Founded in 1894, the Detroit Tigers were one of the eight charter franchises of Major League Baseball's American League. Since then, the team has won four World Series championships and won the American League pennant ten times. The first major league Tigers game took place at Bennet Park on April 25, 1901. Ten thousand fans watched as the team rallied in the ninth inning to beat the Milwaukee Brewers with a score of 14-13. The Tigers finished the season in third place out of the eight American League teams.
The legacy of the Tigers was solidified in 1905, when the team acquired a fearless player named Ty Cobb. Cobb would eventually be regarded as one of the greatest ballplayers of all time, with career highlights including having the most career steals of home plate, batting over .400 three times and batting under .320 only one time in his career.
In 1912, the Tigers gained their first real home, Navin Field. The elegant stadium was built on the Bennet Park site and later was further improved and renamed Briggs Stadium in 1938. The park was once again renamed in 1961 as Tiger Stadium. Comerica Park replaced the stadium in 2000 and remains the home of the Tigers today.
The 1921 Tigers season was legendary. The team made over 1,700 hits with a batting average of .316, the highest ever in American League history. Unfortunately, the team placed sixth in the league due to poor pitching, which allowed nine or more runs nearly 30 times throughout the season.
The World Series belonged to the Tigers again in 1945, when star players like Greenberg and others returned from military duty at the end of World War II and once again picked up their bats. Victory came again in 1968, when the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals to capture their third World Series championship. The team took their last championship in 1984.
The winning tradition of the Tigers saw its downfall in 2003, when the team lost more games than any other team in American League history, finishing with a 43-119 record and only narrowly missing the record for being the worst team in major league history. Since 2004, the franchise has focused on rebuilding itself. Its efforts paid off in 2010, when pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a near-perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. Replays later revealed that Galarraga did indeed pitch a perfect game, but a bad call from the first base umpire took away that title.