Sept. 18, 1984: Tigers Clinch American League East Title

On this date in 1984, the Tigers clinched the American League East title, beating the Brewers 3-0.

Randy O’Neal pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out six. As he often did, Willie Hernandez earned a two-inning save, his 30th of the year.

Tom Brookens hit a solo homer off Brewers’ starter Bob McClure. Lance Parrish drove in Detroit’s other two runs.

If you want to take a deep dive into the ’84 club, pickup a copy of Detroit Tigers 1984: What a Start! What a Finish! from Amazon.com. (Disclosure: I wrote the bios of Rusty Kuntz, Johnny Grubb, Chet Lemon and Carl Willis that appear in the book.)

Just Released: “Detroit Tigers 1984: What a Start! What a Finish!”

A few years ago, I was offered a chance to contribute to a book about the 1984 World Series Champion Tigers – the team of my high school years and a team for the ages.

What an incredible experience it was to write four player biographies for the book and, along the way, talk with two former Tigers that played crucial roles for that club.

If you’d have told me in 1984 that some day I’d talk on the phone with Johnny Grubb or I’d sit in the Royals’ spring training clubhouse talking to Rusty Kuntz, I’m not sure I could’ve conjured up a plausible scenario where those events would’ve come together.

From the book’s cover:

Detroit Tigers 1984: What a Start! What a Finish!, an effort by the society of American Baseball research’s BioProject Committee, brings together biographical profiles of every Tiger from that magical season, plus those of field management, top executives, the broadcasters — even venerable Tiger Stadium and the city itself. A team of more than 40 writers and editors compiled the biographies and supporting essays that make up the most comprehensive look at this remarkable team.

Order the book for yourself or for a Tigers fan that wants to relive a magical season.

(For what it’s worth, I don’t get a commission on any sales.)

Three for Thursday: Verlander, Branyan and Birthdays

FireballXSmall.jpgWho needs a groundhog? Two weeks until pitchers and catchers arrive in Lakeland for Spring Training.

  1. I never doubted for a minute that the Tigers would sign Justin Verlander to a long-term contact, did you? Given the questionable extensions of recent years — Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson to name two — the Tigers were due for a wise contractual decision.
  2. Last year at the trading deadline I thought the Tigers might make a move for the Mariners’ Russell Branyan. Instead they went after Aubrey Huff. Bygones. Today, Branyan is still looking for work. Should the Tigers be interested? Not at the three years, $20 million he had in mind, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. ESPN Rumor Central spells out the risks of Branyan for any team:

    Branyan hit 22 homers and posted a .956 OPS before the All-Star break last season, but his OPS dipped to .688 after the break and he was forced to shut it down in late August with a herniated disc in his back.

    So, the question then is, “Is Branyan essentially Carlos Guillen?” Probably.

  3. Happy Birthday today to: Stan Papi (59), Rusty Kuntz (55), Chris Bando (54) and the late Joe Sparma. If you want to hear an interview I did with Rusty Kuntz, you can find it here.

The DTP #85: Jetlagged!

DetroitTigersPodcastAlbum.gifWelcome to The Detroit Tigers Podcast, the podcast for Tigers fans, by Tigers fans.

This is Episode #85, a 10-minute podcast about the Detroit Tigers.

In each daily episode this season we cover:

  • The previous day’s game;
  • Look ahead to the next game;
  • Look back on Tigers history; and,
  • Check in on what the 1984 Tigers were up to.

…and much more!

As promised in the show, here’s the link to my interview with former Tigers outfielder Rusty Kuntz.

Download the audio file or grab the RSS feed here.

Subscribe for free! —>
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Talk to you next time…on The Detroit Tigers Podcast.


The Detroit Tigers Podcast is not affiliated in any way with the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club or Major League Baseball.

The Detroit Tigers Podcast #64: Talking Tigers with Rusty Kuntz

RustyKuntz.jpgWelcome to The Detroit Tigers Podcast, the podcast for Tigers fans, by Tigers fans. This is Episode #64, a 21-minute podcast about the Detroit Tigers recorded live from Scottsdale, Ariz.

In this episode we’re joined by former Tigers outfielder and member of the 1984 World Series Champion Tigers, Rusty Kuntz. Today, he is the first base coach for the Kansas City Royals.

Download the audio file or grab the RSS feed here.

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Comments? Leave a message on the listener line: (602) 903-5174.

Theme music for the podcast produced by Paul Minshall.


The Detroit Tigers Podcast is not affiliated in any way with the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club or Major League Baseball.