. Additionally, the chant of a local man James Earl Van Horn, who patrols the streets around Comerica Park yelling out "Eat 'Em Up Tigers! Eat 'Em Up!" has begun to make its way into the park. The chant originated in 1968 when the Tigers won their third World Series, "Eat 'em Up" referring to the St. Louis Cardinals. People have even been seen wearing James Van Horn's homemade shirts with the cheer written on the back as far away as Miller Park in Milwaukee. During the 2006 playoffs the phrase "Team of Destiny" appeared on several home made signs, and became a rallying cry for the post season. The signs featured the "Olde English" (blackletter) "D" in place of the standard "D" in destiny. In 2009, the team used the phrase "Always a Tiger" as its slogan. This slogan remained in effect for 2010, even though the team lost many key players in the offseason. With the deaths of George Kell, Mark Fidrych, Ernie Harwell and Sparky Anderson, the slogan has new appreciation, for players and personalities of the team's history. In 2011, the slogan was switched back to Who's Your Tiger?
The Tigers have worn essentially the same home uniform since 1934 — solid white jersey with navy piping down the front and an Old English "D" on the left chest, white pants, navy hat with a white letter D in the blackletter or textur/textualis typeface associated with Middle and Early Modern English and popularly referred to as "Old English" even though it was not used for that language. When the Tigers are the visiting team, the D on their hats is orange and the word "DETROIT" appears across the shirt. A version of the team's blackletter D was first seen on Tigers uniforms in 1904, after using a simple block D in 1903. The blackletter D appeared frequently after that until being established in 1934. In 1960, the Tigers changed their uniform to read "Tigers", but the change only lasted one season before the traditional uniform was reinstated. In 1995, the Tigers introduced an alternate jersey, solid navy with the team's alternate logo (a tiger stepping through the "D") on the chest. It was worn a few times and then abandoned. The Tigers are the only team in Major League Baseball to have a color on their road uniforms that is not on their home uniforms (orange).][ They are also the only MLB team that does not wear batting practice jerseys during spring training, instead electing to wear their normal uniforms in lieu of the colored tops that most teams wear for batting practice.][ The Tigers' uniforms also have more belt loops than those of any other team, owing to the fact that their uniform pants do not feature the wide "tunnel" loops that appear on most baseball pants.][ The Tigers use slightly different versions of the initial logo on the cap and jersey. Sparky Anderson
Earl Averill
Ed Barrow
Jim Bunning
Ty Cobb Mickey Cochrane
Sam Crawford
Larry Doby
Charlie Gehringer
Goose Goslin Hank Greenberg
Bucky Harris
Harry Heilmann
Whitey Herzog Waite Hoyt
Hughie Jennings
Al Kaline
George Kell
Heinie Manush Eddie Mathews
Hal Newhouser
Al Simmons
Sam Thompson
Rick Ferrell Ernie Harwell This is how the retired numbers and Honored names are displayed on the outfield walls at Comerica Park: In left field: In right field: Players with retired numbers (and Ty Cobb) also have statues of themselves that sit behind their names, which are painted on the left-center field wall. National Avenue, which runs behind the third-base stands at the Tigers' previous home Tiger Stadium, was renamed Cochrane Avenue for Mickey Cochrane. Cherry Street, which runs behind the left-field stands at Tiger Stadium, was renamed Kaline Drive for Al Kaline. While Cochrane was honored in 2000, the ceremony honoring Cochrane and Kell did not include the retirement of Cochrane's number 3; the number 3 has not been retired for Dick McAuliffe or Alan Trammell either, although number 3 has only been issued twice since Trammell retired as a player after the 1996 season: to Trammell himself when he managed the Tigers from 2003–2005, and to Gary Sheffield (after Trammell approved of it from 2007 until he was released prior to the 2009 seasons). Sheffield had previously worn the numbers 1, 5, 10, and 11 Also in the category of not retired but not reissued are the numbers 1 last worn by Lou Whitaker in 1995, after which Whitaker retired as a player. Sparky Anderson's number 11, which also was last issued in 1995 when he himself retired from managing, was formally retired during the 2011 season on June 26, 2011. Like the numbers 1 and 3, number 47, last worn by Jack Morris, has also not been retired, but has not been issued since 1990, Morris' last year with the Tigers. Pitchers
Starting rotation Bullpen Closer Catchers Infielders Outfielders Designated hitters Pitchers Catchers Infielders Outfielders
Manager Coaches 60-day disabled list
25 active, 15 inactive Injury icon 2.svg 7- or 15-day disabled list
† Suspended list
# Personal leave
updated July 29, 2013

