The strength of the 1937 Tigers was hitting. The Tigers had scored 900 or more runs each season from 1934 to 1937. The 1937 total of 935 runs is the second highest in franchise history, trailing only the 1934 Tigers team that scored 958 runs. The 1937 Tigers led the major leagues with a .292 batting average—nine points higher than the Yankees. The 1937 Tigers also had power, belting twice as many home runs (150 to 74) as the 1934 team.
Second baseman Charlie Gehringer won both the American League batting title and the AL Most Valuable Player Award. First baseman Hank Greenberg led the major leagues with 183 RBIs—still the third highest single season total in major league history. Rookie catcher Rudy York did not make it into the starting lineup until early August and promptly broke the AL record with 18 home runs in the month. York finished as the AL leader in at bats per home run (10.7) and with the third highest slugging percentage (.651) in the major leagues.
While the team had the bats, it lacked the pitching to compete with the Yankees. In contrast to its league-best batting average, the Tigers pitching staff had an ERA of 4.87—ranking seventh among the eight American League teams. Elden Auker (17-9; 3.88) was the only pitcher on the staff with an ERA below 4.00. Former ace Schoolboy Rowe was suspended at the beginning of the year for poor conditioning, pitched only 31-1/3 innings for the year, and compiled a staggering 7.59 ERA.
The team continued to have strong support from Detroit fans, finishing the 1937 season with a team record 1,072,276 fans attending the team's home games at Briggs Stadium. The only American League team to draw more fans up to that time was the 1930 Yankees' team that drew 1,169,230.
Read more about this topic: 1937 Detroit Tigers Season
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