The expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays get a rough welcome into MLB. The Detroit Tigers rip Wilson Alvarez for six runs and nine hits in 2.1 innings in an 11-6 win in the first-ever MLB game at Tropicana Field. Wade Boggs, just 200 hits shy of 3,000, hits the first home run in Tampa Bay history.
On the advice of Detroit Tigers’ legend, Ty Cobb, budding New York Yankees all-time great Joe DiMaggio reduces the weight of his bat from 40 ounces to 36 ounces. Joe D. will hit 46 HRs in ’37 along with a .346 average.
2002 The Detroit Tigers sign Dmitri Young, who hit .302 with 21 home runs for Cincinnati in ’01, to a four-year contract, after they traded for him in December. In 2003, his 167 hits will outpace his closest teammate by 53!
1972 The owner of the Detroit Tigers, John Fetzer, announces the team has signed a lease to build a $126M domed stadium along the river in downtown Detroit. It will seat 52,000 for baseball, and 60,000 for football. Lawsuits, a failed bond issue, and the Silverdome in nearby Pontiac eventually kill the idea. The Tigers will not have a new stadium until…
1971 Detroit Tigers relief pitcher John Hiller suffers a heart attack at age 27. He will miss the 1971 season before making a remarkable comeback. In the 1973 and 1974 seasons he will go 27-19…ALL in relief.
After finding no other clubs interested in signing him, free-agent pitcher and 20-game winner Jack Morris agrees to salary arbitration with the Tigers. Morris accuses MLB owners of collusion against free agents. Morris had offered to sign a 1-year contract, with salary to be determined by an arbitrator, with the Yankees, Angels, Twins, or Phillies, but was turned down by…
The Reds fire manager Sparky Anderson after nine years, during which the club averaged 96 wins per season and won five divisional titles, four National League pennants, and two World Championships. He will lead the Detroit Tigers to the World Series Championship in 1984.
Ty Cobb resigns as Tigers manager and announces his retirement from the game. Umpire and former Tigers infielder George Moriarty replaces him. Moriarty is the first man to hold baseball’s four principal jobs: player, umpire, scout, and manager.