December 2011

Authentic Thursday

1935 World Series Program and Ticket

 In 1935, the Tigers earned a spot in the World Series for the fifth time in their history. On this day, the Tigers were facing the Chicago Cubs for the third time in the series.  The Cubs had twice before crushed their hopes.  In game one, the Cubs shut out the Tigers 3-0 at home and they feared another disappointment at the hands of the Cubs.  But the Tigers tied the series in Game 2 with an 8-3 win.  The Tigers won Games 3 and 4, but the Cubs came back in Game 5 to stay alive.  The Tigers won Game 6 with a score of 4-3 to become the World Champions for the first time!

Santa PAWS!

PAWS spent the afternoon with Dick Purtan and the store manager from Macys at 12 Oaks Mall in Novi riniging the bell for the Salvation Army!

Authentic Thursday

Marv Owen 1934 road uniform

Marv Owen played nine seasons in Major League Baseball , six of those seasons with the Detroit Tigers (1931, 1933-37).  During the mid-1930s, as third baseman Owen was part of one of the best hitting infield combinations in Tigers’ history.  With Hank Greenberg at first, Charlie Gehringer at second, Billy Rogell at shortstop and Owens at third, the 1934 Tigers infield collected 769 hits.  Owen batted .317 and drove in 96 runs.  Owen was also a good fielder.  In 1934, he led American League third basemen in putouts with 202, and he also was involved with a career high of 33 double plays that season.

Led by the hard-hitting infield, the Tigers won the American League pennant in 1934.  Owen wore this uniform while playing in the 1934 World Series games 3, 4, and 5 held at the St. Louis Cardinal’s Sportsman’s Park.  In game 7 of the Series played at Navin Field, Owen was involved with a celebrated scrap at third base.  In the top of the 6th inning with the Tigers already losing 7-0, Ducky Medwick of the Cardinals hit a triple with a man on base, which scored another run.  A few minutes later Medwick scored a ninth run on a single by Ripper Collins.  On his triple, Medwick had slid hard into Owen at third base.  Fans were already frustrated with the losing score and felt the aggressive slide was unnecessary.  The fans pelted Medwick with fruit, vegetables, bottles and anything else they could get their hands on.  Baseball Commissioner Judge Landis ordered Medwick removed from the game to preserve the peace and protect Medwick.

Authentic Thursday

 Elden Auker glove

Elden Auker aspired to be a medical doctor, but during the Depression he had no funds to attend medical school and needed to find a way to make a living.  He had been a star athlete at Kansas State University where he earned nine varsity letters, three each in baseball, football and basketball.  He was offered a professional football contract with the Chicago Bears but turned it down to pitch for the Detroit Tigers.  A right-handed pitcher, Auker was nicknamed “submarine” due to his underhanded pitching style, a technique he perfected while in the Tigers minor league system to compensate for a shoulder injury he sustained while playing college football.

Auker played ten seasons in the Majors, six of them with the Tigers (1933-1938).  While with Detroit, he pitched in two consecutive World Series, 1934 and 1935.  Auker was the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the 1934 series, but was the losing pitcher in Game 7 when the St. Louis Cardinals emerged World Champions.  The next season Auker led the America League with a winning percentage of .720 and an 18-7 record.  In the 1935 Series against the Chicago Cubs, Auker started in Game 3, which Detroit eventually won in extra innings.  Auker was slated to pitch again in Game 7, but the Tigers only needed six games to win their first World Championship 4 -2.

In spite of living out-of-state, after his baseball career ended, Auker maintained his ties with the Tigers.  He was at the last game played at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 1999 where he spoke during the final ceremony.  He told the crowd, “Never forget us, for we live by those that carry on the Tiger tradition and who so proudly wear the olde English D.”

In 2006, Auker died at age 95.


The Tigers spread holiday cheer

The holidays are a special time for the Detroit Tigers family, and they enjoy sharing their holiday cheer with others.  Each year, the Tigers and Delaware North Company – SportService treat a group of underprivileged children to a holiday feast at the Tiger Club and special evening of gifts and surprises.

This year the Detroit Tigers hosted nearly 50 children and teens from Catholic Social Services of Wayne County and Matrix Human Services from the Angel Tree program.  Catholic Social Services of Wayne County was established to address the needs of children and families in the metropolitan Detroit.  The Matrix Human Services Angel Tree program matches underprivileged families with supporters from the community to provide a memorable holiday.

After dinner at the exclusive Tiger Club, the families were surprised with a special trip to Fairlane Town Center, where each child received a loaded gift card to be spent during a shopping spree!  Families were paired with a member of the Detroit Tigers front office staff and a few lucky families had the opportunity to shop with Tigers infielder Don Kelly and his wife Carrie, Tigers bullpen coach, Jeff Jones and his wife, Paula and Fox Sports Detroit broadcaster Rod Allen and his wife Adrian.  Tigers mascot, PAWS joined one lucky family as they shoped through Fairlane Town Center.

Authentic Thursday

1934 walking stick with pennant

During the Great Depression, baseball fans would dress up in their Sunday best and make their way to the ballpark to let the thrill of competition become a diversion from the troubling times.  Men wore suits and Derbies and often carried walking sticks.  This special walking stick has a 1934 American League Champions pennant cleverly rolled up inside.  The owner must have been quite proud to wave his pennant, bearing the names of White, Cochrane, Gehringer, Greenberg, Owens, Goslin, Rogell, Fox and Rowe during the 1934 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 1934 season was sparked by the hiring of player/manager Mickey Cochrane, who with his fiery nature and keen leadership abilities was able to instill a winning spirit among the players.  The Tigers finished the regular season with a 101-53 record (.656) and captured the American League pennant for the first time in twenty-five years, quite a feat since they were expected to finish fourth or fifth.  More than 919,000 fans packed Navin Field that season giving the Tigers the best attendance record in the Majors.

The World Series was a hard fought battle that ended in an embarrassing finish with an 11-0 loss at home to the St. Louis Cardinals in game seven.  Tigers Owner Frank Navin was beside himself, four trips to the World Series and still no World Championship!

Tigers Trivia

Tigers Trivia: Who is the Tigers all-time leader in RBIs?

A. Al Kaline

B. Ty Cobb

C. Cecil Fielder

D. Alan Trammell

The answer to today’s trivia question is Ty Cobb. Cobb’s 1,805 RBIs in a Tiger uniform are the most in team history.