On May 16, 1912, Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb was suspended due to his attack on Claude Lucker two days previous. Lucker was a one-handed, outspoken fan who possessed an extreme hatred for Cobb (not an uncommon feeling amongst fans at the time). The story goes that after a few innings of trying to ignore Lucker’s taunts, Cobb eventually lost his temper and charged the stands.
According to sportswriters, “Everything was very pleasant…until Ty Cobb johnnykilbaned a spectator right on the place where he talks, started the claret, and stopped the flow of profane and vulgar words. Cobb led with a left jab and countered with a right kick to Mr. Spectator’s left Weisbach, which made his peeper look as if someone had drawn a curtain over it…. Jabs bounded off the spectator’s face like a golf ball from a rock.”
Cobb was thrown from the game by Umpire Silk O’Loughlin. Then, without hearing Cobb’s side of the incident, American League President Ban Johnson suspended him indefinitely. In support of their teammate, the rest of the Tigers went on strike to protest the decision, sending a message to the League office claiming, “We, the undersigned, refuse to play in another game after today, until such action is adjusted to our satisfaction. [Cobb] was fully justified in his action, as no one could stand such personal abuse from anyone. We want him reinstated for tomorrow’s game, May 18, or there will be no game. If the players cannot have protection we must protect ourselves.”
The strike resulted in the formation of a hodgepodge sandlot team taking over for the Tigers one day, committing nine errors and losing spectacularly to the Athletics, 24-2. Concerned about the potential repercussions the strike would have on his teammates, Cobb convinced the real Tiger players to end their protest and return to the diamond. Ban Johnson would hit Cobb with a $50 fine and a ten-day suspension for his attack on Lucker.
On Opening Day, April 16, 1926, rookie Earl Averill became the first American Leaguer to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. The Indians center fielder’s blast came on an 0-2 count against Detroit pitcher Earl Whitehill as Cleveland defeated the Tigers, 5-4.
The Detroit Tigers released player-manager Ty Cobb on November 2, 1926. At first, Cobb announced his retirement at the end of 22 years with the Tigers, but when Cleveland Indians player-manager Tris Speaker also retired shortly thereafter, many heads turned. It soon came out that the two were coerced into retirement as a result of allegations of game-fixing brought about by Dutch Leonard, a former pitcher managed by Cobb.
Pitcher Edwin Jackson was born on September 9, 1983 in Neu Ulm, Germany while his father, Edwin Jackson Sr., was serving in the United States Army there. He has the distinction of having played for more major league teams than any other player in Major League Baseball history. Over the course of a career that spanned sixteen years, Jackson played for fourteen MLB teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers (2003–2005)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays (2006–2008)
Detroit Tigers (2009, 2019)
Arizona Diamondbacks (2010)
Chicago White Sox (2010–2011)
St. Louis Cardinals (2011)
Washington Nationals (2012, 2017)
Chicago Cubs (2013–2015)
Atlanta Braves (2015)
Miami Marlins (2016)
San Diego Padres (2016)
Baltimore Orioles (2017)
Oakland Athletics (2018)
Toronto Blue Jays (2019)
Jackson was named to the American League All-Star team in 2009. On June 25, 2010, as a Diamondback, he threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jackson was also a member of the 2011 World Series champion Cardinals, though he lost the only game he appeared in. Jackson’s last MLB appearance took place on September 28, 2019 with the Detroit Tigers.
In 2021, Jackson was named to the roster of the United States national baseball team, which qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The team went on to win silver, falling to Japan in the gold-medal game.
On September 10, 2022, Edwin Jackson announced his retirement from baseball.
After winning a record-tying (at that time) 16 consecutive games on the mound, Lynwood Thomas “Schoolboy” Rowe finally lost to the Athletics, 13-5, at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park on August 29, 1934. The Tigers’ right-hander’s mark tied the American League record for consecutive wins shared by Smoky Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, and Lefty Grove.
On August 25, 1946, the New York Yankees became the first team to draw over two million paying patrons in a season when 42,908 fans showed up at Yankee Stadium to watch the Bronx Bombers take on the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees would lose the contest, 7-2, facing Detroit pitcher Hal Newhouser.
After leaving the team without permissions three days prior, Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb got married to his first wife, Charlie, on August 6, 1908. Club co-owner Frank Navin considered Cobb’s six-day absence during a pennant race the most arrogant act he had ever heard of in baseball.
On April 16, 1895, the Detroit baseball team became known as the Tigers. The team was renamed after a year of being known as the Detroit Creams, inspired by owner George Vanderbeck who boasted the Western League team would be the “cream of the league.” When Detroit Cost-free Press editor Philip Reid headlined a story, Strouthers’ Tigers Showed Up Very Nicely, the team’s new moniker was born.
Here is the theme song for the Detroit Tigers from 1968. It’s short and sweet, but very catchy. The creator of the video also inlcuded a bit of Tigers history into the video, including images of the team’s logos over the years, ballparks where the Tigers played, and championship teams.