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The Tigers' current flagship radio stations are Detroit sister stations WXYT-AM (1270 AM) and WXYT-FM (97.1 FM). Dan Dickerson does play-by-play and former Tigers catcher Jim Price does color commentary. Games are carried on both stations unless a conflict with Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons or Detroit Red Wings coverage arises, in which case only WXYT-AM serves as the Tigers' flagship. The Tigers' current exclusive local television rights holder is Fox Sports Detroit. Mario Impemba does play-by-play with former outfielder Rod Allen handling color commentary. Baltimore Orioles (1901–1902) • Kansas City Athletics (1955–1967) • Milwaukee Brewers I (1901) • Milwaukee Brewers II (1970–1997) • Seattle Pilots (1969)
The 1968 Detroit Tigers won the 1968 World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3. The 1968 baseball season, known as the "Year of the Pitcher," was the Tigers' 68th since they entered the American League in 1901, their eighth pennant, and third World Series championship. Detroit pitcher Denny McLain won the Cy Young Award and was named the American League's Most Valuable Player after winning 31 games. Mickey Lolich pitched three complete games - and won all three - to win Series MVP honors. Denny McLain had a remarkable season in 1968, as he went 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA, was an All-Star, won the Cy Young Award, won the AL Most Valuable Player Award, and won Game 6 of the World Series. He is the only pitcher since 1934 to win 30 games in a season. Beleaguered by legal and financial troubles in later years, McLain was at his best in 1968. Perhaps worn down by pitching an astounding 336 innings during the regular season, McLain's 1968 World Series performance was not as stellar. He lost Games 1 and 4 to NL Cy Young Award winner, Bob Gibson. McLain did, however, win the crucial Game 6 on just two days' rest, holding the Cardinals to one run in a 13-1 victory. The Tigers' #2 starter, Mickey Lolich, is best known for his performance in the 1968 World Series, when he allowed just five runs in three complete games, winning all three including the final and decisive game. Lolich also helped himself at the plate in Game 2 when he hit the only home run of his 16-year career. Lolich was given the World Series MVP Award for his performance. During the regular season, Lolich went 17-9 with 197 strikeouts and a 3.19 ERA. Earl Wilson was the team's #3 pitcher, going 13-12 for the season with a 2.85 ERA. Known as one of the best power hitters of all time among major league pitchers, Wilson hit 7 home runs in just 88 at-bats in 1968. Wilson's at bat to home run ratio of 12.57 was higher than any player in the major leagues in 1968—higher even than home run leaders Frank Howard and Willie Horton. Wilson was the losing pitcher in Game 3 of the World Series, allowing 10 baserunners and 3 earned runs in 4⅓ innings pitched. The Tigers #4 starter, Joe Sparma, was the starting quarterback of the undefeated 1961 Ohio State football team. In 1968, Sparma lost his spot in the rotation after a run-in with manager Mayo Smith. Sparma was pulled from a game and made critical comments about Smith to sportswriter Joe Falls. When Falls asked Smith for a response, Smith said he "didn't want to get into a spitting contest with a skunk." Smith refused to start Sparma for several weeks afterward. When Sparma finally got another start on September 17, 1968, he pitched a 1-run complete game against the Yankees to clinch the pennant. The Sparma-Smith feud continued, and Sparma pitched only 1/3 of an inning in the 1968 World Series, giving up 2 earned runs for a 54.00 ERA in postseason play. The Tigers' bullpen in 1968 included Pat Dobson, John Hiller, Daryl Patterson, and Fred Lasher. Catcher Bill Freehan posted career highs with 25 home runs (5th in the AL) and 84 RBIs (6th in the AL) and broke his own records with 971 putouts and 1050 total chances, marks which remained AL records until Dan Wilson topped them with the 1997 Seattle Mariners. Proving his toughness and dedication to winning, Freehan allowed himself to be hit by a pitch 24 times in 1968—at that time an American League record. Freehan was the starting catcher for the American League All Star team in 1968 (and every other year from 1966 to 1972) and finished second in the 1968 American League Most Valuable Player voting, behind Denny McLain. First baseman Norm Cash, known as "Stormin' Norman," was one of the most popular players on the team. In 1968, he hit .268 with 25 home runs despite being limited to 127 games. In the 1968 World Series, Cash hit .385 (10-for-26). Cash singled to start a 3-run rally in the 7th inning of Game 7. The rally broke a scoreless tie in a pitching duel between Mickey Lolich and Bob Gibson. Second baseman Dick McAuliffe had a .344 on base percentage, led the AL with 95 runs scored, and showed power with 50 extra base hits. He also tied a major league record by going the entire 1968 season without grounding into a double play. A converted shortstop, McAuliffe also improved defensively, reducing his error total from 28 in 1967 to nine in 1968. He finished No. 7 in the 1968 AL MVP voting. On August 22, 1968, McAuliffe was involved in a brawl in which he drove his knee into pitcher Tommy John's shoulder after almost being hit in the head by a pitch. McAuliffe played well in the 1968 World Series, with 5 runs, 6 hits, 4 walks, 3 RBIs, and a home run in Game 3, a colossal solo shot into the top of the upper deck in right at Tiger Stadium. Shortstop Ray Oyler managed only 29 hits (21 of them singles) in 1968 for a career-low batting average of .135. However, his glove remained valuable as he had a .977 fielding percentage—15 points above the league average for shortstops. Late in the season, and in the World Series, Oyler was replaced at shortstop by outfielder Mickey Stanley in a historic gamble by manager Mayo Smith. In the offseason, Oyler was drafted by the expansion Seattle Pilots. A radio DJ in Seattle organized a half-mocking, half-serious "Ray Oyler Fan Club" in 1969, and Oyler hit a game-winning home run in the 9th inning of the first game for the Pilots' franchise. Third baseman Don Wert was hit in the head by a pitch that shattered his batting helmet on June 26, 1968. He was carried off on a stretcher, spent two nights in the hospital, missed several games, and was never the same hitter again. He had never hit lower than .257 in five prior seasons, but his 1968 batting average dropped to a career-low .200. Wert was selected for the American League All Star team in 1968 and is remembered for his 9th inning, game-winning hit on September 17 to clinch the American League pennant. Ernie Harwell described the scene as follows in his radio broadcast of the game: Left fielder Willie Horton led the way among the outfielders in 1968. He finished second in the American League behind Frank Howard in home runs (36), slugging percentage (.543), and total bases (278). In a year in which the league batting average was .230, Horton's .285 average was good for fourth in the AL, and he also finished fourth in the AL MVP voting. In the World Series, Horton batted .304 and had a solo home run to give the Tigers an early lead in Game 2. He also made a pivotal defensive play in the fifth inning of Game 5. When Lou Brock tried to score from second base on a single to left field, Brock was tagged out on a throw from Horton that hit Bill Freehan's glove on the fly. Horton also played an important intangible role as the only African American position player to start for the team. Mickey Stanley covered center field for the 1968 Tigers, won a Gold Glove Award at the position and led all American League outfielders with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Prior to 1968, Stanley had been used mostly as a backup outfielder, but an injury to Al Kaline expanded his playing time, as Jim Northrup moved to right field to sub for Kaline. When shortstop Ray Oyler went "0 for August," and his batting average fell to .135, manager Mayo Smith made one of the most talked-about managerial moves in baseball history, moving Stanley to shortstop for the last 9 games of the regular season and for all 7 games of the 1968 World Series. The move also allowed Smith to play both Kaline and Northrup in the outfield. Stanley had not played the shortstop position before the 1968 season, but was a talented athlete with a good glove. Though Stanley made 2 errors in the World Series, neither error led to a run being scored. In its "The End of the Century" series, ESPN rated Mayo Smith's decision to move Stanley to shortstop for the World Series as one of the 10 greatest coaching decisions of the 20th Century in any sport. Jim Northrup was the Tigers' right fielder for most of the 1968 season, and was among the American League leaders with 90 RBIs (3rd in the AL), 57 extra base hits (4th in the AL), 259 total bases (5th in the AL), and 29 doubles (5th in the AL). Northrup also hit five grand slams during the 1968 season. He hit two in consecutive at bats on June 24, 1968, and then hit another five days later, becoming the first major league player to hit three grand slams in a single week. Northrup’s fifth grand slam came in Game 6 of the World Series. With Stanley moving to shortstop, Northrup started in center field during the World Series. Northrup also had the Series-clinching hit in Game 7 off Cardinals ace Bob Gibson. After Gibson held the Tigers scoreless through the first six innings, Northrup hit a triple over center fielder Curt Flood’s head, driving in Norm Cash and Willie Horton. In the 7-game series, Northrup had a .536 slugging percentage, with 8 RBIs, 7 hits, 4 runs scored, and 2 home runs. Northrup placed 13th in the 1968 AL MVP voting. The only future Hall of Fame member who played regularly for the 1968 Tigers was Al Kaline. (Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews played in 31 games for the 1968 Tigers.) However, Kaline broke his arm after being hit by a pitch in May and missed part of the season. He played 70 games at his usual spot in right field and another 22 games at first base. His .287 batting average would have placed him 4th in the league, but he did not have enough at bats to qualify. Kaline excelled in his only World Series appearance by batting .379 with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. Pinch-hitter Gates Brown also had a huge year for the Tigers in 1968. Signed by the Tigers while serving time in an Ohio prison, Brown led the team with a .370 batting average (34-for-92) and .685 slugging percentage in the "year of the pitcher" when the league batting average was only .230. He also led the American League in pinch hits and came off the bench with clutch hits to spark a number of dramatic ninth inning come-back victories. On August 11, 1968, Brown had clutch, game-winning hits in the 9th inning of both games of a double-header against the Red Sox. After losing the 1967 American League pennant by one game to the Red Sox, the Tigers got off to a 9-1 start in 1968. By April 29, they were 12-4. On May 10, the Tigers moved into first place and remained there for the rest of the season. The Orioles stayed close through much of the season, but the Tigers wound up winning the pennant with a 12-game lead over Baltimore. The Tigers finished with a record of 103-59 and outscored their opponents 671 to 492. The 1968 Tigers also won the season series against all nine league opponents‚ the first team to accomplish that since the 1955 Dodgers. The 1968 Tigers developed a reputation for dramatic comebacks, often with winning late-inning home runs. The Tigers led the major leagues with 185 home runs in 1968. They won 40 games from the 7th inning forward, and won 30 games in their last at bat. In each game, there seemed to be a new hero, with even light hitting Don Wert and Ray Oyler providing clutch hits to win ballgames. The 1968 Tigers were also known for their esprit de corps. The starting lineup had been intact since 1965, and several of those starters had grown up in Michigan as Detroit Tigers fans: Willie Horton in Detroit's inner city, Bill Freehan in suburban Royal Oak, Jim Northrup in a small town 25 miles (40 km) west of Saginaw, and Mickey Stanley from the west of the state in Grand Rapids. The 1968 Tigers' winning percentage ranks as the fifth-best in team history, as follows: Infielders Coaches Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in Note: Pitchers' batting statistics not included Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; GF = Games finished; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts The 1968 World Series featured the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals, with the Tigers winning in seven games for their third championship in seven World Series appearances. In Game 1, the Cardinals' ace Bob Gibson threw a shutout, striking out 17 batters, as St. Louis won 4-0. As of 2011, Gibson's 17 strikeouts is still the record in a World Series game. The only positive the Tigers could take away from Game 1 was the fact that Mickey Stanley, having moved from center field to shortstop at the end of the season, handled five chances without an error. In Game 2, Mickey Lolich hit a home run and pitched the first of his three complete game victories, as Detroit won, 8-1. Norm Cash and Willie Horton both homered, and perennial Gold Glove winner, Al Kaline, made two sensational catches in right field. The Cardinals followed with wins in Games 3 and 4, including another victory by Bob Gibson over Denny McLain in Game 4. Lou Brock stole three bases in Game 3 and had six steals in the first three games. In Game 4, McLain pitched poorly, giving up six runs in three innings. Game 4 also saw one of the most bizarre strategic battles in World Series history. The Cardinals led 4-0 in the third inning, when the game was delayed by rain for over an hour. When play resumed, the Tigers began to stall, hoping to have the game called before it became official. The Cardinals responded by intentionally trying to make outs to move the game forward. As a result of the tactics, Game 4 of the 1968 series was criticized as one of the worst games in World Series history. After Game 4, with the Cardinals up 3 games to 1, a Detroit team that had made dramatic comebacks all year was forced to make its biggest comeback yet. Game 5 began with the unconventional, soulful singing of the national anthem by Jose Feliciano, drawing boos from some Detroit fans. When the game got underway, the Cardinals immediately scored three runs in the first inning off Mickey Lolich. In the fifth inning, Lou Brock doubled, and the Cardinals had a chance to break the game open, but Brock tried to score from second base on a single to left field. Brock was out in a collision with Bill Freehan at home plate, as Willie Horton's throw hit Bill Freehan's glove on the fly, and Brock elected not to slide. In the 7th inning, the Cardinals led, 3-2. Mickey Lolich led off for the Tigers in the 7th inning with a bloop single, and the Tigers loaded the bases for Al Kaline to slap a single into right field, driving in two runs. Cash drove in another run, and the Tigers led, 5-3, which proved to be the final score. Mickey Lolich pitched his second complete game victory. In Game 6, Mayo Smith passed over Earl Wilson and elected to start Denny McLain on two days' rest. McLain held the Cardinals to one run, and the Tigers scored 13 times. The Tigers scored ten runs in the 3rd inning, capped by Jim Northrup's grand slam. Game 7 was a pitching duel between Bob Gibson and Mickey Lolich, pitching on only two days' rest. In a pre-game pep talk, Mayo Smith told his team that Gibson was not Superman, prompting Norm Cash to ask: "What was he doing in a telephone booth changing his clothes?" The game was scoreless after six innings, as the two pitchers dominated. In the 7th inning, the Tigers broke through on a triple by Jim Northrup that went over center fielder Curt Flood’s head, driving in Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Curt Flood initially misread Northrup's hit, taking a step in, and then slipping as he chased the ball over his head. Flood was tagged a “goat” for having misplayed the ball. The Tigers won Game 7 by a score of 4-1. Mickey Lolich, who pitched three complete game victories, was named the MVP of the World Series. On the plane ride back to Detroit after Game 7 of the World Series, Lolich turned to newspaper columnist, Pete Waldmeir, and said: "I guess I'm an unlikely hero. Pot belly. Big ears. Just a guy who shows up every day and gets the job done as best as he knows how." But it was precisely those "average man" qualities that made Lolich one of the most popular sports figures in a working man's city. As the Detroit News put it, "He didn't act like a big shot superstar, he was one of us." The 1968 baseball season occurred in a year of upheaval. The Tet Offensive earlier in the year increased opposition to the Vietnam War. The City of Detroit had suffered through one of the worst riots in American history during the summer of 1967. Less than a week before Opening Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, triggering civil unrest in 60 American cities. The assassination of Robert Kennedy followed in June. And in late August, the Tigers played a series in Chicago, as Chicago police had violent confrontations with thousands of anti-war protesters during the Democratic National Convention. Yet, through the summer of 1968, the people of Detroit were united by their passion for the Tigers and the calming radio voice of Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. When the Tigers won the World Series, the headline in the Detroit Free Press read: "WE WIN!" The headline told the story. Amidst all the turmoil, the people of Detroit came together behind their baseball team. In a column published on October 11, 1968, Detroit's senior baseball writer, Joe Falls, described the impact of the Tigers championship on the city. Even the Governor of Michigan, George Romney, credited the Tigers with helping calm the city. In a letter to owner John Fetzer, Romney wrote: "The deepest meaning of this victory extends beyond the sports pages, radio broadcasts, and the telecasts that have consumed our attention for several months. This championship occurred when all of us in Detroit and Michigan needed a great lift. At a time of unusual tensions, when many good men lost their perspective toward others, the Tigers set an example of what human relations should really be." Bill Freehan Dick McAuliffe Denny McLain Mickey Stanley 1968 Major League Baseball All-Star Game The following members of the 1968 Tigers have been ranked among the Top 100 of all time at their position in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in 2001:


