1968 World Series

The 1968 World Series featured the American League champion Detroit Tigers against the National League champion (and defending World Series champion) St. Louis Cardinals, with the Tigers winning in seven games for their first championship since 1945, and the third in their history.

The Tigers came back from a 3–1 deficit to win three in a row, largely on the arm of MVP Mickey Lolich, who as of 2019 remains the last pitcher to earn three complete-game victories in a single World Series. (The three World Series wins were duplicated by Randy Johnson in 2001, but Johnson started only two of his games.) In his third appearance in the Series, Lolich had to pitch after only two days' rest in the deciding Game 7, because regular-season 31-game winner Denny McLain was moved up to Game 6 – also on two days' rest. In Game 5, the Tigers' hopes for the title would have been very much in jeopardy had Bill Freehan not tagged out Lou Brock in a home plate collision, on a perfect throw from left fielder Willie Horton, when Brock elected not to slide and went in standing up.

The 1968 season was tagged "The Year of the Pitcher", and the Series featured dominant performances from Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson, MVP of the 1964 and 1967 World Series. Gibson came into the World Series with a regular-season earned run average (ERA) of just 1.12, a modern era record, and he pitched complete games in Games 1, 4, and 7. He was the winning pitcher in Games 1 and 4. In Game 1, he threw a shutout, striking out a Series record of 17 batters, besting Sandy Koufax's 1963 record by two. The 17 strikeouts still stands as the World Series record today. In Game 4, a solo home run by Jim Northrup was the only offense the Tigers were able to muster, as Gibson struck out ten batters. In Game 7, Gibson was defeated by series MVP Lolich, allowing three runs on four straight hits in the decisive seventh inning, although the key play was a Northrup triple that was seemingly misplayed by center fielder Curt Flood and could have been the third out with no runs scoring.

The World Series saw the Cardinals lose a Game 7 for the first time in their history. The Tigers were the third team to come back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series, the first two being the 1925 Pirates and the 1958 Yankees. Since then, the 1979 Pirates, the 1985 Royals, and the 2016 Cubs accomplished this feat.

Detroit manager Mayo Smith received some notoriety for moving outfielder Mickey Stanley to shortstop for the 1968 World Series, which has been called one of the gutsiest coaching moves in sports history by multiple sources.[1][2] Stanley, who replaced the superior fielding but much weaker hitting Ray Oyler, would make two errors in the Series, neither of which led to a run.

This was also the final World Series played prior to Major League Baseball's 1969 expansion, which coincided with the introduction of divisional play and the League Championship Series.

All seven games of NBC's TV coverage were preserved on black-and-white kinescopes by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and circulate among collectors. Games 1 and 5 have been commercially released; these broadcasts, and that of Game 7, were frequently shown on CSN (Classic Sports Network) and ESPN Classic in the 1990s and 2000s.

1968 World Series
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
Detroit Tigers (4) Mayo Smith 103–59, .636, GA: 12
St. Louis Cardinals (3) Red Schoendienst 97–65, .599, GA: 9
DatesOctober 2–10
MVPMickey Lolich (Detroit)
UmpiresTom Gorman (NL), Jim Honochick (AL), Stan Landes (NL), Bill Kinnamon (AL), Doug Harvey (NL), Bill Haller (AL)
Hall of FamersUmpire: Doug Harvey
Tigers: Al Kaline, Eddie Mathews
Cardinals: Red Schoendienst‡ (mgr.), Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Orlando Cepeda, Bob Gibson
‡ elected as a player.
Broadcast
TelevisionNBC
TV announcersCurt Gowdy, Harry Caray (Games 1–2, 6–7) and George Kell (Games 3–5)
RadioNBC
Radio announcersPee Wee Reese, Ernie Harwell (Games 1–2, 6–7), Jack Buck (Games 3–5) and Jim Simpson (Game 7)
World Series

Summary

AL Detroit Tigers (4) vs. NL St. Louis Cardinals (3)

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 2 Detroit Tigers – 0, St. Louis Cardinals – 4 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:29 54,692[3] 
2 October 3 Detroit Tigers – 8, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:41 54,692[4] 
3 October 5 St. Louis Cardinals – 7, Detroit Tigers – 3 Tiger Stadium 3:17 53,634[5] 
4 October 6 St. Louis Cardinals – 10, Detroit Tigers – 1 Tiger Stadium 2:34 53,634[6] 
5 October 7 St. Louis Cardinals – 3, Detroit Tigers – 5 Tiger Stadium 2:43 53,634[7] 
6 October 9 Detroit Tigers – 13, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:26 54,692[8] 
7 October 10 Detroit Tigers – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 1 Busch Memorial Stadium 2:07 54,692[9]

