On Oct. 6, 2006, Kenny Rogers began etching himself into the Tigers’ postseason lore with 7.2 innings of five-hit mastery of the Yankees at Comerica Park. (As if you’ve forgotten.)
He walked just two and struck out eight as the Tigers beat the Yankees 5-0 — and Rogers slew a personal postseason dragon — to take a two-games-to-one lead in the American League Division Series.
A look through the Tigers history book reveals that they’ve been quite busy on October 6 — when they make the postseason, that is. So, I thought we’d take a look and see if there’s some historical star alignment happening ahead of Game 163. Here’s a deeper look at how the Tigers have performed (or not) in the franchise’s postseason appearances from 1907 through 1987:
- 1987 American League Championship Series – The Tigers and Twins began the series on Oct. 7. And many of us are wishing it never had.
- 1984 ALCS – A day after completing a sweep of the Royals, the Tigers relaxed and awaited their World Series opponent.
- 1972 ALCS – The last gasp of the ’68 club began on Oct. 7 in Oakland.
- 1968 World Series Game 4 – Mayo Smith‘s club got creamed by the Cardinals at Tiger Stadium, 10-1. Denny McLain took the loss and Bob Gibson cruised. The Cards went up three games to one and, well, we all know what happened next.
- 1945 World Series Game 4 – Detroit beat the Cubs 4-1 at Wrigley Field behind Dizzy Trout, knotting series at two games apiece.
- 1940 World Series Game 5 – At Briggs Stadium the Tigers beat the Reds 8-0. Bobo Newsom got the complete-game win, allowing just three singles, none after the fourth. Hank Greenberg had three hits including a home run and drove in four.
- 1935 World Series Game 5 – The Cubs defeated the Tigers and Schoolboy Rowe 3-1 at Wrigley. Tigers player/manager Mickey Cochrane and his rightfielder, Pete Fox, each had two hits in the loss.
- 1934 World Series Game 4 – Elden Auker beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 10-4. Greenberg had a monster day going 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and four RBI.
As for the Tigers’ earliest postseason appearances: The 1909 World Series didn’t get under way until Oct. 8 at Forbes Field. The 1908 Series started on Oct. 10 at Bennett Park, and the 1907 Series began on Oct. 8 at West Side Grounds.
Add it up, and the Tigers are 4-2 on this date in history.
What’s it all mean for today? Hey, we just report the facts.