Excitement is in the air as the Tigers are having one heck of a good season. After winning a division and AL title last year, they are now hoping to make a third consecutive appearance in the playoffs. Their supporters are confident that the historic franchise will soon end its World Series championship drought. Indeed, going by their performance in the current season, they have a good chance to do so.
Name: Detroit Tigers
Nicknames: The Tigs, the Motor City Kitties, The Bengals, The Bless You Boys
Major Titles: 4 World Series Titles, 11 American League Pennants, 5 Division Titles
A Major League Baseball team, Detroit Tigers is one of the American League's eight charter franchises. Currently owned by Mike Ilitch and managed by Jim Leyland, the tigers have won four World Series championships and eleven American League pennants over the years and have a huge fan base.
Founded in 1894 as part of Western League, Detroit Tigers originally played at Boulevard Park located on East Lafayette. Their first game was played against Athletics. Their first Western League game was played against the Columbus Senators which Tigers won.
In 1915, the tigers won 100 games and set a club-record. In 1921, the Tigers had the highest team hit total and batting average in American League history. They got their breakthrough in 1930s. The club won its first World Series Championship in 1935 by defeating the Cubs.
From 1946 to 1967, Detroit kept falling in their standings. They finally returned to the World Series in 1968 grabbing first place away from Baltimore Orioles. They won their next World Series Championship in 1982. From 1994 to 2005, the team did not post a winning record. The year of 2003 brought a slight increase in winning percentage of the team but it wasn't until 2006 when tigers rose to the top again. The team had the best baseball record in 2007, winning Central Division Title and American League Pennant in 2012. Tigers enter 2013 season with high spirits to defend their 2012 American League Pennant.
The team started playing at Boulevard Park located on East Lafayette. In 1895, it was decided that Bennett Park would be built at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues to remain team's home ground for next 104 seasons.
In 1913, an elegant stadium was constructed on Bennett Park's site and was named as Navin Field after the owner Frank Navin. It was renamed Briggs Stadium in 1938 and Tiger Stadium in 1961. The team played their matches in Tiger Stadium till 1999 after which they started playing in Comerica Park.
Well known Players:
Ty Cobb led the team to win their first American League pennant in 1907. He set a stolen base record with 96 steals in 1915 and is regarded as one of the greatest players of all times. Harry Heilmann who played with team from 1914 to 1929, won four American Batting crowns. He was inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952. The outfielder Al Kaline debuted in 1950. He won 10 Gold gloves, made 15 All-Star Teams and became youngest-ever batting champion in major league history.
Danny McLain in 1968 was unanimously voted as American League Most Valuable Player. Harry Heilmann, Hughie Jennings, George Kell, Sam Crawford, Heinie Manush and Mickey Cochrane have their names displayed at Comerica Park to honor their contributions to the Detroit Tigers. All of them have been inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame.
Interesting facts about Detroit Tigers:
Detroit Tigers is the only team that remains in its original city under its original name.
According to one legend, the nickname Tigers comes from the orange stripes the team wore on their black stockings.
The mascot of Detroit Tigers is Paws, a tiger dressed in a costume representing the tigers.
The team's motto from 2011 till present is “Who's Your Tiger?”
Detroiter Ron LeFlore who played for the team from 1974 to 1979 was an inmate at Jackson State Penitentiary before rising to the major leagues.