OK…let’s get one of the big franchises out of the way. The Tigers are another team that joined MLB in 1901 (although they were founded in 1894). In 111 years, the Tigers have had only 12 first-place finishes. Three of them came in 1907 to 1909 but they lost the World Series each year. They made 7 more World Series and won it in 1984, 1968, 1945, and 1935.
Here are the top 15 Tigers batters by WAR:
So, let’s talk about Ty Cobb. He’s one of the very best baseball players in history–an inner-circle Hall of Famer no matter how you look at it. But do you put him on the team’s Mount Rushmore? He was pretty clearly a massive jerk and may not be the kind of character who deserves to be on a monument like this…
Then there are Al Kaline and Charlie Gehringer–two guys who would have made it for any team we’ve already look at in this series, but do they make it here?
There are also a lot of Tigers from more recent years who may deserve some consideration. Kirk Gibson, Magglio Ordonez, and Miguel Cabrera all come to mind.
Let’s look at pitchers:
Interesting that there’s no runaway leader. It’s also kind of amazing that Denny McLain doesn’t make the top 15.
There are a few other guys who deserve mention for post-season heroics: Jim Northrup, Tommy Bridges, and Kenny Rogers. (Oh wait, Tommy Bridges is already up there…but there you go.)
Wow…so many players to choose from. Let’s give it a try…please vote for 4: