The Detroit Tigers have won the American-League Pennant and played in the World Series (otherwise known as the Fall Classic) on 10 different occasions from 1903 through 2011. While there were definitely some near misses, the Tigers only managed to win the World Championship four times -- 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984 -- as set out in the History of the Detroit Tigers in the World Series:
1907-1909The Detroit Tigers won the American League Pennant and played in the World Series in three consecutive years from 1907 through 1909. Despite considerable talent, the Tigers lost the World Championship to the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908 and to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909.
The Team: During these years, the Tigers' roster included Davy Jones, as well as future Hall-of-Famers Sam Crawford and Ty Cobb. Pitchers included George Joseph Mullin and Bill Donovan...Read more.
1934The Detroit Tigers played and lost to the “Gas House Gang,” otherwise known as the St. Louis Cardinals, in the 1934 World Series. The Tigers were leading three games to two following Game 5 of the series when the Cardinals tied things up by winning Game 6. It was the Cardinals decisive 11-to-0 victory over the Tigers in Game 7 that earned them the World Championship.
The Team: The Tigers roster in 1934 included Hall-of-Famers Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg. While Greenberg batted in runs in Games 4 and 5, it was Pete Fox who hit six doubles over the course of the seven-game series. Schoolboy Rowe's pitching also made things interesting, which wasn't a surprise considering he won 16 consecutive games from June to August in regular season play.
1935: World ChampionsThe Detroit Tigers finally won a World Championship in 1935 against the Chicago Cubs, which was not a surprise after the Tigers' 93-58 regular season record. The Cubs won Game 1; but, despite the fact that slugger Hank Greenberg broke his wrist in Game 2, Detroit came back to with Games 2, 3, 4 and 6.
The Team: Hank Greenberg earned 36 home runs during regular season play and Charlie Gehringer earned 19, but it was Pete Fox who was the leading batter during series play. In addition to Hall-of-Fame-pitcher Harold Newhouser, pitchers Tommy Bridges, Schoolboy Rowe, and Elden Auker were instrumental.
1940The Tigers only finished one game ahead of Cleveland in regular season play but managed to give the Cincinnati Reds a run for their money during the 1940 World Series. Game wins alternated between the two teams until Game 7, when Cincinnati broke the pattern and came away with the World Championship.
The Team: Pitcher Harold Newhouser and second-baseman Charlie Gehringer, both Hall-of-Fame members, were again on the roster in 1940, but it was Rudy York, Pinky Higgins and Hank Greenberg who hit home runs during series play. Despite mourning his dad, pitcher "Bobo" Newsom also stood out for the Tigers during series play.
1945: World ChampionsThe Detroit Tigers won the Championship from the Chicago Cubs in the 1945 World Series. The Cubs won the first game, but the rest of the games in the series swung back and forth between the two teams. While Detroit was poised to take the Championship leading into Game 6, the 12-inning game proved a nail biter. In fact, during the game there were 28 hits and nine pitchers took the mound. A Game 7 win, however, made the Detroit Tigers World Champions once again.
The Team: Hank Greenberg hit home runs in Games 2 & 6, and pitcher Harold Newhouser was instrumental in game 7 -- both men were eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame. George Clyde Kell, another Hall-of-Fame member, was also on the roster in 1945.
1968: World ChampionsIt was over 20 years before the Detroit Tigers made another appearance at the World Series. They played against the defending World Champions, the St. Louis Cardinals, in 1968. While the Cardinals won three of the first four games of the series, Detroit's pitchers dominated in the last three games, earning the Tigers their third World Championship.
The Team: Pitcher Denny McLain came into the series after winning over 30 games in regular season play. He pitched in Game 1 against Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. Both men had already won the Cy-Young and Most-Valuable-Player Awards. In addition to McLain, pitcher Mickey Lolich also stood out. He said he earned the “redemption of the fat man” during series play.
While Willie Horton, Mickey Lolich, Norm Cash, Al Kaline, Dick McAuliffe, and Jim Northrup all hit home runs during series play, the Tigers really proved their worth during Game 6, when they got 10 runs in the third inning and won the game 13-1.
1984: World ChampionsThe Detroit Tigers took no prisoners in 1984 under Sparky Anderson's management -- Anderson was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Tigers started the regular season by winning 35 of their first 40 games. They finished the regular season 15 games ahead and swept the 1984 World Series against the San Diego Padres by winning games 1,3,4 and 5. Their dominance in 1984 earned them a “Bless You Boys” from Ernie Harwell.
The Team: While Larry Herndon, Marty Castillo, Alan Trammell, Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish all hit home runs during series play, pitcher Jack Morris and relievers Aurelio Lopez and Willie Hernandez were also instrumental.
2006The Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series in 2006 despite a less-than-stellar regular season. While the Tigers won Game 2, the St. Louis Cardinals all but swept the series to take the World Championship in Game 5. While the Tigers' pitching failed to prevent Cardinal slugger Albert Pujols from getting hits, the eight errors the Tigers made during the course of the five-game series didn't help.
The Team: Justin Verlander, a rookie pitcher, took the mound in game 1, and both Craig Monroe and Sean Casey hit home runs during series play. The roster also included Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones.