The franchise’s best player, Ty Cobb, couldn’t do it.
Al Kaline couldn’t do it.
The Hall-of-Fame laden clubs from 1934 to 1945 couldn’t do it either.
The modern day Detroit Tigers did it.
With the Toronto Blue Jays defeat of the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night, the Tigers are headed back to the postseason in some form or fashion for a franchise-record fourth straight season. The previous high was three straight seasons from 1907-09, a mark that was tied last year after playoff berths from 2011-13.
Sure, four years pales in comparison to some of the runs teams like the Atlanta Braves experienced (14 straight from 1991 to 2005) or the New York Yankees (13 straight from 1995 to 2007), and they still lack the ultimate prize, but it’s still a laudable accomplishment.
Detroit is now guaranteed to finish no lower than the second wild card spot.
The Tigers, as a team, will not celebrate this milestone. They want to win the division. Their magic number for that is sitting at four after winning early today (and could be three if the Cleveland Indians can finish off the Kansas City Royals tonight).
The Tigers have not won anything yet, and if they do not win it all this year some fans will shrug it off as “so what.”
However, it is worth pointing out that 119 losses was not that long ago. The culture of baseball in Detroit has been completely turned around.