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Top 10 Detroit Tigers teams of all time
Detroit Tigers players carry manager Jim Leyland off the field on their shoulders after they beat the New York Yankees 8-3 in the American League Division Series on Oct. 7, 2006 at Comerica Park in Detroit. (Credit: Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

Top 10 Detroit Tigers teams of all time

DETROIT (BVM) — The Detroit Tigers have a winning history dating back to 1901. These are their top 10 teams of all time. 

10. 1987 (98-64)

The ’87 Tigers were only three years removed from a world title. They still had many of the key players from that championship run, including 1984 World Series MVP Alan Trammell, who had a career year at the plate. The Silver Slugger hit .343, with 28 HRs and 105 RBI. In mid-August, they landed veteran hurler Doyle Alexander, which would be a game changer. After the trade, Alexander went 9-0  with a 1.53 ERA for Detroit. That includes three complete-game shutouts.

9. 1907 (92-58-3)

Tigers’ terror Ty Cobb batted .350 with 119 RBI to lead the pack. Detroit led the major leagues in hitting, slugging percentage and runs, to name a few. This club’s winning percentage ranks among the top 10 in team history. They advanced as far as the World Series.

8. 2006 (95-67)

Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and his Gold Glove guided this group to an AL pennant. Rookie of the Year Justin Verlander and the Tigers pitchers topped all of baseball with a 3.84 team ERA. Manager Jim Leyland’s Motor City Kitties clawed their way to a World Series spot.

7. 1961 (101-61-1)

This team is one of five in franchise history to win 100 games. It was stacked with talent. First baseman Norm Cash won the AL batting crown with a .361 average. Cash added 41 homers and 132 RBIs. Hall of Famer Al Kaline logged a .324 batting average along with 82 RBI. Left fielder Rocky Colavito crushed 45 HRs and knocked in 140 runs. The team’s pitching staff posted solid numbers as well. The Tigers placed second in the AL to 1961 World Series champion New York.

6. 1909 (98-54)

AL batting champ Cobb tallied a .377 average plus ranked first in hits, home runs and RBIs, among others. Sam Crawford cracked 35 doubles, most in the American League. Tiger pitchers had a collective 2.26 ERA and threw 117 complete games. This squad secured a third successive AL pennant. They pushed Pittsburgh star Honus Wagner and the Pirates to a deciding seventh World Series game.

5. 1934 (101-53)

All-time great infielder Charlie Gehringer recorded a .356 BA to lead the roster. “Hammerin'” Hank Greenberg paced the field with 26 HRs and 139 runs batted in. Detroit was No. 1 in hits, runs and RBI. The pitching staff registered 640 Ks, top three in the big leagues.

4. 1945 (88-65-2)

Lefty ace Hal Newhouser totaled 25 wins with a 1.81 ERA to repeat as AL MVP. Detroit’s balanced offense was boosted by Greenberg who returned after serving four years in the military. They proved to be far better than their record, with a World Series victory over the 98-win Cubs.

3. 1935 (93-58-1)

Team catcher slash manager Mickey Cochrane took them to the promised land. They featured four Hall of Famers at the plate: Cochrane, Greenberg, Gehringer and Goose Goslin. As for pitching, 21-game winner Tommy Bridges bested the Bengals. They exacted revenge on the Cubs en route to the team’s first-ever World Series title.


2. 1984 (104-58)

Skipper Sparky Anderson steered his team to a scorching 35-5 start. The Tigers’ bats did the talking as they racked up 788 RBI, best in both leagues. No. 1 pitcher Jack Morris set the pace and All-Star closer Willie Hernandez captured the AL MVP award. Simply put, this team was loaded. It went on to claim a world championship, making quick work of San Diego.

1. 1968 (103-59-2)

With a star-studded list of players, they became something special. Left fielder Willie Horton launched 36 HRs. Other stars included: Jim Northrup, Bill Freehan, Norm Cash, and Al Kaline. Righty Denny McLain won 31 games with a 1.96 ERA. In the Fall Classic, Mickey Lolich was masterful on the mound. He threw three complete games. Detroit beat St. Louis to take the third World Series crown in team history.