Matchups

Game 1

Wednesday, October 2, 1968 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 3
St. Louis 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 X 4 6 0
WP: Bob Gibson (1–0)   LP: Denny McLain (0–1)
Home runs:
DET: None
STL: Lou Brock (1)

The Tigers roared into Game 1 by setting a then-team record with 103 victories on the season and were appearing in their first World Series in 23 years. The Tigers led the American League with 185 home runs. Their team batting average was .235, fourth best in the league; the team only stole 26 bases on the year.[10] The Cardinals could fly on the bases stealing 110 bases, leading the NL with 48 triples, had a team average at .249, but hit only 73 home runs.[11] Pitching was about even as both teams set their rotations for Game 1 with solid starters and adequate relievers.

Fans overflowed Busch Stadium for Game 1 to watch the highly anticipated matchup of the Major League's top two pitchers, the Cardinals Bob Gibson (22–9, 1.12 ERA) and the Tigers Denny McLain (31–6, 1.96 ERA). Gibson was looking to become the first National League pitcher to win six World Series games while McLain was pitching in his first World Series game. Indeed, the Cardinals had far more World Series experience than the Tigers with most of the Cardinal lineup (including all nine Game 1 starters) having played in a prior World Series. Both pitchers were highly competitive, fast workers, sporting overpowering fastballs coupled with excellent control.

Gibson's performance in Game 1 was phenomenal. The menacing right-handed pitcher shut out the Tigers on just five hits, and he struck out a World Series-record 17 Detroit Tigers batters.

The Cardinals broke through with three in the fourth off McLain. After McLain walked Roger Maris and Tim McCarver, Cardinals third baseman Mike Shannon singled in Maris and went to second base when Tiger left fielder Willie Horton misplayed the ball. McCarver pulled in at third. Cardinals second baseman Julian Javier followed this by singling in both baserunners to make the score 3–0. Outfielder Lou Brock added a home run in the seventh inning to complete the scoring.

Gibson finished the game in the ninth inning with his 15th, 16th, and 17th strikeouts to pass Sandy Koufax's previous record of 15, set in the 1963 World Series.

Game 2

Thursday, October 3, 1968 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 1 1 0 0 3 1 0 2 8 13 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 1
WP: Mickey Lolich (1–0)   LP: Nelson Briles (0–1)
Home runs:
DET: Willie Horton (1), Mickey Lolich (1), Norm Cash (1)
STL: None

The Tigers' starting pitcher Mickey Lolich earned a complete-game victory and the Tigers evened the Series.

Tiger outfielder Willie Horton hit a home run in the second inning, and Lolich also helped his own cause with a homer in the third inning off the Cardinals starter, Nelson Briles, scoring the eventual game-winning run. This was the only home run that Lolich hit during his entire professional career. The Tigers broke the game open in the sixth inning when first baseman Norm Cash led off with another homer, and second baseman Dick McAuliffe later provided a two-run single.

Cardinals' first baseman Orlando Cepeda gave St. Louis a run with an RBI single in the sixth, but that was all they scored. Al Kaline scored in the seventh inning when Jim Northrup hit into a double play, and the Tigers scored their final two runs in the ninth inning with bases-loaded walks to Don Wert and Lolich.

Game 3

Saturday, October 5, 1968 1:00 pm (ET) at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 0 7 13 0
Detroit 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 0
WP: Ray Washburn (1–0)   LP: Earl Wilson (0–1)   Sv: Joe Hoerner (1)
Home runs:
STL: Tim McCarver (1), Orlando Cepeda (1)
DET: Al Kaline (1), Dick McAuliffe (1)

In the first of three games at Detroit's Tiger Stadium, Al Kaline started the scoring with a two-run homer in the third inning, but the Cardinals came back in the fifth inning on an RBI double by center fielder Curt Flood off starter Earl Wilson. After Wilson put another batter on base, catcher Tim McCarver launched a three-run home run for the eventuall game-winning runs off relief pitcher Pat Dobson. The Tigers cut the deficit to just one run on a home run by Dick McAuliffe. But Orlando Cepeda put the game out of reach in the seventh inning by smacking a three-run home run.

Cardinals' reliever Joe Hoerner entered the game in the sixth in relief of Ray Washburn (who got the win) and earned a save. Hoerner also collected a single batting in the eighth and became the first major leaguer to get a hit in the World Series after going hitless for the entire season.

Game 4

Sunday, October 6, 1968 1:35 pm (ET) at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 4 0 10 13 0
Detroit 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 4
WP: Bob Gibson (2–0)   LP: Denny McLain (0–2)
Home runs:
STL: Lou Brock (2), Bob Gibson (1)
DET: Jim Northrup (1)

Tiger manager Mayo Smith, needing another left-handed bat in the lineup, made a major change by inserting veteran Eddie Mathews at third base. Mathews, recovering from a spinal operation that nearly ended his career, had one hit in the last game of his major league career. After a 35-minute rain delay, hard-hitting Hall-of-Famer Hank Greenberg threw out the first pitch.

McLain had trouble warming up amidst the rainfall, and was throwing with less velocity from the outset. A 31-game winner during the regular season, he struggled for the second time in this World Series, as this one-sided pitching matchup with Bob Gibson showed. Lou Brock led the game off with a home run, and Mike Shannon added an RBI single later in the first inning. Two more Cardinals runs were knocked in during the third inning on Tim McCarver's triple and Mike Shannon's double. McLain's troubles continued, and after a walk to Julian Javier, the umpires stopped the game due to rain with two out in the third inning. McLain did not return when play resumed after a one-hour and 15-minute rain delay. Bob Gibson did return after the delay, and helped his own cause by hitting a home run off Joe Sparma in the fourth inning. Next, Lou Brock knocked a triple and scored on a ground-out by Roger Maris.

The Cardinals' final runs came in the eighth inning when Gibson walked with the bases loaded, forcing in one run, and then Lou Brock drove in three more runs with a double. Brock was just a single short of hitting for the cycle in this game.

The Tigers' only run came in the fourth inning when Jim Northrup hit a home run. Other than that, Gibson was a nearly perfect pitcher, tossing his second complete game in this World Series while striking out ten batters. The Cards now had a commanding three-games-to-one lead in this Series.

Game 5

Monday, October 7, 1968 1:00 pm (ET) at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
St. Louis 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 0
Detroit 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 X 5 9 1
WP: Mickey Lolich (2–0)   LP: Joe Hoerner (0–1)
Home runs:
STL: Orlando Cepeda (2)
DET: None

With the World Series on the line, the Tigers used their winner of Game 2, Mickey Lolich, as their starting pitcher. Lolich's first inning in this game was not too promising, as he allowed an RBI single by Curt Flood and a two-run home run to Orlando Cepeda. However, Lolich soon settled down, striking out eight Cardinals batters and allowing no more runs.

Tigers' first baseman Norm Cash began the team comeback with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, plating Mickey Stanley who had tripled. This was followed by a Willie Horton triple and Jim Northrup's RBI single, making it a 3–2 game. In the fifth inning, the Cardinals had a chance to go up by two runs after Lou Brock hit a one-out double. Cardinals second baseman Julian Javier followed with a base hit to left. Outfielder Willie Horton fielded the ball off the ground and then fired the ball towards home plate. Instead of sliding into home plate, Brock tried to bowl over Tiger catcher Bill Freehan. However, Freehan caught and held onto the ball while blocking the plate with his foot, and Brock was called out. This was the last time that the Cardinals threatened to score in the game.

Cardinals' starting pitcher Nelson Briles was taken out of the game in the seventh inning with one runner on base, and was replaced by closer reliever Joe Hoerner. The Tigers began a game-winning rally off Hoerner, with Al Kaline hitting a two-run single to give the Tigers a 4–3 lead. Norm Cash then knocked in an insurance run with a single.

Jose Feliciano's unconventional pre-game singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" aroused considerable controversy, with the Tigers and NBC receiving thousands of angry letters and telephone calls about the performance.[12] Lolich also blamed Feliciano's unusually long rendition for causing him to get cold after his warm-ups and thus give up three early runs.[13]

Game 6

Wednesday, October 9, 1968 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 2 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 13 12 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 9 1
WP: Denny McLain (1–2)   LP: Ray Washburn (1–1)
Home runs:
DET: Jim Northrup (2), Al Kaline (2)
STL: None

Now needing two wins in St. Louis to win the World Series, Tiger manager Mayo Smith chose Denny McLain again as his starting pitcher, even though he was on only two days' rest and had not been very successful in his two prior Series starts. (This was made possible by the previous day's game getting rained out, and McLain only pitching ​3 13 innings in his Game 4 start.) Cardinals' manager Red Schoendienst stayed with his normal three-starter rotation, selecting Ray Washburn, who had won Game 3. The choice of McLain paid off for the Tigers, as he pitched a complete game in a 13–1 rout of the Cardinals.

The Tigers went up 2–0 in the second inning on RBI hits by Willie Horton and Bill Freehan. In the third, the Tigers sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs off of three Cardinals pitchers. Jim Northrup's grand slam highlighted the inning. Al Kaline added a home run in the fifth inning. The Cardinals lone run came off an RBI single by Julián Javier with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but that was all they could do against McLain.

Game 7

Thursday, October 10, 1968 1:00 pm (CT) at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 4 8 1
St. Louis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0
WP: Mickey Lolich (3–0)   LP: Bob Gibson (2–1)
Home runs:
DET: None
STL: Mike Shannon (1)

In a fitting end to this Series, the two teams' hottest pitchers, Mickey Lolich and Bob Gibson, squared off in what was almost a classic duel, until an infamous hit over the head of Curt Flood. Like McLain in Game 6, Lolich was starting on only two days' rest.

Lolich and Gibson matched scoreless innings for six innings, but, in the top of the seventh, Gibson surrendered two-out hits to Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Jim Northrup then hit a hard smash to deep center; Curt Flood, who won numerous Gold Glove awards in his career, misjudged it and briefly started in on the ball before turning around to go back. The ball one-hopped the warning track, two runs scored, Northrup wound up with a triple, and Lolich had all the runs he needed. Flood has been criticized by some who believe he would have caught the ball had his first steps been back instead of in. Jim Northrup said the hit was "40 feet over [Flood's] head. He never had a chance to catch it."[14] However, his teammate Denny McLain claimed in his 1975 book that "Flood blew it." Orlando Cepeda, in his book "Baby Bull", asserts that Flood would have caught the ball, had he not misjudged it. In the October 29, 1968, issue of The Sporting News, both Flood and manager Red Schoendienst indicated they would have expected the normally sure-handed outfielder to catch such a ball. By starting in, Flood had to attempt to both reverse direction and then regain his acceleration. He then slipped on the wet grass before recovering his speed, and by that time the ball was well beyond him.[a] Bill Freehan then doubled in Northrup, and in the top of the ninth, Don Wert added an RBI single.

The Cardinals got a run in the ninth on a Mike Shannon homer, but that was all as Lolich pitched his third complete game. The final out of the series was recorded when Bill Freehan caught a pop foul off the bat of Tim McCarver. Gibson struck out eight in the losing cause, giving him a record 35 strikeouts by one pitcher in a World Series, but Lolich was named World Series MVP. This is the last World Series game to date to feature complete-game performances from both starting pitchers.

Cardinals shortstop Dal Maxvill went hitless in 22 World Series at-bats, a record.

Composite box

1968 World Series (4–3): Detroit Tigers (A.L.) over St. Louis Cardinals (N.L.)

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 3 13 3 2 3 7 0 3 34 56 11
St. Louis Cardinals 5 0 2 5 4 1 4 4 2 27 61 2
Total attendance: 379,670   Average attendance: 54,239
Winning player's share: $10,937   Losing player's share: $7,079[16]

Notes

  1. ^ The misplay would have consequences beyond the field. After the season, Flood, who had long enjoyed a close personal friendship with Gussie Busch, CEO of team owner Anheuser-Busch and president of the team, was upset when Busch offered him a smaller raise than Flood felt he deserved, given his stellar performance during that year's regular season; he believed that was punishment for the misplay that cost the team a chance to win a second straight Series. While he eventually did get the $90,000 salary he had wanted, he was also one of the players who led a boycott of spring training before the 1969 Major League Baseball season that forced the owners to expand their pension-fund contributions. After the boycott ended, Busch held a team meeting with the media present in which he angrily reminded players to stay focused on pleasing the fans; while Busch didn't mention any player specifically, Flood believed that the remarks were directed at him.

    At the end of that season, in which the Cardinals finished fourth in the newly created NL East division and thus did not return to the postseason, Flood was among several players traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. He learned of the trade not from Busch as he might have expected, but from a low-ranking team official. Instead of reporting to Philadelphia, he filed a lawsuit seeking to have the reserve clause in his (and every other baseball player's) contract invalidated as an antitrust violation, telling Howard Cosell that even though he was paid $90,000 a year, "a well-paid slave is still a slave." The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately held against him, and Flood's playing career effectively ended, but agitation for free agency continued; by the mid-1970s, players attained it.[15]

References

  1. ^ Bob Ryan (August 10, 2009). "Talk about being put in tough position". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ Jeff Merron. "The List: Gutsiest calls in sports". ESPN.com.
  3. ^ "1968 World Series Game 1 – Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "1968 World Series Game 2 – Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "1968 World Series Game 3 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "1968 World Series Game 4 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "1968 World Series Game 5 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "1968 World Series Game 6 – Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "1968 World Series Game 7 – Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ 1968 Detroit Tigers Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics
  11. ^ 1968 St. Louis Cardinals Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics
  12. ^ Zang, Dave. "Feliciano ignited a star-spangled controversy." Article in The Sporting News on October 25, 1993.
  13. ^ Chass, Murray. "ON BASEBALL; When the Pitchers Needed Less Rest In the Postseason." Article in The New York Times on October 22, 2006. [1]
  14. ^ Mott, Geoff (October 14, 2006) "10 Questions with Jim Northrup," Saginaw News
  15. ^ Knoedelseder, William (2012). Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser–Busch and America's Kings of Beer. HarperCollins. pp. 109–113. ISBN 9780062009272.
  16. ^ "World Series Gate Receipts and Player Shares". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2009.

See also

Further reading

  • Cantor, George (1997). The Tigers of '68: Baseball's Last Real Champions. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing. ISBN 0-87833-928-0.
  • Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
  • Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2176. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
  • Forman, Sean L. "1968 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com — Major League Statistics and Information. Archived from the original on November 29, 2007. Retrieved December 9, 2007.

External links

1968 Detroit Tigers season

The 1968 Detroit Tigers won the 1968 World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals four games to three. The 1968 baseball season, known as the "Year of the Pitcher", was the Detroit Tigers' 68th since they entered the American League in 1901, their eighth pennant, and third World Series championship. Detroit pitcher Denny McLain won the Cy Young Award and was named the American League's Most Valuable Player after winning 31 games. Mickey Lolich pitched three complete games in the World Series – and won all three – to win World Series MVP honors.

1968 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1968 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 87th season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 77th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 97–65 during the season, winning their second consecutive NL pennant, this time by nine games over the San Francisco Giants. They lost in 7 games to the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series. The Cardinals would not return to postseason until 1982.

Following the season, Major League Baseball announced plans to split both the National and American Leagues into East and West divisions starting with the 1969 season in order to accommodate the inclusion of two new franchises to each league. The Cardinals were assigned to the new National League East division. Originally, the Cardinals were placed in the National League West division. However, the New York Mets, wanting to compensate for the loss of home games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, desired three extra games against the Cardinals, the two-time defending NL champions. The Cardinals were thus moved to the National League East division along with the Chicago Cubs, who wished to maintain their long-standing rivalry with the Cardinals. The Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds were correspondingly shifted to the National League West despite both being east of St. Louis and Chicago, a configuration maintained until 1993.

1968 in Michigan

Events from the year 1968 in Michigan.

The Associated Press (AP) surveyed newspaper editors and broadcasters and determined the top 10 stories in Michigan for 1968 as follows:

The candidacy of Gov. George W. Romney for President of the United States;

The 1968 Detroit Tigers winning the American League pennant and defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1968 World Series;

A newspaper strike that shut down the state's two largest newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, for nine months;

Gov. Romney's decision to resign as Governor to become United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Pres. Richard M. Nixon;

The reapportionment and redistricting of the state's county boards to reflect a "one man, one vote" proportionality;

Michigan voters' defeat of a ballot measure to adopt Daylight savings time;

Hubert H. Humphrey's taking Michigan's 21 electoral votes in the 1968 United States presidential election (Humphrey received 1,593,082 votes (48.18%) to 1,370,665 (41.46%) for Richard M. Nixon and 331,968 (10.04%) for George Wallace);

The Robison family murders, a mass murder on June 25 of six family members while vacationing in their Lake Michigan cottage just north of Good Hart, Michigan;

Two heart transplants performed at the University of Michigan Hospital; and

The adoption a statewide laws for open housing and the protection of tenants' rights.The AP also selected the state's top 10 sports stories as follows:

Mickey Lolich's three victories in the 1968 World Series;

The Detroit Tigers winning the American League pennant for the first time since 1968;

Denny McLain's 31 wins as a pitcher for the Tigers;

Gordie Howe's 700th goal and 1,500th game for the Detroit Red Wings;

Ron Johnson's season, setting an NCAA record with 347 rushing yards in a game and Michigan records with 1,391 rushing yards and 114 points scored during the 1968 season;

The Detroit Lions' acquisition of quarterback Bill Munson and their poor performance during the 1968 season;

Spencer Haywood's transfer to the University of Detroit and his leading a resurgence in the school's basketball fortunes during the 1968-69 season;

The popularity of coho salmon fishing;

Two members of the Detroit Lions, Mel Farr and Lem Barney winning the NFL's offensive and defensive rookie of the year honors; and

The death of Warner Gardner in a crash during the APBA Gold Cup unlimited hydroplane race on September 8 on the Detroit River.

1984 World Series

The 1984 World Series began on October 9 and ended on October 14, 1984. The American League champion Detroit Tigers played against the National League champion San Diego Padres, with the Tigers winning the series four games to one. This was the city of Detroit's first sports championship since the Tigers themselves won the 1968 World Series.

This was the first World Series that Peter Ueberroth presided over as commissioner. Ueberroth began his tenure on October 1, succeeding Bowie Kuhn. Ueberroth had been elected as Kuhn's successor prior to the 1984 season, but did not take over until the postseason as he was serving as the chairman of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which ran from July 28 through August 12.

This was the last World Series in which the designated hitter was used for games played in a National League team's ballpark in the World Series (as in even-numbered years, the DH would be used in all games, which was first instituted in 1976). The next World Series did not use the DH (as odd-numbered years saw the DH rule not in force for the World Series). Starting in 1986, the DH would only be used in games played at the American League representative's park.

Al Kaline

Albert William Kaline (; born December 19, 1934), nicknamed "Mr. Tiger", is an American former Major League Baseball right fielder. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kaline played his entire 22-year baseball career with the Detroit Tigers. For most of his career, Kaline played in the outfield, mainly as a right fielder where he won ten Gold Gloves and was known for his strong throwing arm. He was selected to 18 All-Star Games and was selected as an All-Star each year between 1955 and 1967.

Near the end of his career, Kaline also played as first baseman and, in his last season, was the Tigers' designated hitter. He retired not long after reaching the 3,000 hit milestone. Immediately after retiring from playing, he became the Tigers' TV color commentator, a position he held until 2002. Kaline still works for the Tigers as a front office official.

Bob Gibson

Robert Gibson (born November 9, 1935) is an American retired baseball pitcher who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959–75). Nicknamed "Gibby" and "Hoot" (after actor Hoot Gibson), Gibson tallied 251 wins, 3,117 strikeouts, and a 2.91 earned run average (ERA) during his career. A nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion, he won two Cy Young Awards and the 1968 National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. In 1981 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The Cardinals retired his uniform number 45 in September 1975 and inducted him into the team Hall of Fame in 2014.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Gibson overcame childhood illness to excel in youth sports, particularly basketball and baseball. After briefly playing under contract to both the basketball Harlem Globetrotters team and the St. Louis Cardinals organization, Gibson decided to continue playing only baseball professionally. Once becoming a full-time starting pitcher in July 1961, Gibson began experiencing an increasing level of success, earning his first All-Star appearance in 1962. Gibson won two of three games he pitched in the 1964 World Series, then won 20 games in a season for the first time in 1965. Gibson also pitched three complete game victories in the 1967 World Series.

The pinnacle of Gibson's career was 1968, when he posted a 1.12 ERA for the season and then followed that by recording 17 strikeouts during Game 1 of the 1968 World Series. Over the course of his career, Gibson became known for his fierce competitive nature and the intimidation factor he used against opposing batters. Gibson threw a no-hitter during the 1971 season, but began experiencing swelling in his knee in subsequent seasons. After retiring as a player in 1975, Gibson later served as pitching coach for his former teammate Joe Torre. At one time a special instructor coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, Gibson was later selected for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. Gibson is the author of the memoir Pitch by Pitch, with Lonnie Wheeler (Flatiron Books, 2015).

Denny McLain

Dennis Dale McLain (born March 29, 1944) is an American former professional baseball player. He was a pitcher in Major League Baseball for ten seasons, most notably for the Detroit Tigers. In 1968, McLain became the most recent Major League Baseball pitcher to win 30 or more games during a season (with a record of 31–6) — a feat accomplished by only 11 players in the 20th century.As a player, McLain was brash and outspoken, sometimes creating controversy by criticizing teammates and fans with little provocation. His stellar performance at the beginning of his major league career included two Cy Young awards and an American League MVP award. His success in baseball stood in marked contrast to his personal life, where he associated with organized crime and was eventually convicted on charges of embezzlement, after which he served time in prison.

Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are an American professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) Central division. One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit as a member of the minor league Western League in 1894 and is the only Western League team still in its original city. They are also the oldest continuous one name, one city franchise in the AL. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984), 11 AL pennants (1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, 2012), and four AL Central division championships (2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). The Tigers also won division titles in 1972, 1984, and 1987 as a member of the AL East. The team currently plays its home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit.

The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue in Corktown (just west of Downtown Detroit) and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000.

From 1901 to 2018, the Tigers' overall win–loss record is 9,299–9,077 (a winning percentage of 0.506).

Dick McAuliffe

Richard John "Dick" McAuliffe (November 29, 1939 – May 13, 2016) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop and second baseman for the Detroit Tigers from 1960 to 1973 and for the Boston Red Sox from 1974 to 1975. He was a part of the Tigers' 1968 World Series championship, and was known for his unusual batting stance. A left-handed hitter, he held his hands very high with an open stance that faced the pitcher. As the pitcher delivered to home plate, McAuliffe moved his forward (right) foot to a more conventional position for his swing.

Fred Lasher

Frederick Walter Lasher (born August 19, 1941 in Poughkeepsie, New York) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played six seasons with the Minnesota Twins (1963), Detroit Tigers (1967–1970), Cleveland Indians (1970), and California Angels (1971).

Lasher debuted in the major leagues with the Twins at age 21 in 1963. Over six major league seasons, Lasher appeared in 151 games (all but one as a relief pitcher) and had a record of 11–13 with a 3.88 earned run average. In 1968, Lasher appeared in 34 games for the American League pennant winning Detroit Tigers, finishing with a 5–1 record and a 3.33 earned run average.

He also pitched 2 scoreless innings in the 1968 World Series to help the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1970, Lasher pitched in a career-high 55 games for the Tigers and Indians. His major league career ended in 1971, when he appeared in 2 games for the Angels and gave up 4 earned runs in 1⅓ innings for a 27.00 earned run average.

Jim Northrup (baseball)

James Thomas Northrup (November 24, 1939 – June 8, 2011), nicknamed the "Silver Fox" due to his prematurely graying hair, was a Major League Baseball outfielder and left-handed batter who played for the Detroit Tigers (1964–74), Montreal Expos (1974) and Baltimore Orioles (1974–75).

List of Detroit Tigers managers

The Detroit Tigers are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers are members of the American League Central Division in Major League Baseball. In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The team initially began in the now defunct Western League in 1894, and later became one of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901. Since the inception of the team in 1894, it has employed 47 different managers. The Tigers' current manager is Ron Gardenhire, who was hired for the 2018 season.The franchise's first manager after the team's arrival in the American League was George Stallings, who managed the team for one season. Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings, who managed the team from 1907 to 1920, led the team to three American League championships. Jennings however was unable to win the World Series, losing to the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909. The Detroit Tigers did not win their first World Series until 1935 under the leadership of player-manager Mickey Cochrane. Steve O'Neill later led the Tigers to another World Series victory again in 1945. The Tigers would not win another World Series until 1968 World Series when the Tigers, led by Mayo Smith, defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Sparky Anderson's 1984 Detroit Tigers team was the franchise's last World Series victory, and marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that a manager won the World Series in both leagues. In total, the Tigers have won the American League pennant 10 times, and the World Series 4 times.

The longest tenured Tiger manager was Sparky Anderson. Anderson managed the team for 2,579 games from 1979 to 1995. Hughie Jennings, Bucky Harris and Jim Leyland are the only other Detroit Tiger managers who have managed the team for more than 1,000 games. Anderson's 1331 wins and 1248 losses also lead all Tiger managers, while Cochrane's winning percentage of .582 is the highest of any Tiger manager who has managed at least one full-season. Seven Hall of Famers have managed the Tigers: Ed Barrow, Jennings, Ty Cobb, Cochrane, Joe Gordon, Bucky Harris and Anderson. Barrow was elected as an executive, Jennings and Anderson were elected as managers; the others were elected as players.

Mayo Smith

Edward Mayo "Catfish" Smith (January 17, 1915 – November 24, 1977) was an American professional baseball player, manager, and scout, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the 1945 Philadelphia Athletics. Smith had a 39-year baseball career from 1933 to 1971. He is also the namesake of the "Mayo Smith Society", the Detroit Tigers international fan club that awards the "King Tiger Award," each year.

