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Competing out of Major League Baseball’s American League Central Division, the Detroit Tigers have been thrilling fans in the Motor City since 1901. The Tigers are the oldest team to remain in the same city and keep the same name. That kind of consistency rolls right onto the field each season as the team is a constant threat to opponents on the baseball diamond.
A franchise history that dates back more than 115 years is bound to have produced some of the most legendary among MLB alumni. Among the greatest players to don the Tigers uniform are Al Kaline, Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Harry Heilmann, Sam Crawford, and Hal Newhouser. However, the most famous player ever to grace the Detroit Tigers lineup is the controversial Ty Cobb. Known as a tremendous competitor with a mean streak, Cobb’s 22 seasons in Detroit resulted in an AL MVP, Triple Crown, home run title, numerous batting titles, RBI titles, stolen base titles, and Hall of Fame honors. The only thing missing from his illustrious career in the big leagues is a World Series title. The Tigers have earned four Fall Classic victories over the years with wins in 1935, 1945, 1968, and their most recent in 1984. The inspiration drawn from these former players motivates the current squad each day as they arrive at Comerica Park.
Manager Ron Gardenhire sets out to take that raw inspiration and mold it into a formula for winning that will carry this team to the post season and culminate in a World Series title. The team’s most recent trip to the World Series, a 2012 berth earned under former manager Jim Leyland ended in heartbreak. After defeating the New York Yankees in four straight ALCS games, the Tigers had the rug pulled out from under them, being swept by a San Francisco Giants team in the midst of a dynastic run.
Though time and roster turnover has healed these wounds, it is still the number one priority of this organization to make it back to the biggest stage. To do this, they have elected to rebuild and reload their team. Parting ways with many players, including JD Martinez, Alex Avila, Justin Wilson, Justin Upton, and Justin Verlander. The passing of Mike Ilitch, the beloved Tigers owner cemented the idea of a new chapter in Detroit.
To lead them in this transition, management has brought in Ron Gardenhire. The longtime Twins skipper brings his experience to Detroit to revamp this ball club. James McCann continues to call the game from behind the plate, while Miguel Cabrera stands at first base, eager to add to his illustrious MLB resume. Veterans Nick Castellanos, Jose Iglesias, and Victor Martinez try to lead the way for young players like Dixon Machado, Jeimer Caldelario, and Jacoby Jones. Leonys Martin joins the club this year on a one year deal and looks to earn a big contract.
Losing Justin Verlander, the former ace of the pitching rotation, is a big loss. The Tigers are hoping that Francisco Liriano can mentor the young arm talent and help cultivate a winning group. Michael Fulmer and Matthew Boyd are both trying to reach the next level on the mound and be the go-to guy for Detroit. Closer Shan Greene wants them to keep the games close so he can shut it down.
Uplifting the spirits of a city going through rough times, the energetic atmosphere at Detroit Tigers games keeps the fans filling the seats each night. For more information about the current Detroit Tigers team, as well as the history of the club, click here.