History of the Detroit Tigers: 1961-1970: Championship and Division Play Starts!

Detroit Tigers history

Welcome back to another post in this series about Detroit Tigers history. I know it has been a long time since I have posted in it, but I will be finishing the series this summer and then starting a new one on one of the other Detroit sports teams when this series is finished. But today we will be talking about the Tigers from the period of 1961-1970.

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1961-1962: Good Success

After the 1960 season, the Tigers decided to hire Bob Scheffing as their manager, and Rick Ferrell as their GM. In their first season, the Tigers won 101 games and finished just 8 games behind the Yankees. Norm Cash won the AL batting crown, as he hit .361 with 41 homers and 132 RBI. Frank Lary lead the pitching with a 23-9 record and a 3.24 ERA.

The next year, the Tigers once again had a good season, going 85-76, but they still only finished third in the AL. Al Kaline hit .304 with 29 home runs and 94 RBI, while Jim Bunning led the pitching with a 19-10 record and a 3.59 ERA.

1963-1965: Average Seasons

in 1963, after the Tigers started off winning just 24 of their first 60 games, the Tigers fired Bob Scheffing and hired Chuck Dresson on June 18. He led the team to a 79-83 record, despite coming in to manage a team 12 games under .500. Al Kaline hit .312 with 27 homers and 101 RBI, and Hank Aguirre was their best pitcher with a 14-15 record and a 3.67 ERA.

The next year, the Tigers were 85-77, as they finished 4th in the AL. Bob Scheffing joined Ernie Harwell in the radio booth of WKMH. Bill Freehan hit .300 with 18 homers and 80 RBI. And Dave Wickersham had a 19-12 record and 3.44 ERA.

In 1965, the Tigers finished 16 games over .500 despite changing managers throughout the year. During spring training, Chuck Dressen had problems with his heart, so Bob Swift had to step in until Dressen returned on May 31. Willie Horton hit .273 with 29 homers and 104 RBI. And Hank Aguirre was 14-10 with a 3.59 ERA.

1966

In 1966, the Tigers won one less game than the previous year but still moved up to third in the AL. Chuck Dressen managed until May 16, but was sidelined with a heart attack and ended up dying in August. Bob Swift took over for the Tigers when Dressen was sidelined, and Swift was appearing to be doing a good job leading the team until he went to the hospital during all-star break and a test showed he had lung cancer. Unfortunately, he would die in October after the season. Frank Skaff took over for the team after Swift was sidelined.

Al Kaline lead the team in hitting with a .288 average,  29 homers and 88 RBI. And Denny McLain led the team in pitching with a 20-14 record and 3.92 ERA.

1967-1968 New Leader and Championship

After the 1966 season, Mayo Smith was hired as the new manager of the Tigers, He quickly led the team to a 91 win season, and they finished tied for 2nd in the AL. Al Kaline had a breakout year with a .308 average, 25 homers and 78 RBI. And Earl Wilson was a great pitcher with a 22-11 record and 3.27 ERA.

In 1968, the Tigers won the pennant, and eventually, beat the St Louis. Cardinals in a 7 game World Series. Mickey Lolich won the World Series MVP after pitching 3 complete games and winning all three. During the regular season, Willie Horton batted .285 with 36 home runs and 85 RBI. Denny McLain won the Cy Young and AL MVP after an amazing 31-6 record and 1.96 ERA.

1969-1970 Division Play

After the 1968 MLB season, the league decided that the AL and NL would each be split into 2 divisions, and the 2 teams that won their divisions in each league would play in a best of 5 league championship series. In the 1969 season, the Tigers won 90 games, but they still finished 19 games back of an amazing 109-53 Baltimore Orioles team. Jim Northrup led the team in hitting with a .295 average 25 home runs and 66 RBI. And Denny McLain once again led the team in pitching with a 24-9 record and 2.80 ERA. He won the AL Cy Young again.

In 1970, the Tigers went back to mediocrity with a 79-83 record, good for 4th in the 6 team AL East. Willie Horton hit 17 home runs and drove in 69 RBI while batting .305, and Les Cain was their best pitcher with 12-7 record and 3.84 ERA.

