Mickey Lolich

Michael Stephen Lolich (born September 12, 1940) is an American former professional baseball player.[1] He played in Major League Baseball as a pitcher from 1962 until 1979, most notably for the Detroit Tigers.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Mickey Lolich
2009 Jan 24 -27 Mickey Lolich
Lolich in 2009
Pitcher
Born: September 12, 1940 (age 78)
Portland, Oregon
Batted: Switch Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 12, 1963, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
September 23, 1979, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Win–loss record217–191
Earned run average3.44
Strikeouts2,832
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Baseball career

Lolich was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1958.[1] After five seasons in the minor leagues, he made his major league debut with the Tigers on May 12, 1963 at age 22.[1] He blossomed in 1964 with 18 wins and 192 strikeouts in his first full major league season.[1] In 1965, he fell to 14-14 but improved to 226 strikeouts, second best in the American League behind Sam McDowell.[4]

In 1967, the Tigers hired former major league pitcher Johnny Sain as their pitching coach.[5] Sain helped develop Lolich's pitching skills and taught him psychological aspects of pitching.[2][5] The 1967 season was a memorable one for the tight four-way pennant race among the Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox.[6] On July 25, Lolich was called to active duty with the Michigan Air National Guard in response to ongoing riots in Detroit. Lolich, a staff sergeant, spent twelve days on active duty. Upon returning to the team, he received death threats, allegedly from the Black Panthers, for his role in quelling the riot. In response, the Federal Bureau of Investigation placed a team of snipers on the roof of Tiger Stadium during his following two starts.[7]

The Tigers were in contention until the final day of the 1967 season, finishing one game behind the Red Sox.[8] Lolich finished 14-13, but led the league in shutouts with six.[1][9]

In 1968, the Tigers quickly rose to first place, winning nine straight after losing the season opener to Boston.[10] Lolich was overshadowed by teammate Denny McLain's 31-win season, and was sent to the bullpen in August due to a late-season slump.[2] He made six relief appearances before returning to the starting rotation.[2] He posted a 17-9 record with 197 strikeouts, as the Tigers won the American League pennant by 12 games over the second-place Baltimore Orioles.[1][11]

After Bob Gibson had defeated McLain in Game 1 of the 1968 World Series in St. Louis, Lolich helped the Tigers recover by allowing only one run to win Game 2 by a score of 8-1.[12] He also helped his own cause by hitting the first and only home run of his 16-year career.[12] But the Tigers lost the next two games at home to fall behind the Cardinals 3-1 and were facing elimination when Lolich returned to pitch in Game 5, just four days after pitching a complete game. Despite an unsettled start, when he surrendered a two-run home run to Orlando Cepeda in a three-run first inning, Lolich remained calm and proceeded to pitch eight scoreless innings as the Tigers scored two runs in the fourth and took the lead in the seventh on Al Kaline's bases loaded two-run single.[13] They added another run for a 5-3 win, staving off elimination.[12] Back in St. Louis, the Tigers then won Game 6 behind McLain's solid pitching and a grand slam home run from Jim Northrup in a Series-record-tying ten-run third inning rally to force a crucial Game 7.[14] With just two days of rest, and having pitched two complete games in the past seven days, Lolich faced Gibson in Game 7, both having won their previous two starts.[12] They each pitched six scoreless innings, Lolich picking off baserunners Lou Brock and Curt Flood to end a Cardinal threat in the bottom of the sixth, before the Tigers broke through with three runs in the top of the seventh starting with a two-out, two-run triple to deep center by Northrup just over Flood's head for an eventual 4-1 Tiger win and a 4-3 Series triumph.[2][15] Detroit became only the third team in World Series history to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win in seven games.[12] Having completed game 7, Lolich became the 12th pitcher to win three games in a World Series, and the last with three complete games in a single Series.[2] He was the last pitcher with three wins in the same Series before Randy Johnson in 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lolich's performance earned him the World Series Most Valuable Player Award.[16]

Lolich was consistent throughout his career, winning 14 or more games for ten consecutive seasons, reaching 25 victories in 1971 (which no Tiger pitcher has since matched) while leading the major leagues with 308 strikeouts (also a Tiger record to this day). Lolich pitched a career-high and MLB-leading 376 innings in 1971, finishing as the AL Cy Young Award runner-up. He won 22 games and posted a career-best 2.50 ERA in 1972, helping the Tigers to the American League East championship that season and finishing 3rd for the AL Cy Young Award. The Tigers bowed to the eventual world champion Oakland A's, three games to two, in the American League Championship Series.[1] Lolich pitched superbly in both of his ALCS starts, but did not earn a win in either game. In Game 1, he pitched 10 innings of 1-run baseball before losing the game in the bottom of the 11th on an unearned run. He pitched nine innings in Game 4, again allowing only 1 run, but the win went to reliever John Hiller as the Tigers rallied in the 10th inning.

Mickey Lolich 1975
Lolich as a member of the Detroit Tigers in 1975.

Lolich struck out 200 or more batters in a season seven times in his career, and ranks fourth among left-handers (behind CC Sabathia, Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson) in career strikeouts with 2,832.

After suffering through the 1975 season, in which he lost 18 games for a declining Tiger team, he was traded to the New York Mets with outfielder Billy Baldwin in exchange for star outfielder Rusty Staub and pitcher Bill Laxton.[1] Despite posting a decent 3.22 ERA for the Mets in 1976, Lolich went 8-13 and retired after the season.[1] He opened a doughnut shop in suburban Detroit and sat out the 1977 season. He returned to baseball in 1978, signing with the San Diego Padres as a free agent. He pitched mostly in relief for the 1978 and 1979 Padres teams before permanently retiring, holding at that time the major league record for most career strikeouts by a southpaw. He held the AL record for strikeouts by a left-hander until being surpassed by CC Sabathia in 2018.

He was originally right-handed all the way, but a tricycle accident in early childhood forced him to throw left-handed from older childhood on. He batted right-handed and still writes with his right hand.

He ran his doughnut shop in Lake Orion, Michigan (a small suburb roughly 24 miles north of Detroit) for several years before he sold the business and retired. He is still active in charity work, and serves as a coach at the Detroit Tigers' fantasy camp in Lakeland, Florida. Because of his humble "everyman" qualities, many long-time Tiger fans celebrate him as one of the most popular sports figures in a working man's city. As The Detroit News put it, "He didn't act like a big shot superstar, he was one of us."[17]

In 2003, Lolich was one of 26 players chosen for the final ballot by the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee but garnered only 13 votes, far below the 75% required for election. A frequent claim of his is that never having won the Cy Young Award was a factor in his lack of success in Hall of Fame balloting (as of 2012).

Detroit Tigers records

Lolich leads the Tigers in several statistical categories, including the following:

  • 2,679 strikeouts
  • 39 shutouts
  • 459 games started
  • 329 home runs allowed

