This Week in History: Tigers clinch ’35 pennant, Kaline gets 3,000th hit


On September 24, 1974, Al Kaline collected his 3,000th career hit in Baltimore.

September 19

On September 19, 1968, Denny McLain defeats the Yankees 6-2 at Tiger Stadium, going the distance for his 31st win of the season. McLain’s 31 wins are the most ever by a Detroit pitcher in a single season.

On September 19, 1937, Tiger slugger Hank Greenberg blasts the first home run ever hit into the center field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. The blast clears the center field wall, which is 457 feet from home plate. Detroit defeats the Yankees in the afternoon contest, 8-1.

September 20

On September 20, 1983, every player in the Detroit lineup gets a hit in the first inning as the Tigers score 11 times in the first inning against the Orioles at Tiger Stadium. Twelve straight Tigers reach base and the team produces ten consecutive hits, including two triples. Lou Whitaker punctuates the scoring by hitting a three-run homer in his second at-bat of the inning, off Jim Palmer pitching in relief. Both Alan Trammell and Enos Cabell have two hits in the inning. Detroit wins in a rain shortened game, 14-1.

September 21

On September 21, 2008, demolition of Tiger Stadium is completed after 11 weeks of work tearing down the historic ballpark. The first game had been played on April 20, 1912, and the final big league game was played on September 27, 1999. The demolition leaves an open field at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull in downtown Detroit, with only the flag pole remaining.

On September 21, 1968, Joe Sparma beats the Washington Senators, 4-3 for the Tigers 11th straight victory. It’s the longest winning streak for Detroit on their way to the World Series championship.

On September 21, 1966, batting against Dean Chance of the Angels in the 7th inning, Tiger slugger Willie Horton does something incredible – he breaks his bat on a checked swing. The powerful Horton replaces the bat and flies out to center field. The next time up, Horton hits a towering two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Chance and the Angels 2-1.

On September 21, 1940, the Tigers win for the 15th time in 19 games, defeating the Indians on a five-hitter by Schoolboy Rowe, who improves his mark to 16-3. The victory lifts Detroit two games ahead of Cleveland with six games to play.

On September 21, 1935, the Tigers clinch the AL pennant when they sweep a doubleheader from the Browns at Navin Field. Tommy Bridges wins the first game and Elden Auker tosses a gem in the finale. It’s the Tigers second straight pennant.

September 22

On September 22, 1992, former Tigers reliever Aurelio Lopez dies in a car accident near his home in Mexico at the age of 44. Lopez was an important part of Detroit’s 1984 World Series championship team. In seven years with the Tigers, “Senor Smoke” won 53 games and saved 85 more.

On September 22, 1952, the Tigers lose their 100th game of the season, 6-3 to the Indians in Cleveland. Early Wynn tames the Tigers to hand them the defeat. It’s the first 100-loss season for Detroit, making them the last team in the American League to have a 100-loss season, since the loop started in 1901.

On September 22, 1946, Hal Newhouser beats the Indians, 3-0 on a two-hitter to win his 26th game of the season. “Prince Hal” will lead the American League in wins and ERA for the third straight season, winning an incredible 80 games from 1944-1946.

September 23

On September 23, 2000, while walking on a sidewalk in downtown Detroit, former Tigers third baseman Aurelio Rodriguez is killed when a car jumps the curb and runs him over. Rodriguez, who played for Detroit from 1971-1979, is 52 at the time of the accident.

On September 23, 1984, Sparky Anderson becomes the first manager to lead teams in each league to 100 wins. The Tigers defeat the Yankees 4-1 to reach the century mark for the season. Previously with the Reds, Sparky had won 100 games in 1970, 1975, and 1976.

On September 23, 1984, Willie Hernandez converts his 32nd consecutive save opportunity for the Tigers. He’s a perfect 32-for-32 on the season for saves. The save comes in Detroit’s 100th victory of the year. Four days later he’ll blow his only save of the year. Hernandez wins both the Cy Young and MVP awards in 1984.

September 24

On September 24, 1974, Al Kaline lines a fastball from Dave McNally down the right field line for a double. The hit is the 3,000th of his career, making him the 12th player to reach that milestone. Kaline collects the hit in his hometown of Baltimore at Memorial Stadium against the Orioles.

On September 24, 1933, on the final day of the season, Tommy Bridges loses a no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning at Navin Field when Art Scharein of the Senators singles. For Bridges, who never fored a no-hitter, it’s the third time in 1933 that he lost a no-hit effort in the ninth inning.

September 25

On September 25, 1996, the Tigers lose to the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-1 at Tiger Stadium. The loss is the 105th of the year for Detroit, setting a new franchise record for futility. The previous mark of 104 losses had occurred in 1952. The Tigers will lose 109 games in 1996.

On September 25, 1955, after going o-for-1 in the Tigers final game of the season, Al Kaline wins the batting title, becoming the youngest player, at age 20, to win the crown. Kaline finishes the year with a .340 mark.

On September 25, 1952, southpaw Hal Newhouser wins his 200th game as a Tiger. “Prince Hal” goes the distance to beat the Browns, 3-2 at Briggs Stadium to even his season record at 9-9. It’s the final win of his career as a member of the Tigers, and Newhouser joins Hooks Dauss and George Mullin as the only other pitchers to win 200 for the franchise.

On September 25, 1940, the Tigers win both ends of a doubleheader against the White Sox at Briggs Stadium. In game one they win in the tenth inning on a walkoff double by Rudy York. In the game two York delivers the go-ahead sac fly in the eighth inning to support Bobo Newsom, who pitches a complete game after also winning game one in relief. The wins give the Tigers a two-game lead with three to play.

On September 25, 1926, the Victoria Cougars of the Western Canadien Hockey League move to Detroit, giving the city its’ first NHL team. The Cougars will later become the Falcons and finally the Red Wings.

On September 25, 1908, rookie Tiger pitcher Ed Summers pitches both games of a doubleheader in Philadelphia against the A’s winning both. The Tigers win the first game, 7-2, and Summers hurls a 10-inning 1-0 shutout in the second game. The victories are important for Detroit, as they battle both the White Sox and Indians for the pennant.