Today will be the fifth post in the History of the Tigers series, and we will be looking at the years 1941-1950. To stay updated on new posts and sports news, follow my Twitter, and like my Facebook page.
In 1941, the Tigers finished tied for 4th in the AL, and they were 26 games behind the first place Yankees. Barney McCosky was their best hitter, with a .324 average, 3 home runs and 55 RBI’s. Their best pitcher was Al Benton, with a record of 15-6 and 2.97 ERA. At the end of the 1942 season, the Tigers were 5th, with a record 8 games under the .500 mark. Once again the Yankees won the AL. Barney McCosky hit .293 with 7 home runs and 50 RBI’s, and Virgil Trucks had a record of 14-8 and a 2.74 ERA. In the 1943 season, the Tiger hired Steve O’Neill as their manager. They finished 5th again, but this time they were 2 games over .500. The Yankees won the AL again. Dick Wakefield hit .316 with 7 homers and 79 RBI’s, while Tommy Bridges had a record of 12-7 and a 2.39 ERA.
In 1944 the Tigers finished 2nd in the AL, just one game behind the St. Louis Browns. They finished with a record of 88-66. Their best hitter was Dick Wakefield, with an average of .355, 12 homers, and 55 RBI’s. Pitching was led by Hal Newhouser, with a 29-9 record and a 2.22 ERA. He was named the American League MVP.
In 1945, the Tigers won their 2nd World Series title! They beat the Chicago Cubs in 7 games to claim the championship. Roy Collinbine lead the team in hitting with a .277 average, 18 homers and 93 RBI’s. In the pitching category, Hal Newhouser was amazing again, with a 25-9 record and a 1.81 ERA, winning his second consecutive MVP.
In 1946, the Tigers had a great record, they just didn’t win the pennant because the Boston Red Sox had an amazing season. The Tigers finished with a record of 92-62, but they were still 12 games behind the Red Sox. Hank Greenberg returned to the Tigers in 1945 after World War II service, and in 1946 he had a power season. He hit .277 with 44 home runs and 127 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser pitched well again, with a 26-9 record and a 1.94 ERA. In 1947, the Tigers had another winning season, but they were still 12 games behind the Yankees. They were on local television for the first time, on WWDT with Harry Heilmann, Ty Tyson, and Paul Wilson. George Kell hit .320 5 home runs and 93 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser had a 17-17 record and a 2.87 ERA. The next season, the Tigers fell all the way to 5th place in the AL. They changed their TV station to WWJ, but they had the same commentators. They were 78-76, and 18.5 games behind the Indians. Hoot Evers had a .314 average, 10 home runs and 103 RBI’s. On the pitching side, Hal Newhouser had a 21-12 record and a 3.01 ERA.
In the second to last season of this post, the Tiger finished fourth. They hired Red Rolfe to be their new manager. They were 20 games over .500 and 10 games behind the pennant winning Yankees. Vic Wertz had a .304 average 20 home runs and 133 RBI’s. Hal Newhouser once again was the Tigers best pitcher, with an 18-11 record and a 3.36 ERA. In the final season of this post, the Tigers were close to winning the AL season all year, but they ended up finishing three games behind the championship winning Yankees. George Kell was the best hitter again, with a .340 average 8 home runs and 101 RBI’s, and Fred Hutchinson had a 17-8 record and a 3.96 ERA.
Thank you for reading the 5th part of this History of the Tigers series and make sure to read the next post next Friday, covering the years 1951-1960!