Lolich's other records and accomplishments

  • His 2,679 strikeouts is the second-most in AL history by a left-hander.
  • His 2,832 career strikeouts in both leagues ranked in the top 10 in major league history when he retired in 1979.
  • His 1,538 batters faced in 1971 was the most in the majors since George Uhle faced 1,548 in 1923. Only two other pitchers have faced at least 1,500 hitters since 1923, Wilbur Wood with 1,531 in 1973 and Bob Feller with 1,512 in 1946.
  • His 376 innings pitched in 1971 is the second highest in the majors since 1917. Wilbur Wood holds the modern record with 376 2/3 just a year later, 1972. Only four have pitched 350 or more innings in a season since 1929: Wilbur Wood (1972 & 1973), Lolich (1971), Bob Feller (1946) and Tiger forerunner Dizzy Trout (1944).
  • His 29 complete games in 1971 was the highest in the AL since Bob Feller's 36 in 1946.
  • In the 1965-74 decade, he struck out more (2,245) than any other major league pitcher. Bob Gibson was second with 2,117 during the same period.
  • In the same decade, he was second in major league innings pitched (2,744 2/3) to Gaylord Perry's 2,978.
  • In the same decade, he had more wins (172) than any other AL pitcher. Gaylord Perry led the majors with 182.
  • In the same decade, he threw more complete games (155) than any other AL hurler. Gaylord Perry led the majors with 205.
  • He is the only left-hander with three complete World Series games in the same Series.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Mickey Lolich statistics". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Holmes, Dan. "The Baseball Biography Project: Mickey Lolich". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  3. ^ Croatian Chronicle Network 35 Pacific Northwest Croatian Athletes
  4. ^ "1965 American League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Sargent, Jim (February 2004). Jim Northrup Recalls His Playing Days With Tigers. Baseball Digest. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  6. ^ "1967: The Impossible Dream". thisgreatgame.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Dow, Bill (July 23, 2017). "Detroit '67: As violence unfolded, Tigers played two at home vs. Yankees". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "1967 American League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "1967 American League Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  10. ^ "1968 Detroit Tigers Schedule, Box Scores and Splits". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "1968 American League Team Statistics and Standings". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  12. ^ a b c d e "1968 World Series". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  13. ^ "1968 World Series Game 5 box score". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  14. ^ "1968 World Series Game 6 box score". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
  15. ^ "1968 World Series Game 7 box score". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  16. ^ "1968 World Series". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  17. ^ detnews.com | Michigan History Archived July 9, 2012, at Archive.today

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 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. 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.

1971 Detroit Tigers season

The 1971 Detroit Tigers finished in second place in the American League East with a 91–71 record, 12 games behind the Orioles. They outscored their opponents 701 to 645. They drew 1,591,073 fans to Tiger Stadium, the second highest attendance in the American League.

1971 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1971 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the 42nd such game, was played on July 13, 1971. The all-stars from the American League and the National League faced each other at Tiger Stadium, home of the Detroit Tigers. The American League won by a score of 6–4.This was the third time that the Tigers had hosted the All-Star Game (at the previous two in 1941 and 1951, Tiger Stadium had been called Briggs Stadium). This would be the last time Tiger Stadium hosted the All-Star Game, as when it returned to Detroit in 2005, the Tigers had moved to their new home at Comerica Park.

This was the first American League win since the second All-Star Game of 1962, and would be their last until the 54th All-Star Game in 1983. Over the twenty game stretch from 1963–1982, the American League would go 1–19; the worst stretch for either league in the history of the exhibition.

1971 in Michigan

Events from the year 1971 in Michigan.

The Associated Press (AP) selected the top 10 news stories in Michigan as follows:

Court-ordered busing in the Pontiac public schools (AP-1);

An order by federal judge Stephen Roth finding that the Detroit public schools were segregated by law, triggering concerns that he might order cross-district busing as a remedy (AP-2);

The Michigan Legislature's reducing the age of adulthood to 18 (AP-3);

A Supreme Court decision banning public aid to parochial schools (AP-4);

The Michigan Legislature's adoption of a 50% increase in the state income tax (AP-5);

Gov. William Milliken's plan to change the source of education funding by cutting local property taxes and raising the state income tax (AP-6);

The Michigan Legislature's reduction of penalties for drug possession (AP-7);

The debate concerning the state's budget which totaled more than $2 billion (AP-8);

An explosion on December 11 in a water tunnel being built under Lake Huron near Port Huron resulted when methane gas built up and caused the deaths of 21 workers (AP-9); and

A court challenge to the constitutionality of the property tax as a mechanism for funding education (AP-10).The AP also selected the state's top 10 sports stories as follows:

The death of Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes after collapsing on the field with a heart attack during a game;

The retirement of Gordie Howe after 25 years with the Detroit Red Wings;

The Lions' release of Alex Karras despite having two years remaining on his contract;

Mickey Lolich winning 25 games and finishing second in voting for the Cy Young Award;

The 1971 Michigan Wolverines football team compiling a perfect 11-0 record during the regular season;

The 1970–71 Detroit Red Wings finishing in last place and the resignation of Ned Harkness as general manager;

Michigan State University athletic director Biggie Munn suffering a heart attack the week before the Michigan–Michigan State football rivalry game;

The resignation of Butch Van Breda Kolff as head coach of the Detroit Pistons and the hiring of Earl Lloyd as the first African-American coach in Detroit professional sports history;

The 1971 Major League Baseball All-Star Game held at Tiger Stadium in Detroit and home runs in that game by Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, and Frank Robinson; and

Eric Allen who set an NCAA single-game rushing record as halfback for the 1971 Michigan State Spartans football team.

