The Tigers were entering their fifth season in the American League, and it was time to see some progress---and some stability.

Only once in four years had the Tigers finished with a winning record.  The team had already gone through four managers. They hadn't really come close to contending for the pennant.

The new field boss was Bill Armour, and unlike his predecessors, Armour had big league managing experience.

Armour managed the Cleveland Indians for three seasons (1902-04), and he never posted a losing record. In fact, his '04 Indians team finished 86-65 and in fourth place.

Compared to previous Tigers managers, Armour's resume was dazzling.

The roster got tweaked yet again. To replace Bobby Lowe at 2B, the Tigers turned to William "Germany" Schaefer, who had been purchased from Milwaukee of the American Association the previous July.

The new CF was Duff Cooley, who enjoyed some success with Philadelphia in the National League in the late-1890s.

What wasn't tweaked was the Tigers' Big Three in the starting rotation; George Mullin, Bill Donovan and Ed Killian were all back.

The new-look Tigers bobbed along around .500 for most of the season, never rising much above it nor much below it.

On August 30, 1905, the franchise would be changed forever. That was when outfielder Tyrus Raymond Cobb made his big league debut.

Just 18 years old, Cobb didn't show much, batting just .240 in 150 at-bats. But he brought a spit-and-vinegar attitude that the Tigers had never before seen. 

Perhaps inspired by Cobb's reckless play, the Tigers finished strong, going 28-14 over their last 42 games to finish in third place at 79-74, the team's first winning record in four years.

Who knew? Maybe Cobb was the real deal and would be the Tigers' star of the future.

Sam Crawford rebounded from his poor 1904 to bat .297, though it still seemed like he wasn't playing up to his potential.

Killian won 23 games, Mullin 21 and Donovan 18. Together, all three posted ERAs in the 2.27-2.60 range.

And, once again, manager Armour guided his team to a winning record.

By GregEno
Bill Armour, Bill Donovan, Bobby Lowe, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Tigers 1905, Duff Cooley, Ed Killian, George Mullin, Germany Schaefer, Ty Cobb


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