While there’s still plenty of snow and winter weather in the Mitten, the 4-peat ALDS champion Detroit Tigers are warming up in sunny Florida. As they look towards their April 6th debut at Comerica Park, we are going to take a look back at the inaugural season of Tigers baseball.
As a founding member of the American League, the Tigers enjoyed early success, finishing their 135-game inaugural season with a record of 74-61. They began their season with a bang, rallying from a 9-run defect in the bottom of the 9th inning to steal a 14-13 victory in front of a standing room only crowd of over 10,000. The Tigers played their home games at Bennett Park, with Sunday games taking place at Burns Park.
The Tigers were managed by George Stallings in their first year, just three years after his final appearance in Major League Baseball. Stallings complied a career managerial record of 879-898 over nearly 20 years, despite only playing in 7 Major League games as a player. Stallings went on to find success with the Boston Braves, winning the 1914 World Series. Stallings is also credited with creating the Tigers name, stemming from his alma mater, the Princeton Tigers. There is some debate, however, that the Tigers were named after a military unit stationed in Detroit.
Detroit’s lineup featured only one .300 batter, Kid Elberfeld, but averaged .280 as a team, driving in 741 runs on the season. Roscoe Miller and Ed Siever led the Tigers bullpen, combining for 41 wins and a 3.095 ERA.
We’ll dive deeper into other notable Detroit Tigers seasons in later weeks. Meanwhile, we are just 48 short days until baseball returns to the Motor City.