1972 Detroit Tigers season

The 1972 Detroit Tigers won the American League East division championship with a record of 86–70 (.551), finishing one-half game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. They played one more game than the Red Sox due to a scheduling quirk caused by the 1972 Major League Baseball strike—a game which turned out to allow them to win the division. They lost the 1972 American League Championship Series to the Oakland A's three games to two.

1974 Detroit Tigers season

The 1974 Detroit Tigers compiled a record of 72–90. They finished in last place in the American League East, 19 games behind the Baltimore Orioles. They were outscored by their opponents 768 to 620.

1976 New York Mets season

The 1976 New York Mets season was the 15th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Joe Frazier, the team had an 86–76 record and finished in third place in the National League East.

1978 San Diego Padres season

The 1978 San Diego Padres season was the tenth in franchise history. The team finished in fourth place in the National League West with a record of 84-78, 11 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. This was the Padres' first winning season in franchise history.

Bernie DeViveiros

Bernard John DeViveiros (April 19, 1901 – July 5, 1994) was a Major League Baseball shortstop who played for the Chicago White Sox in 1924 and the Detroit Tigers in 1927. During his career, he took on various roles as a scout and coach, creating farm teams up and down the West Coast of the United States which started to feed players into the Major Leagues. He was a featured coach and talent every year at the Detroit Tiger Spring Training in Lakeland Florida. His most famous contribution was discovering and signing Mickey Lolich, who became a legend when he led the Detroit Tigers to a World Series win in 1968.

In 1951, DeViveiros wrote a section on Base Running in The Sporting News publication: How to Play Baseball. Besides DeViveiros, the Book had the following authors on topics: "Pitching by Larry Jansen; Catching by Ray Schalk; Batting by Rogers Hornsby; First Base by George Sisler; Second Base by Rogers Hornsby; Shortstop by Honus Wagner; Third Base by George Kell; Outfield by Joe DiMaggio; and How to Umpire by George Barr."

Billy Baldwin (baseball)

Robert Harvey Baldwin (June 9, 1951 – June 28, 2011) was a Major League Baseball outfielder with the 1975 Detroit Tigers and the 1976 New York Mets. Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 175 lb., he batted and threw left-handed.

Baldwin was born in Tazewell, Virginia, and attended Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on a scholarships for baseball, football and soccer. He signed with the Detroit Tigers as an undrafted free agent in 1972, and received his first call to the majors in 1975 when a thumb injury ended Tigers outfielder Mickey Stanley's season. He batted .221 with four home runs and eight runs batted in filling in at right field and center field.

Following the season, he was part of a blockbuster deal in which he and pitcher Mickey Lolich were traded to the New York Mets for Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton. He spent the 1976 season with the Mets triple-A affiliate, the Tidewater Tides, and joined the Mets when rosters expanded that September. He batted .292 over nine games with the big league club.

Though he remained in the minors with the Mets through 1978, he would never see Major League action again. In a two-season career, Baldwin batted .231 (27-for-117) and five home runs, driving in 13 runs while scoring 12 times in 39 games. He also collected four doubles, one triple, and two stolen bases.

Baldwin died in Hudson, Ohio, in 2011.

Dennis Saunders

Dennis James Saunders (born January 4, 1949) is a retired American professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher who worked in eight Major League games for the 1970 Detroit Tigers, strictly in relief. He stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 195 pounds (88 kg) as an active player.