Smith served as the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies (1955–1958), Cincinnati Reds (1959), and Detroit Tigers (1967–1970), compiling a managerial record of 662–612 (.520). He received The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award in 1968 after the Tigers won the American League (AL) pennant by 12 games with a record of 103–59 (.636) and defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1968 World Series. ESPN has ranked Smith's decision to move Mickey Stanley to shortstop for the 1968 World Series as the third "gutsiest call" in sports history.

Smith also played professional baseball for 18 seasons from 1933 to 1950, including one season in MLB, with the 1945 Philadelphia Athletics. He spent his most productive years in the International League playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs (1937–1939) and Buffalo Bisons (1940–1944) and in the Pacific Coast League with the Portland Beavers (1946–1948). Smith also spent 13 years in the New York Yankees organization as a minor league manager from 1949 to 1954 and as a "super scout" and "trouble shooter" from 1959 to 1966.

Mickey Lolich

Michael Stephen Lolich (born September 12, 1940) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher from 1962 until 1979, most notably for the Detroit Tigers. He is best known for his performance in the 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals when he earned three complete-game victories, including a win over Bob Gibson in the climactic Game 7. Lolich is one of only 22 major league pitchers to have struck out at least 2,800 batters in his career. He is of Croatian descent.

Mickey Stanley

Mitchell Jack "Mickey" Stanley (born July 20, 1942, in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American retired professional baseball player. He played his entire career in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers from 1964-1978. Stanley was known as a superb defensive outfielder over his 15-year career, though he is also remembered for being employed as a shortstop during the last few weeks of the 1968 season, including in all seven games of the 1968 World Series.

Ray Oyler

Raymond Francis Oyler (August 4, 1938 – January 26, 1981) was an American Major League Baseball shortstop. He played for the Detroit Tigers (1965–1968), Seattle Pilots (1969) and California Angels (1970). He is best remembered as the slick-fielding, no-hit shortstop for the 1968 World Series champion Tigers and as the subject of the "Ray Oyler Fan Club" organized by Seattle radio personality Robert E. Lee Hardwick (of the Pilots flagship radio station KVI) in Seattle.

Tony Cuccinello

Anthony Francis "Tony" Cuccinello (November 8, 1907 – September 21, 1995) was an American professional baseball second baseman and third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Bees, New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Chicago White Sox between 1930 and 1945. He was the older brother and uncle of former major league players Al Cuccinello and Sam Mele. His surname was pronounced "coo-chi-NELL-oh".A native of Long Island City, New York, Cuccinello led the National League second basemen in assists and double plays three times and hit .300 or better five times, with a career high .315 in 1931. He was selected for MLB's first All-Star Game, played on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park, batting as a pinch-hitter for Carl Hubbell in the 9th inning. He also was selected for the 1938 All-Star Game.

On August 13, 1931, as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he went 6-6, scoring 4 runs and recording 5 RBI in a 17-3 rout of the Boston Braves.

During the 1945 season, Cuccinello hit .308 for the Chicago White Sox, and just missed winning the American League batting title, one point behind Snuffy Stirnweiss' .309. Nevertheless, he was released in the offseason.

In a 15-season career, Cuccinello was a .280 hitter with 94 home runs and 884 RBI in 1704 games.

Following his playing retirement, in 1947 Cuccinello managed in the Florida International League for the Tampa team (named the Smokers, after the city's large cigar business), and a year later coached for the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. He returned to the major league to coach with the Reds (1949–51), Cleveland Indians (1952–56), White Sox (1957–66; 1969) and Detroit Tigers (1967–68). He coached under former teammate Al López in Cleveland and Chicago and was a member of Lopez's 1954 and 1959 American League championship teams, and the 1968 World Series champions.

Cuccinello died in Tampa, Florida at the age of 87.

Wayne Comer

Harry Wayne Comer (born February 3, 1944) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He played professional baseball for 13 seasons from 1962 through 1974, including stints with four Major League teams: the Detroit Tigers (1967, 1968, 1972), the Seattle Pilots (1969), the Milwaukee Brewers (1970), and the Washington Senators (1970).

In 1969, Comer's only full season in Major League Baseball, he led the Seattle Pilots in runs scored, led the American League in double plays turned as an outfielder, and ranked second in the American League in assists from the outfield. He was also a member of the 1968 Detroit Tigers and compiled a perfect 1.000 postseason batting average with a pinch-hit single off Joe Hoerner in his only at bat in Game 3 of the 1968 World Series.

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