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Year of the Tiger '68

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1968 Year of the Tiger .. Chronology:

I remember most of these..

·         April 9: Opening Day in Major League Baseball was postponed for the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.

·         April 10: The Tigers lost to the Red Sox on Opening Day in Detroit. Detroit pitcher Earl Wilson hit a home run but allowed 5 earned runs in 5 innings.

·         April 11: The Tigers got their first win, 4–3, over the Red Sox, as Dick McAuliffeBill Freehan and Gates Brown hit home runs.

·         April 21: Denny McLain won his first game, 2–1, in the second game of a double-header. After losing on Opening Day, the Tigers had won 9 straight games.

·         April 27: The Tigers shut out the Yankees, 7–0, behind a 5-hitter by Denny McLain. Dick McAuliffe and Jim Northrup hit home runs off Jim Bouton.

·         April 29: Mickey Lolich got his first win of the season, 2–1, over the A's. Don Wert went 3-for-4, and the Tigers were 12–4 in their first 16 games.

·         May 6: The Tigers lost to the Orioles, 4–0. Baltimore's Dave Leonhard threw a one-hitter, and the Tigers had only 23 at-bats in the game, as the Orioles turned 3 double plays, and Mickey Stanley, Jim Northrup, and Al Kaline were all caught stealing.

·         May 10: The Tigers won their 3rd straight game, 12–1, over the Senators, to move past the Orioles into first place. Detroit would remain in first place for the rest of the season. Denny McLain got the win, and Al Kaline, Don Wert and Bill Freehan hit home runs.

·         May 17: Detroit led 2–1 going into the 9th inning. Frank Howard hit a 2-run home run in the top of the 9th to put the Senators in the lead, but Jim Northrup hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 9th. The Tigers won, 7–3.

·         May 19: Detroit rookie Les Cain threw 6⅔ scoreless innings for his first major league win. The Tigers beat the Senators, 7–0, as Eddie Mathews, Al Kaline, and Dick McAuliffe hit home runs. Kaline's home run was his 307th as a Tiger, making him the all-time leader in home runs by a Detroit Tiger.

·         May 25: The Tigers beat the A's 2–1 behind Denny McLain, but Al Kaline's arm was broken when he was hit by a pitch. Kaline was out of action until June 30.

·         May 26: A's pitcher Jack Aker beaned Jim Northrup on the batting helmet, and a 15-minute fight erupted. The A's won‚ 7–6.

·         May 31: Mickey Lolich shut out the Yankees on a 1-hitter in front of 31,115 fans on a Friday night in Detroit. Willie Horton hit a home run in the 7th inning for the game's only run.

·         June 5: Denny McLain won his 9th game in Boston.

·         June 14: The Tigers beat the White Sox, 6–5, in 14 innings. Pitcher Earl Wilson hit a home run in the 2nd inning, and shortstop Don Wert won it with a home run in the 14th inning.

·         June 15: Chicago's Tommy John hit 4 Detroit batters: Willie Horton (twice), Don Wert and Ray Oyler. The Tigers lost, 7–4. (See also August 22)

·         June 24: Jim Northrup hit grand slams in consecutive at bats in the 5th and 6th innings. Shortstop Don Wert was hit in the head by a pitch that shattered his batting helmet. Wert was carried off the field on a stretcher and spent two nights in the hospital. The Tigers beat the Indians, 14–3.

·         June 29: Jim Northrup hit his third grand slam of the week in a 5–2 victory over Chicago. Denny McLain notched his 14th win. The Tigers were 22 games over .500 at 48–26.

·         July 4: There were fireworks on the July 4, as the Tigers and Angels combined for 8 home runs. The Tigers won, 13–10.

·         July 5: Detroit beat Oakland, 8–5. Bill Freehan hit 2 home runs and tallied 6 RBIs.

·         July 7: Denny McLain beat the A's, 7–6. Al Kaline hit a 3-run home run to help the Tigers sweep the A's in the second game of a double-header. At the All Star break, McLain was 16–2, and the Tigers led the AL by 9½ games.

·         July 19: With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Bill Freehan on first base, reserve infielder Tom Matchick hit a walk-off home run to right field to give the Tigers a 5–4 win over Baltimore.[12] It was one of only four home runs that Matchick hit in his entire career.

·         July 26: Detroit beat Baltimore, 4–1, but Earl Wilson left the game after 5 innings with a strained knee. Daryl Patterson came into the game with the bases loaded and nobody out, and struck out the side.

·         July 26, 1968: Dennis Ribant was traded by the Tigers to the Chicago White Sox for Don McMahon.[13]

·         July 27: Denny McLain pitched a 3-hit shutout over the Orioles for his 20th win. Norm Cash had 4 hits, and Willie Horton hit 2 home runs. The Tigers won, 9–0.

·         August 8: Detroit scored 13 runs to beat the Indians, 14–1. Bill Freehan hit 2 home runs, walked twice, and drove in 4 runs. McLain won his 23rd.

·         August 11: Gates Brown got clutch hits to win both games of a double-header against the Red Sox. Gates had a pinch-hit home run in the 14th inning of the opener for a 5–4 win. In the second game, he had a single to drive home the winning run, as the Tigers scored 4 runs in the 9th inning.

