Saturday, October 14, 2006
Padres at Tigers
With the Tigers--in highly dramatic fashion, no less--once again reaching the World Series today, it seems only appropriate to look back on this game in 1984, when the Tigers clinched their last World Series title. The '84 Tigers are probably one of the more underrated great teams, in part because unlike a lot of other great teams they failed to surround their greatest team with a number of other pretty good ones, making the playoffs only one other time in the 80s. They opened the season 16-1, winning their first nine games, losing the tenth and then winning seven more in a row. By May 24th, at the end of another nine game winning streak, the AL East race was basically over with the Blue Jays nine games back in the loss column. The Tigers would end up winning the division by fifteen games.
The Tigers rolled through the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS, sweeping the series in three games. Kirk Gibson hit .417 with a home run in the series and was voted MVP. Facing the Padres in the World Series the Tigers would split the first two games in San Diego but take over in Detroit, sweeping the remaining games. Gibson put the final nail in the coffin for the Tigers hitting a three-run home run off Goose Gossage in the eighth inning to put the Tigers up by four runs. Guillermo "Willie" Hernandez closed the door in the ninth and the Tigers were champions. We will see next week, of course, if they can repeat this feat, ending a twenty-two year drought.