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October 10, 2008

Tigers Win 1968 World Series Behind Mickey Lolich's Gem

by @ 3:14 am. Filed under Willie Horton

October 10, 1968 at Busch Stadium
Tigers 4, Cardinals 1
Tigers Win Best of Seven Game Series 4-3

taken in broad daylight aka snatched film direct download

The Tigers and Mickey Lolich saved the best for last as the Tigers completed a historic comeback to secure their first World Series win since 1945.  In a first time battle between both team’s best postseason pitchers, it was Mickey Lolich who came out on top with a fantastic outing that saw him surrender just one run on five hits to go a perfect 3-0 in three complete game wins for the Tigers.

Through six innings, this was a total nail biter.  The Tigers managed just a single hit off of Bob Gibson while the Cardinals picked up just four.  The biggest threat came in the bottom of the sixth inning but Lolich picked both Lou Brock and Curt Flood off of first base to negate any damage.  Both times Lolich was able to get the ball over to first base on stolen base attempts.

The Tigers finally shined in the seventh inning.  Mickey Stanley struck out and Al Kaline grounded out to lead things off but with two outs, the Tigers got it going.  Norm Cash and Willie Horton belted back to back singles and then Jim Northrup belted a triple to drive them both in.  Bill Freehan followed that up with a double to make it 3-0 and just like that, the Tigers were three innings away from taking the series. 

The Cardinals got nothing in the seventh and eighth and then in the top of the ninth, the Tigers got an insurance run.  Willie Horton singled with one out before Dick Tracewski came in to run for him.  Tracewski moved to third on Jim Northrup’s single and then Don Wert singled him home to make it 4-0.

The Cardinals finally got on the board in their last frame.  With two outs, Mike Shannon belted a solo homer but the optimism was short lived because Tim McCarver followed that up with a pop out to Norm Cash to end the game.

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Lolich was nothing short of fantastic and in the process, he secured World Series MVP honors.  In his third consecutive complete game, he gave up just one run on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts and he finished the series a perfect 3-0.

One Response to “Tigers Win 1968 World Series Behind Mickey Lolich's Gem”

  1. Curly Says:

    It was 41 years ago today (4:06 pm EDT), that Tim McCarver popped up to end this perfect World Series. I was in the TV room of my dorm at Oakland University, and remember every play. At the beginning of the Series, God had said to Mickey Lolich, “You’ve got one week, son. Enjoy.” Hitting home runs, picking off two of the best baserunners in the National League and, oh yes, three complete game victories, which, thanks to pitch counts and closers, we’ll never see again.
    Forty-one years later to the day, we don’t even know who’s going to be in this year’s World Series. The 1968 Tigers had won it and were flying back to Detroit at this point. What we do know is that it will be played at night, using designated hitters and men wearing batting gloves. If the Yankees and the Dodgers, having the best records in their respective leagues, don’t make it to the World Series, it won’t even be a legitimate Series.
    The ’68 Series was the last one before that other abberation, divisional play, came into being. In this era of personalities, emotionalism, choreographed celebrations, and meaningless tributes, something’s missing. (We’ve gone from the President throwing out the first pitch, once, at the beginning of the year, to half a dozen kids throwing them out at every game.) Go back and look at the 1968 World Series, when it was done right.

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