Tuesday, October 25, 2016

World Series: Did You Know?

The Tigers and Cubs are the only teams to have a win, a loss and even a tie in the opening tilt of the Fall Classic.

It was Chicago that actually got to the loss column first. Facing their rivals from across town, the Chicago White Sox, the Cubbies dropped the opener of the 1906 World Series (Eventually won by the Sox in six games.) 2-1. The next year, it was the Cubs back to face the Detroit Tigers.

The Tigers looked to have game one won on the road, which would have been a big plus. But a two-run uprising by the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth, aided by a dropped third strike on what should have been the final out, extended things. The home team seemed to be poised to win, getting runners on second and third in the 10th, loading the bases in the 11th. They failed to break the 3-3 deadlock. After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 12th, the game was declared a tie.

It mattered little to Chicago, who swept 'em aside in the next four games. The teams then met again in 1908, and it was the Cubs who again won it all. It took five games, with the visiting Chicago team winning the opener 10-6 in Detroit, and not really looking back.

Detroit dropped the opening game of the following year's Fall Classic to Pittsburgh, eventually losing in seven games. That was it for the Ty Cobb version of the Tigers. They'd have to wait until 1934 to get back. Chicago made it back in 1910, 1918, 1929 and 1932 in the meantime.

Detroit finally made it back to the World Series in 1934. They dropped the opener to St. Louis, 8-3. It went seven and the Tigers were embarrassed 11-0 at home in the last game. The next year, Detroit was at it again! They won it all this time!

And who did Detroit finally do it against? Why Chicago, of course.

But it was National Leaguers, not Detroit, that took game one on the road, 3-0. This did not set the tone, the Tigers rallied to win in six games, avenging their losses to the Cubs in '07 and '08. Both teams would then wait exactly ten years before getting back into the battle in 1945. Here, Chicago won 9-0. It was Detroit that ultimately prevailed in seven games, winning 9-3 to clinch it.

Detroit again lost the first game of the World Series to St. Louis in 1968, as Bob Gibson fanned 17 Tiger batters. But behind 3-1, they rallied to win the last three games, getting even from 1934. Detroit finally won game one of the Fall Classic in 1984 vs. San Diego on the road. But was it ever close, a 3-2 final. While the home team won game two, the Tigers went home and didn't come back west, winning all three games at Tiger Stadium.


Neft, David S., Richard M. Cohen, and Michael L. Neft. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, 1992. 12th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992. Print.

Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series: Complete Play-by-play of Every Game, 1903-1989. 4th ed. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. Print.

Sports Reference LLC. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. http://www.baseball-reference.com/. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.

Retrosheet. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.  <www.retrosheet.org>

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