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Today in Tiger History - Post Season Edition

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January 17, 1952 - Detroit owner Walter O. Briggs dies at the age of 74. His son will succeed him in the presidency.

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January 18, 1947 - The Pirates buy first baseman Hank Greenberg from the Tigers for a reported $25,000 to $35,000. Greenberg led the A.L. with 44 home runs in 1946.

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January 24, 2011 - The Tigers trade pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league pitchers Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski.  Galarraga is coming off of a 2010 season in which he went 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 24 starts, though he did pitch his "28-out perfect game" on June 2.  He will spend the majority of the 2011 season injured, appearing in just 8 major league games for Arizona, after which he will be released as a free agent.  Neither Eichhorn nor Robowksi will ever pitch in the majors.

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January 26, 2012 - The Tigers sign free agent first baseman Prince Fielder to a 9-year, $214-million dollar contract, by far the largest contract in team history.  Fielder will play for the Tigers for just two seasons, batting .295 with 55 total home runs while not missing a single game.  He made the AL All-Star team in both seasons, starting at first base in 2012 and playing as a reserve in 2013.  He also won the 2012 home run derby, though the lasting image of Fielder with the Tigers remains his falling down on the the base path while attempting to scramble back to third base during the Tigers' 5-2 loss in Game 6 of the 2013 ALCS.  He had previously alienated himself from fans with his poor postseason play combined with his seemingly indifferent attitude toward the teams' success or failure, and he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for second baseman Ian Kinsler in November of 2013.  The Tigers are still paying part of his massive salary.

January 26, 1962 - Former Tigers manager Steve O'Neill dies at the age of 70 after suffering a heart attack.  O'Neill managed the team from 1943 to 1948, guiding them to the 1945 World Series championship.  His overall record in Detroit is 504-414, placing him seventh in team history in wins, with the Tigers never having a losing season under his command.  Prior to his managing the team, he also served as a major league coach in 1941.

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January 30, 2002 - Shortstop Deivi Cruz signs as a free agent with the San Diego Padres, ending his time with the Tigers.  Cruz had been the team's starting shortstop since his rookie season of 1997, a season in which he amazingly drew 1 vote for MVP.  His best Tigers season was 2000, when he batted .302 with 10 home runs and 82 RBI while finishing third in the American League with 46 doubles.  Cruz will be replaced at shortstop by Shane Halter and youngsters Omar Infante & Ramon Santiago, leading to a revolving door of players at the position until Carlos Guillen takes over the position in early 2004.

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January 31, 1986  - The Tigers sign free agent pitcher Bill Campbell to a one-year, $200,000 contract.  Campbell will pitch in 34 games for the '86 Tigers out of the bullpen, posting a record of 3-6 with 3 saves and a 3.88 ERA in 55 2/3 innings of relief while spending just over a month on the disabled list.  His best Tigers game comes on July 26, when he throws 5 innings of scoreless relief in a 4-3 Tigers victory over the Kansas City Royals.  Campbell will be released after the season, joining the Montreal Expos for the final season of his 15-year career.  He will receive one Hall of Fame vote in 1993, giving him more votes than Brad Ausmus and Carlos Guillen combined.

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