In the absence of live sports, TV networks are filling airtime by replaying classic games from the past, some involving our local teams. But if you need a stronger dose of Detroit-area sports to tide you over until the games begin again, we’ve come up with a list you can find online.
The NFL just made things easier for fans by making a decade’s worth of games available for free on Gamepass via NFL.com. Recent MLB games are relatively easy to find on YouTube. But same goes for other sports, and we’ve compiled a list of 10 memorable games from each of our four major pro franchise, as well as Michigan and Michigan State football and basketball.
Today, it’s the Tigers, who still haven’t made it north from Lakeland this spring, and are in the midst of a painful rebuild. A good excuse to find refuge in some of the glory years when pennant races and October baseball included Detroit:
►Oct. 7, 1935 – Tigers 4, Cubs 3: In the midst of the Great Depression, Detroit was dubbed the “City of Champions.” That run began with the Tigers – six weeks before the death of owner Frank Navin – claiming their first World Series title in five tries on Mickey Cochrane’s game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. This one's a radio broadcast.
►July 8, 1941 – MLB All-Star Game: Briggs Stadium in Detroit hosted one of greatest Midsummer Classics as Ted Williams won it for the American League, 7-5, on a three-run, walkoff home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Here's the radio broadcast.
►Oct. 10, 1945 – Tigers 9, Cubs 3: Another radio broadcast here, from “Prince” Hal Newhouser's complete game as the Tigers won a deciding Game 7 at Wrigley Field – the Cubs’ last World Series appearance until 2016. The “Curse of the Billy Goat” began after Game 4 in the first series held after World War II.
►Oct. 10, 1968 – Tigers 4, Cardinals 1: An epic finish to a fantastic World Series, as Mickey Lolich – pitching on two days’ rest – outdueled Bob Gibson and Jim Northrup’s seventh-inning triple over Curt Flood’s head in center field proved to be the difference.
►Oct. 14, 1984 - Tigers 8, Padres 4: One of baseball’s most dominant teams won the World Series in Game 5 at Tiger Stadium, but the eighth-inning drama alone is worth watching as Padres reliever Goose Gossage gambles on pitching to Kirk Gibson – and loses.
►Oct. 4, 1987 – Tigers 1, Blue Jays 0: The AL East race was decided by seven one-run games over the final two weeks of the season, the last four a series sweep at Tiger Stadium that ended with Frank Tanana’s complete-game shutout on a Sunday afternoon. The only run was Larry Herndon’s second-inning homer.
►Oct. 14, 2006: Tigers 6, A’s 3: The Tigers held a commanding lead in the AL championship series entering Game 4, but they were trailing with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Magglio Ordonez sent a three-run homer soaring into the night. That sent the crowd at Comerica Park into a frenzied celebration, as the Tigers headed to their first World Series in 22 years.
►June 12, 2007 – Tigers 4, Brewers 0: The first of Justin Verlander’s two no-hitters in a Tigers uniform came on a warm night at Comerica Park, as the reigning AL rookie of the year kept Milwaukee’s bats silent from start to finish in a 112-pitch performance that saw him clocking 101-mph on the radar gun in the ninth. Must-see JV was at it again for his second no-hitter in May 2011 at Toronto.
►June 2, 2010: Tigers 3, Indians 0: The perfect game that wasn’t. Armando Galarraga’s perfect night was spoiled by a blown call from first-base umpire Jim Joyce in the ninth inning. The replay is excruciating to watch. But the reaction from both men afterward was a portrait in sportsmanship.
►Oct. 6, 2011 – Tigers 3, Yankees 2: The Tigers beat the Yankees in the Bronx, taking Game 5 of the AL Divisional Series by jumping out to an early lead on homers from Don Kelly and Delmon Young. Then the bullpen closed the door late, with Jose Valverde striking out Alex Rodriguez for the final out in the ninth.