Detroit Tigers Finally Win the American League Central
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The year was 1987 and it was the last time the Detroit Tigers enjoyed a division title... some of you weren't even born yet.
Doug Fister, new to the club as of July, hurled the 88-63 Tigers to the American League Central division title Friday night with his team's 3-1 win over the Oakland Athletics. The right-hander retired 17 straight batters at one point for his third straight victory, dropping his ERA to 2.98 for his ninth win of the season. Don Kelly contributed an RBI single in the third inning before Wilson Betemit nailed a go-ahead triple in the sixth. Kelly then locked up the win with a solo shot in the seventh, two innings before the real celebration.
Jim Leyland, soaked in champagne and locked in his office, reflected on his team's victorious season while puffing on a stogie and fighting tears of joy:
"We were seven games behind the Cleveland Indians at one point and people weren’t really talking about us at all. They deserved it. They worked hard. They stuck together. There are special moments you can’t put a price tag on and you just enjoy them. I’m an emotional guy, we all know that... I have a very special satisfaction. A lot of people probably didn’t think I’d be managing the Tigers next year. We were fortunate, because we were the team this year that met the challenge. We were almost spotless."
This season marks the first time Detroit is headed to the postseason since winning the AL Wild-Card back in 2006, when they eventually lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. So close. This, after not winning a division title since taking the AL East in 1987, three years after their last Championship.
Congratulations and good luck, Motor City Kitties!
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