Credit: Creative Commons, C.J. Peters http://goo.gl/IkaRqG
The Detroit Tigers have won 11 American League pennants and four World Series championships, but postseason success does not always go hand-in-hand with regular season success.
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Until the 1968 season, there were no regularly scheduled playoffs in baseball. Which meant the best team in the regular season in each league went to the World Series. In 1969 a round of playoffs before the World Series was introduced with the best team from each newly formed division playing each other for the right to go to the Fall Classic. For the first time in history, a team with a worse regular season record could represent their respective league.
The wildcard, and an addition round of playoffs, was added to the game in 1995. Another round, a one-game playoff, was added in 2013.
Heading into the 2015 season, the Tigers have won 9,011 games placing them 12th-best in the baseball. When you take into account that the top seven teams on that list are all National League teams (which predated the AL by 20-25 years), they rank fourth among AL teams, behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians–really, the INDIANS?!
So because of these circumstances (only one team going to postseason from 1901-1968 and better teams in regular season possibly losing in the playoffs post-1969) there are quite a few Detroit Tigers teams that were very good, but are now a footnote in history because they didn’t win the pennant.
Take a time traveling trip through the slide show with us to look at the top five non-World Series Tigers’ teams.