Detroit Tigers Opening Day fun facts and historical numbers

Going strong for 123 years now!

When you're a charter member of the American League and have been playing baseball since 1901, you've accrued some facts and figures that are interesting. The Detroit Tigers are starting their 123rd season and if today's game were in Motown, there'd be a celebration.

I did some digging around the previous 122 games on Opening Day for the Tigers and found some pretty interesting things. The very first Opening Day starter for the Tigers was a guy named Roscoe, and it was one of only two games played on April 25th, 1901. Ol' Roscoe only went 2.1 innings giving up seven runs (four earned), but the Tigers scored 10 runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk off against the Milwaukee Brewers 14-13. Let's jump into some numbers.

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Opening Day Interesting numbers and interesting tidbits

For our purposes, we'll be using the Baseball-Reference data for this endeavor. There was a bit of a discrepancy between Baseball-Reference and Baseball Almanac on game records, so we'll utilize one source.

And, just so it's out there: the Tigers are 60-61-1 on Opening Day, according to Baseball-Reference. That means a win today will bring the to .500 all-time.

Detroit Tigers

Let's go streaking!

We all know that baseball is a game of streakiness. We chart everything from hitting streaks to scoreless streaks to consecutive games played streaks. So streaks matter. They're even more impressive when you think about Opening Day streaks which occur not within days, but years. Let's get streaking:

  • Most wins in a row on Opening Day: 6 – from 2012 -2017
  • Most losses in a row on Opening Day: 6 – from 1940-1945*
  • Most consecutive Opening Day starts (SP): Jack Morris (11) from 1980-1990
  • Most consecutive Opening Dat starts (batter): Lou Whitaker (17) from 1978-1994

*There was a discrepancy here as discussed above.

Most starts by position:

  • Pitcher: Jack Morris (11; 1980-90)
  • Catcher: Bill Freehan (10; 1964, 66-71, 74-75) & Oscar Strange (10; 1910-18)
  • First Base: Norm Cash (12; 1961-67, 69-70, 72-74)
  • Second Base: Lou Whitaker (17; 1978-1994)
  • Third Base: Aurelio Rodriguez (7; 1971-1977)
  • Shortstop: Alan Trammell (16; 1978-79, 1981-92, 1994, 1996)
  • Left field: Bobby Veach (10; 1914-23)
  • Centerfield: Ty Cobb (10; 1911-12, 1914-16, 1919-21, 1923-24)
  • Right Field: Al Kaline (19; 1954-59, 1961-73)
  • Designated Hitter: Victor Martinez (6; 2011, 2013-15, 2017-18)
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