Saunders allowed 16 hits, five bases on balls and one home run — with eight strikeouts — in 14 innings pitched for Detroit. In his finest performance, his second Major League game on May 24, he relieved starter Mickey Lolich in the third inning and hurled 5⅔ innings of scoreless ball, allowing only three hits, against the Washington Senators. He earned his only Major League save (on May 29) and victory (on June 10) against the Milwaukee Brewers.His professional career concluded after the 1972 season, his sixth year in minor league baseball, where he appeared in 142 games, 63 as a starting pitcher.

Detroit Tigers award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team.

Dick Drago

Richard Anthony "Dick" Drago (born June 25, 1945) is a former American League relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Kansas City Royals (1969-1973), Boston Red Sox (1974-1975, 1978-1980), California Angels (1976-1977), Baltimore Orioles (1977) and Seattle Mariners (1981). He batted and threw right-handed.

In a 13-season career, Drago posted a 108-117 record with a 3.75 ERA and 58 saves in 519 appearances (189 as a starter).

Drago played high school ball for Woodward High School in Toledo, Ohio, graduating in 1963. He was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers in the 1964 amateur draft, but was selected by the Kansas City Royals during the 1968 expansion draft. He started his Major League career with the Royals in 1969, becoming the ace of their pitching staff in 1971, after going 17-11 with a 2.98 ERA, and ending fifth in the AL Cy Young Award vote behind Vida Blue, Mickey Lolich, Wilbur Wood and Dave McNally. Finishing with a 3.01 ERA in 1972, Drago went 12-17, but declined with 12-14 and 4.23 in 1973. Drago's success was somewhat remarkable, given the fact that he consistently posted relatively low strikeout numbers. As a Royal, Drago was especially prolific in terms of finishing games, and with 53 complete games, he ranks fifth in Kansas City history.

Drago also pitched for the Angels and Orioles in part of two seasons, and returned to Boston for three solid years, saving 13 games with a 10-6 record in 1979. He ended his major league career with Seattle in 1981.

On July 20, 1976, Drago gave up the last of Hank Aaron's then-major league record 755 career home runs.

List of Detroit Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers

The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Detroit, Michigan. They play in the American League Central division. The first game of the new baseball season is played on Opening Day, and being named the starter that day is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. Since joining the league in 1901, the Tigers have used 55 different Opening Day starting pitchers. The Tigers have a record of 56 wins and 59 losses in their Opening Day games. They also played one tie game, in 1927.The Tigers have played in three different home ball parks, Bennett Park from 1901 through 1911, Tiger Stadium (also known as Navin Field and Briggs Stadium) from 1912 to 1999 and Comerica Park since 2000. They had a record of 5 wins and 2 losses in Opening Day games at Bennett Park, 19 wins and 22 losses at Tiger Stadium and 3 wins and 4 losses at Comerica Park, for a total home record in Opening Day games of 26 wins and 28 losses. Their record in Opening Day away games is 27 wins, 31 losses and one tie.Jack Morris has the most Opening Day starts for the Tigers, with 11 consecutive starts from 1980 to 1990. Morris had a record of seven wins and four losses in his Opening Day starts. George Mullin had ten Opening Day starts for the Tigers between 1903 and 1913. The Tigers won five of those games and lost the other five. Mickey Lolich had seven Opening Day starts between 1965 and 1974. He had a record of five wins and two losses in those starts. Justin Verlander has also made seven Opening Day starts for the Tigers, between 2008 and 2014. His record in those starts is one win and one loss with five no-decisions. Other Tiger pitchers with at least three Opening Day starts include Hal Newhouser with six, Earl Whitehill and Jim Bunning with four; and Tommy Bridges, Frank Lary and Mike Moore with three.The first game the Tigers played as a Major League team was on April 25, 1901, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Roscoe Miller was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher for that game, which the Tigers won 14–13. The Tigers have played in the World Series eleven times, in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1934, 1935, 1940, 1945, 1968, 1984, 2006, and 2012, with wins in four of those: 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984. The Tigers Opening Day starting pitchers in those seasons were Mullin (1907 and 1909), Ed Siever (1908), Firpo Marberry (1934), Rowe (1935), Newsom (1940), Newhouser (1945), Earl Wilson (1968), Morris (1984), Kenny Rogers (2006), and Justin Verlander (2012). The Tigers won five of those Opening Day games and lost the other five.Josh Billings was the Tigers Opening Day starting pitcher in 1928, despite being only 20 years old and having only won five Major League games prior to the season. Bunning, who made four Opening Day starts for the Tigers was later elected to the United States Senate. McLain, who made two Opening Day starts for the Tigers, was later convicted of embezzlement. Bunning and Newhouser have each been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

List of Detroit Tigers team records

This is a list of Detroit Tigers single-season, career, and other team records.