This wraps up another decade in Tigers history. Make sure you stay tuned for more posts in the History of the Tigers series.

Why the Detroit Pistons Will Finish Top 5 in the East Next Year

Detroit Pistons Coach Dwayne Casey

The Detroit Pistons season was disappointing last year, with the team having hopes of making a playoff run and instead of missing out on them all together. But the Pistons have a new look this year, and so does the Eastern Conference. Today we are going to be looking at why the Pistons could be towards the top of the East next year. To stay updated on future posts, follow my Twitter here and like my facebook page here. You can join my Discord here.

The Detroit Pistons New Coach

The Pistons fired their head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy in the offseason. They replaced him with Dwayne Casey. Casey won the coach of the year award this year and led the Raptors to the 1 seed in the East. The one thing that people are a little bit worried about is that Casey has never made it to the NBA Finals despite lots of high seeds in the playoffs. But Casey is definitely a great hire for the team.

The Detroit Pistons Roster

The Pistons have all of their key pieces from last year returning, and they signed Glenn Robinson III in free agency. The Pistons definitely have the talent to make it to the playoffs, they just need to perform.

The Eastern Conference 

With LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers, they do not seem like a team that will do very well next year. The only other teams that I see as being better than the Pistons in the East are the Celtics, 76ers, and depending on how they actually perform, the Raptors. This gives the Pistons a very good chance to get home court advantage in the first round next year.

I hope you enjoyed my post about the Pistons next season, and look for more posts about the team previewing the next year to come soon.

Who Was Left Off The MLB ASG Rosters?

Last night the lineups for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game were announced. The game will be played on Tuesday, July 11 in Miami, Florida. The All-Star teams starting lineups were voted for by the fans, and the reserves and pitchers were chosen by MLB officials. Here are some of the players who should have made the roster, but didn’t.

Justin Turner

The 32-year-old third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers has had one of the best averages in the MLB this year. He is batting .382 with 7 home runs and 31 RBI’s in 212 at-bats. Yet he was not even selected to the ASG. You can still vote for him in the ASG Final Vote, which ends July 6th.

 

Anthony Rizzo

He might only be batting .258, but Rizzo has hit 19 home runs and driven in 51 runs for the Chicago Cubs. He deserved to make the roster and he should have at least been on the Final Vote.

 

 

Alex Avila

Avila is batting .310 with 11 homers and 29 runs driven in for the Tigers, and yet he is not on the ASG roster. Like Rizzo, Avila should have at least been on the Final Vote.

 

 

Ranking The Tigers’ Starters From Worst To Best

The Tigers have a big mix of both young and veteran talent, and today we will be ranking their field players from worst to best.

8. Jacoby Jones

7.  James McCann

6. Nick Castellanos

5. Jose Iglesias

4. Justin Upton

3. J.D Martinez

2. Ian Kinsler

1. Miguel Cabrera

One of the things I noticed was that the top 4 were all over the age of 29, and the top 5 were all over the age of 27. But the Tigers still need to sign a veteran outfielder and utility player. Finally, I did not put Victor Martinez on this list, as he doesn’t play the field, but he would have been 3rd or 4th.

Tigers Week In Review : Season Catch-Up

Welcome to the first edition of Tigers Week In Review, and today we will be doing a season catch-up. I will tell you how the Tigers have been doing so far this season.

Overall Record: 8-5, 1st AL Central

Top Hitter: Miguel Cabrera, .250 AVG, 3 HR, 7 RBI

Top Pitcher: Michael Fulmer, 3.00 ERA, 1 Win, 16 Strikeouts

Cold Player: Ian Kinsler .200 AVG, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Rising Player: Alex Avila has a .538 AVG with 2 homers and 5 RBI’s in just 13 at-bats.

The Tigers are doing well, but they need to win their Central Division games if they want to space themselves from the rest of the Division. Right now they are just 1 game ahead of Chicago.

