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A Tigers Title? That Would Be So '80s

September 15, 2006|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

If the Detroit Tigers can end their recent skid, hang on and make the playoffs, they'll be in postseason play for the first time since 1987.

Remember '87? Ronald Reagan was president, the Senate rejected Robert Bork for the U.S. Supreme Court and the Tigers finished the regular season with the best record in baseball, 98-64, winning the American League East title.

The Tigers, managed by Sparky Anderson, then played the Minnesota Twins, winners of what was then the AL West, in the league championship series.

Detroit was a heavy favorite but lost the series, four games to one. Minnesota went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Trivia time: When was Detroit last in the World Series and (bonus points) who was the Series' most valuable player that year?

Seeing zeros: Three NFL teams were shut out last weekend, the first time that has happened in 15 years.

Baltimore beat Tampa Bay, 27-0; Chicago beat Green Bay, 26-0, and San Diego blanked Oakland, 27-0.

That marked the first time three teams were shut out the same weekend since Sept. 15, 1991, the third week of that season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Raiders beat Indianapolis that week, 16-0; Philadelphia beat Dallas, 24-0, and Washington beat the Cardinals, 34-0.

The Raiders were in Los Angeles at the time. Their coach? Art Shell.

Best offer: The Manchester United shirt worn by soccer star George Best when he scored six goals against Northampton Town in 1970 sold at auction this week for 24,000 British pounds, or nearly $45,000.

The record price for a soccer shirt sold at auction was 158,000 pounds, paid in 2002 for Pele's shirt from the 1970 World Cup final.

The flamboyant Best died at 59 last November after a long bout with alcoholism.

His performance in the 1970 game is considered one of his finest. Roy Fairfax, the Northampton player who guarded Best that day, later said, "The closest I got to him was when we shook hands after the game."

Pays to wait? The city council in Arlington, Texas, agreed to pay $2.75 million to a 72-year-old woman to acquire her house and four acres for the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium.

The original offer to Evelyn Wray was $351,000, and a court-appointed panel set the value at $1.2 million. As Wray fought for more, she moved out of her house in March and stayed with family and friends.

Now, "I can buy something and stop living in my car," Wray said.

The stadium is scheduled to open in 2009.

Trivia answer: 1984, when the Tigers beat the San Diego Padres, four games to one. Detroit shortstop Alan Trammell was the series' MVP.

And finally: NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth is a 15-4 favorite to win the Chase for the Nextel Cup, which starts Sunday, according to the online sports betting site Of the other nine drivers in the Chase, Mark Martin has the worst odds, 16-1.

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