Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: Ten best pitching performances in team history

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SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 7: A general view of Comerica Park prior to the start of the opening day game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 7, 2017 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

One of the more underappreciated characters in Tigers history, Louis Norman ‘Bobo’ Newsom nearly became the first Tigers pitcher to win three games in a single World Series, when he won games 1 and 5 in 1940. Of course, this was famously done by left-hander Mickey Lolich in 1968.

Newsom won game of the 1940 World Series by a score of 7-2. The next morning, Bobo found out that his father had passed away of a heart attack that evening. Newsom went home to bury his father and returned in time for Game Five.

Newsom’s game five, considering the circumstances, was one of the greatest pitched games in history. Fighting back tears, Newsom held the Reds to just three hits in a complete game, 8-0 shutout. Newsom walked two and struck out seven, good for a game score of 86.

Unfortunately, the Tigers would lose game six by a score of 5-0. Needing another starter, Newsom was forced to start game seven. He pitched admirably, holding a 1-0 lead through six innings before giving up two in the seventh. The Tigers lost 2-1, blowing a 3-2 lead. No fault of Newsom’s of course.

Newsom ended up pitching until 1953 when he retired at the age of 45. He finished his 20-year career with a 211-222 record and a 3.98 ERA. He went 50-35 as a Tiger between 1939-1941. His best year was 1940, when he went 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA and finished fourth in MVP voting.

Perhaps one more win in 1940 would have given Bobo the recognition he deserves.

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