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Detroit Tigers, American professional baseball team based in Detroit that plays in the American League (AL). The Tigers have won four World Series titles (1935, 1945, 1968, 1984) and 11 AL pennants.
The Tigers were founded in 1894 as a minor league franchise, playing alongside organizations that would become the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, and the Baltimore Orioles in the Western League (the Tigers are the only surviving member of the Western League to remain in its original city). The Western League was renamed the American League in 1900, and it was elevated to major league status in 1901. The early Tiger teams were not a success until Detroit acquired outfielder Ty Cobb—one of the game’s all-time greats—in 1905. In just his third season, Cobb led the team to its first pennant and berth in the World Series, which it lost to the Chicago Cubs. The Tigers returned to the World Series in each of the following two seasons but lost on each occasion.
The Tigers dropped in the AL standings in 1910, finishing in third place. In 1912 they played their first game in Navin Field (later known as Tiger Stadium), which would be home to the team for 88 seasons and become one of the most venerated ballparks in the game. The new home stadium was no guarantee of success, however, and the Tigers finished no higher than second place in the AL (which they did on two occasions) until 1934.