The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often beleaguered years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds.


The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. They are the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in the American League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984), 11 American League Pennants (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, and 2012), and three American League Central Division championships (2011, 2012 and 2013). The Tigers also won Division titles in 1972, 1984 and 1987 while members of the American League East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.


The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to St. Louis to become the St. Louis Browns. After 52 often beleaguered years in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles name in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The Orioles name had been used by previous major league baseball clubs in Baltimore, including the American League Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1901–1902 that became the New York Yankees and the National League Baltimore Orioles. Nicknames for the team include the O's and the Birds.

Fox Sports Detroit is an American regional sports network that is operated as an affiliate of Fox Sports Networks, and covers local sports teams in the state of Michigan, mostly those in the Metro Detroit area. The channel is owned by Fox Cable Networks, a unit of the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox. The network exclusively broadcasts games played by the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings, college teams in Michigan, and Michigan high school sports.

It is available on cable television in all of Michigan, Northeastern Indiana, Northwest Ohio, some portions of northeastern Wisconsin, and nationwide via DirecTV and Dish Network. The control room for the network is located in Houston, Texas. As of October 2009, after a complete overhaul of their technology, all pre-game, post-game and pro sports team magazine shows are broadcast from the network's all-digital high definition studio in Southfield, Michigan. The network also has dedicated remote sets in the concourses of Comerica Park, The Palace of Auburn Hills, and Joe Louis Arena.

Neil Berry Baseball


The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. They are the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in the American League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984), 11 American League Pennants (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, and 2012), and three American League Central Division championships (2011, 2012 and 2013). The Tigers also won Division titles in 1972, 1984 and 1987 while members of the American League East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.

In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students.

Spring training typically lasts about six weeks, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days later, the position players arrive and team practice begins. Team members normally wear their batting practice uniforms for the duration of spring training and only wear their normal jerseys beginning on Opening Day.

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