The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League’s eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1894 as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships (1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984) and have won the American League pennant 10 times. The team currently plays their home games at Comerica Park in Downtown Detroit. The Tigers constructed Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Avenue and began playing there in 1896. In 1912, the team moved into Navin Field, which was built on the same location. It was expanded in 1938 and renamed Briggs Stadium. It was renamed Tiger Stadium in 1961 and the Tigers played there until moving to Comerica Park in 2000. The club is a charter member of the American League, one of four clubs (with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians) still located in its original city. Detroit is also the only member of the Western League, the AL’s minor league predecessor, that remains in its original city under its original name. It was established as a charter member in 1894. There are various legends about how the Tigers got their nickname. One involves the orange stripes they wore on their black stockings. Tigers manager George Stallings took credit for the name; however, the name appeared in newspapers before Stallings was manager. Another legend concerns a sportswriter equating the 1901 team’s opening day victory with the ferocity of his alma mater, the Princeton Tigers. Richard Bak, in his 1998 book, A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium, pp. 46–49, explains that the name originated from the Detroit Light Guard military unit, who were known as “The Tigers”. They had played significant roles in certain Civil War battles and in the 1898 Spanish-American War. The baseball team was still informally called both “Wolverines” and “Tigers” in the news. The earliest known use of the name “Tigers” in the media was in the Detroit Free Press on April 16, 1895. Upon entry into the majors, the ballclub sought and received formal permission from the Light Guard to use its trademark. From that day forth, the team has been officially called the Tigers.
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The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985. The “Royals” name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The “Royals” name may also have been selected as a respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League and a nod to the Kansas City Blues franchises of the Western League and American Association. This is reflected in the similarity of the Royals logo to that of the Monarchs. The name also followed a theme of the other professional franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs football team and the-then Kansas City Kings basketball franchise. Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City’s previous major league team from 1955 to 1967—moved to Oakland, California. The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs 7 out of 10 seasons from 1976 to 1985, including one World Championship and another pennant, led by stars such as George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive through the mid-1990s, but more recently has struggled, posting a winning record only once in the past 15 seasons.
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball’s American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas. The team’s name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name. The franchise began in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city’s first ballclub, the original Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, Texas, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made five appearances in the MLB postseason, all following division championships, in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, and 2011. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League Pennant after besting the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise’s first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. Their lone victory made them the first Texas MLB team to win a World Series game, the Houston Astros having been swept in their 2005 World Series appearance. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division. As one of the oldest baseball teams, they have won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball, and any North American professional sports team. They have won 21 National League pennants and appeared in 18 World Series competitions – both records in the National League (tied for NL pennants with the Los Angeles Dodgers and for World Series appearances with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals). The Giants 6 World Series Championships are also tied for second in the National League with the Dodgers (the St. Louis Cardinals have won 11). The Giants have played in the World Series an NL record 18 times, but boycotted the event in 1904. With their history, the Giants have the most Hall of Fame players in all of professional baseball. The Giants played at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York, until the close of the 1957 season, after which they moved west to California to become the San Francisco Giants. As the New York Giants, they won 14 pennants and 5 World Championships, from the era of John McGraw and Christy Mathewson to that of Bobby Thomson and Willie Mays. The Giants have won four pennants and the 2010 World Series since arriving in San Francisco.
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to the New York Yankees, who have won twenty-seven. They have played in eighteen. They are the defending World Series champions, having won the 2011 World Series in seven games over the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals were founded in the American Association in 1882 as the St. Louis Brown Stockings, taking the name from an earlier National League team. They joined the National League in 1892 and have been known as the Cardinals since 1900. The club quickly achieved success, winning four AA pennants in a row in 1885–1888. St. Louis played in an early version of the World Series, the first two times against the National League’s Chicago White Stockings, now named the Chicago Cubs. The 1885 series ended in dispute, but St. Louis won the 1886 series outright, beginning a St. Louis-Chicago rivalry that continues today. The American Association went bankrupt in 1892, and the Browns moved to the National League, leaving much of their success behind for the next three decades.
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the of the National League. Since 2000, they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, formerly known as Enron Field. The Coca-Cola Company-owned, Houston-based fruit juice manufacturer Minute Maid, after whom the Astros’ stadium is named, holds a minority stake in the team. The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s in 1962. They changed to their current name three years later, when they moved into the iconic Astrodome, the world’s first domed sports stadium. The name references Houston’s role as the center of the U.S. astronaut program. The Astros are the oldest MLB franchise to have never won the World Series while remaining in the same city over their history. After heart-breaking playoff losses in 1980, 1981, and 1986, and more playoff appearances in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Astros finally appeared in their first and (to date) only World Series, in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox.