#3 1961 Detroit Tigers
The 1961 Detroit Tigers only have fewer losses than two other teams in franchise history. As well it was the first year in which people flocked to “Tiger Stadium”.
Norm Cash led the 101-win club with a .361 batting average, and 132 RBIs, which earned him the American League Batting Title. Rocky Colavito followed behind Cash with 45 home runs and 140 RBIs.
Tiger great Al Kaline meanwhile led the AL with doubles at 41 and a .324 batting average. On the mound, Frank Lary led the team with 23 wins.
Despite winning 101 games the team finished eight games behind the New York Yankees and were unable to secure a spot in the playoffs.
According to Bill James, seven of the 1961 Detroit Tigers are in the top 100 players at their position. Those players are:
- Bill Freehan- 12th best catcher of all-time.
- Norm Cash- 20th best first baseman of all-time.
- Dick McAuliffe- 22nd best second baseman of all-time (although he never played second for the Tigers)
- Rocky Colavito- 26th best-left fielder of all-time.
- Charlie Best- 99th best-left fielder of all-time.
- Al Kaline- 11th best-right fielder of all-time.
- Jim Bunning-30th best pitcher of all-time.
Next, our list is the World Series Champions the 1968 Detroit Tigers.