All stats are from April 19, 2017, at 9:30 PM.

 

Why the Tigers Should Sign Melvin Upton

The Toronto Blue Jays cut their center fielder Melvin Upton Jr on Sunday. In his career, he has batted .243 with 164 homers, 586 RBI’s, and 300 stolen bases. Al Avila, the Tigers GM, said that Upton could be a fit for the Tigers. Today I will tell you all the reasons why the Tigers should sign him.

1.  Upton would make a great chemistry link with left fielder Justin Upton. When the two of them played together in San Diego and Atlanta, they became the first pair of brothers to both hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season.

2. The Tigers need a veteran center fielder. The Tigers have 2 center fielders in  JaCoby Jones and Tyler Collins. Yes, they do have a veteran center fielder in Andrew Romine, but he is more of a utility fielder than specifically a center fielder like Upton.

3. The Tigers need someone to start in right field while J.D Martinez is on the DL. J.D Martinez will miss 2 to 3 more weeks with a foot injury, and the Tigers have two young players in Mikie Mahtook and Collins planned to split time while Martinez recovers. But if Upton was on the team, the Tigers could have a solid replacement for Martinez.

 

Tigers Preview: Outfield

The final Tigers Preview will be their outfield. I will tell you which positions are strong and which need improvement.

The projected lineup is this:

LF: Justin Upton

CF: JaCoby Jones

RF: J.D Martinez

Andrew Romine will also play center field for the Tigers on some days.  I think that the Tigers need to sign a veteran center fielder, not necessarily to start, but to back up JaCoby Jones and to make Jones compete for his job. This could also result in Jones getting good fielding advice from a veteran player. J.D Martinez is their future in the outfield and has already proven he can be a franchise player, so it is important that no matter what trade offers the Tigers get for him, the Tigers keep him.

Tigers Release Mark Lowe

The Detroit Tigers cut veteran Reliever Mark Lowe as one of their many Spring Training cuts. The Tigers now have 5 relief pitchers on their team. The Tigers owe Lowe $5.5 million dollars for the upcoming season. Any team can sign him for any amount, which will usually be minimum salary, and the Tigers will still pay the rest of his $5.5 million dollar salary.

Tigers Preview – Infield

This article is going to preview the Detroit Tigers infield for the 2017 season. I will tell you what I think the Tigers need to improve.

Catcher: James McCann

First Base: Miguel Cabrera

Second Base: Ian Kinsler

Third Base: Nick Castellanos

Shortstop: Jose Iglesias

I believe that the Tigers need to sign a utility infielder to backup players and start when the regular starters are resting. Also, I think they need to sign a backup catcher. McCann needs to prove that he can be an every day starter.

Tigers Preview – Pitching

This article is going to be the first of several articles that will preview the Detroit Tigers this year. This one will look at their pitching for the upcoming season.

Starting Rotation

The predicted starting rotation for the Tigers will be this:

    1. Justin Verlander (16-9, 3.04 ERA)
    2. Jordan Zimmerman (9-7, 4.87 ERA)
    3. Michael Fulmer (11-7, 3.06 ERA)
    4. Daniel Norris (4-2, 3.38 ERA)
    5. Anibal Sanchez (7-13, 5.87 ERA)
    I believe that the Tigers need to sign a starting pitcher to replace Anibal Sanchez because Sanchez is getting old and last year he struggled to win games. The problem is, if they want to get a new pitcher, they will need to give someone up, and if that someone is Sanchez, there will not be a lot of teams interested in making a trade because Sanchez is not going to help. This means they could have to trade a prospect, and that is not what the Tigers want to do.

Bullpen

These are the players that will most likely be in the Tigers bullpen in 2017

1. Shane Greene (Relief)

2. Bruce Rondon (Relief)

3.  Mark Lowe (Relief)

4. Alex Wison (Setup)

5. Justin Wilson (Setup)

6. Francisco Rodriguez (Closer)

The setup and closers spots look good, but I think the Tigers need a better relief pitcher to pitch more than 2 innings.

All the stats were from the 2016 season.