Ron Lolich

Ronald John Lolich (born September 19, 1946) is an American former professional baseball right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago White Sox in 1971 and the Cleveland Indians from 1972 to 1973. The cousin of Major League pitcher Mickey Lolich, Ron had a nine-year professional career. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Lolich was an accomplished minor league hitter — batting .281 in 745 games (his best season, 1972, coming with his hometown Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League) — but he collected only 48 Major League hits in 87 games played.

Steve Hargan

Steven Lowell Hargan (born September 8, 1942), is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1965–1972 and 1974–1977.

The son of Lowell and Florence Hargan, he grew up in Fort Wayne and excelled in basketball and football at South Side High School, from which he graduated in 1961. However, the school did not have an organized baseball team; he played on Pony League, Junior Federation and Connie Mack League teams and by the spring of 1961 he was being scouted by five Major League teams. He signed with the Cleveland Indians, who offered him a contract after he pitched with other prospects in a tryout at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the home of the Indians.On August 2, 1965, Hargan made his first major-league start, at home against the Detroit Tigers. He said his debut “was quite exciting. I remember I started against Mickey Lolich and he was already an established pitcher. I was trying too hard and throwing as hard as I could.” He cruised through the first three innings and led 4–0, but then he gave up two runs in the fourth inning, and was lifted after giving up three runs in the fifth without retiring a batter. He got a no-decision as the Indians lost 12–7. In front of friends and family, he got his first major-league win, against the California Angels on August 25 at Dodger Stadium, in the Angels' last season there.In 1967, he pitched shutouts in his first two starts in April. By midseason his 9–7 record with a 2.68 ERA and 10 complete games in 17 starts earned him a berth on his first and only Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He pulled a hamstring in his last start before the All-Star Game and did not pitch in the game. That year he led the American League in shutouts with six.Injuries hampered him throughout his career, including arm problems, an ankle fracture and later carpal tunnel syndrome. He pitched for the Indians from 1965 through 1972, the Texas Rangers from 1974–77, and the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves in 1977.

Tommie Reynolds

Tommie D. Reynolds (born August 15, 1941) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. He was signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent in 1963, and played for them from 1963 to 1965. He also played for the New York Mets (1967), Oakland Athletics (1969), California Angels (1970–1971), and Milwaukee Brewers (1972).

An average defensive outfielder, Reynolds started in almost half of his team's games in both 1965 and 1969, usually in left field. He was also used quite often as a pinch hitter throughout his career. His busiest and best season was 1969, when he played in 107 games and made 363 plate appearances for Oakland. He batted .257 with 2 home runs, 20 RBI, and 51 runs scored.

Career highlights include:

a pair of 4-hit games...three singles and a double vs. the Cleveland Indians (September 2, 1965), and three singles and a double vs. the Detroit Tigers (August 26, 1969)

eight 3-hit games, with four of them coming in 1970

one 4-RBI game, including a three-run homer against All-Star Mickey Lolich of the Detroit Tigers (April 30, 1964)

a pinch hit home run against All-Star Luis Tiant of the Cleveland Indians (May 30, 1969)

hit a combined .424 (36-for-85) against All-Stars Hank Aguirre, Mickey Lolich, Sam McDowell, and Juan PizarroHis career totals include 513 games played, 265 hits, 12 home runs, 87 RBI, 141 runs scored, and a lifetime batting average of .226.

After his playing career was over, Reynolds served as a coach for the Oakland Athletics (1989–1995) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1996).

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