·         August 12: The Tigers beat the Indians, 6–3, and the team was now 75–42.

·         August 16: Denny McLain beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park for his 25th win. He was now 16–0 on the road. Bill Freehan was hit by pitches in 3 consecutive at bats.

·         August 22: After hitting 4 Tigers in a game earlier in the year, Chicago pitcher Tommy John narrowly missed Dick McAuliffe's head. After another brushback pitch, words are exchanged, and McAuliffe charged the mound. McAuliffe kneed John in the shoulder, resulting in a season-ending injury to John. McAuliffe was suspended for five games.

·         August 23: The Tigers lost to the Yankees, 2–1, in the first game of a double-header. In the second game, the score was tied 3–3 after 19 innings. Lindy McDaniel retired 21 straight Tiger batters‚ six on strikeouts.

·         August 25: After taking a 5–0 lead, the Tigers lost to the Yankees‚ 6–5. The surprise winning pitcher for the Yankees was outfielder Rocky Colavito. The former Tiger slugger pitched 2⅔ innings in relief and retired Al Kaline and Willie Horton. Adding to the insult, Colavito scored the winning run in the 8th inning.

·         August 26: The Tigers beat the White Sox, 3–0, at County Stadium in Milwaukee, where the White Sox had temporarily relocated during the violence-plagued Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Earl Wilson was hit by a pitch in the 2nd inning with the bases loaded to drive in the first run.

·         August 27: The Tiger lost to the White Sox, 2–1, as the series moved back to Comiskey Park.

·         August 28: Back in Detroit, Denny McLain won his 26th game.

·         August 30: In the first game of a 3-game series with second place Baltimore, the Tigers won 9–1 in front of 53,575 fans at Tiger Stadium. In one of the best performances of the year by any Tiger player, Earl Wilson pitched a 4-hitter, went 2-for-4 at the plate, hit his 5th home run of the year, and collected 4 RBIs.

·         September 1: Almost 42,000 fans were on hand at Tiger Stadium as Denny McLain won his 27th game, beating the Orioles 7–3. The Tigers had a triple play in the 3rd inning, McLain to Tom Matchick to Norm Cash. Jim Northrup was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs.

·         September 6: The Tigers beat the Twins, 8–3, and Denny McLain got win number 28. Rookie Graig Nettles hit his first major league home run off McLain. Willie Horton hit his 32nd home run and had 5 RBIs.

·         September 14: In front of 33,688 fans on a Saturday in Detroit, with Denny McLain seeking his 30th win, Reggie Jackson hit a home run in the 4th inning to put the A's on top. Norm Cash responded with a 3-run home run in the 4th. Reggie Jackson hit his second home run of the day in the 6th inning to put the A's back in the lead. In the bottom of the 9th inning, Al Kaline pinch hit for McLain. Kaline drew a walk and later scored on an error. Willie Horton then drove in Mickey Stanley for the winning run. McLain struck out 10 batters and beat the A's, 5–4, to become the first 30-game winner since Dizzy Dean in 1934.

·         September 15: The Tigers destroyed the A's, 13–0. Mickey Lolich went the distance, allowing only 3 hits. Jim Northrup and Bill Freehan hit two home runs each.

·         September 17: The Tigers beat the Yankees, 2–1, to clinch the American League pennant. Joe Sparma threw a complete game and gave up 5 hits. Don Wert had the pennant-clinching hit in the bottom of the 9th inning, driving in Al Kaline. Many of the 46,512 fans on hand stormed the field in celebration of the Tigers' first pennant in 23 years.

·         September 19: Denny McLain won his 31st game against the Yankees. In the 8th inning, with the Tigers safely in the lead, McLain called catcher Jim Price to the mound and told him to inform Mickey Mantle that he's throwing nothing but fastballs. McLain tossed up a fat one, and Mantle hit a home run to move into 3rd place on the all-time home run list. Mantle, who was planning to retire at the end of the season, tipped his cap to McLain as he rounded third base. Joe Pepitone‚ the next batter‚ signaled where he would like the ball‚ and McLain "dusted" him. Outfielder Mickey Stanley made his major-league debut at shortstop in this game, as Mayo Smith was preparing to use him at that position in the World Series.

·         September 21: The Tigers won their 11th straight game, a 4–3 victory over the Senators. The team was now 47 games over .500 with a record of 101–54.

·         September 23: Going for his 32nd win, Denny McLain surrendered just 2 runs, but lost a 2–1 decision to Baltimore.

·         September 28: In his second attempt at win number 32‚ McLain pitched 7 scoreless innings against Washington and left with a 1–0 lead, but the Senators scored 2 in the 9th to win‚ 2–1.

·         September 29: The Tigers lost the final game of the regular season, 3–2. The Tigers finished the season with a record of 103–59.

 

Not necessary because Wikipedia allows text to be reproduced ..but Credit to Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Detroit_Tigers_season

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The at-bat starting at the 20:30 mark, with George Kell at the mic, is as good as anything you'll ever see. 

And just realized that Brock made the last out of the game, at the 51:30ish mark.

 

 

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I have wanted to replay the season a million times, but the last thing I want to do is replay it and have the Tigers win 82 games or something like that. 

 

SABR has a nice bio book on the 68 Tigers. They also have one for the 1935 and 1984 Tigers. 

 

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