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The Tigers entered the 1913 season stung by the abject failures of 1912, which signaled an end to their elite status in the American League.

The roster wasn't as talented as in years prior, despite the great twosome of Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford in the outfield. Mainstay pitcher George Mullin was nearing the end of his career, and wouldn't even finish the season with the Tigers.

Hughie Jennings still provided the Tigers with stability as manager, but often a field manager is only as good as the players at his command.

The Tigers started the season 5-14, which pretty much nipped whatever optimism they had in the bud. It was a season where the Tigers never contended, and the only drama  was whether Cobb would have another .400+ campaign.

Cobb couldn't manage it, though he did hit a robust .390 and won yet another batting crown. Crawford batted .317 and led the league with 23 triples. And if nothing else, the Tigers were exciting on the basepaths; they stole 218 bases, led by Cobb's 51 and shortstop Donie Bush's 44.

One bright spot was the emergence of young pitcher Hooks Dauss, who won 13 games, and who would replace Mullin as a Tigers pitching mainstay as Dauss's career blossomed over the next decade. The Tigers sold Mullin to the Washington Senators in May.

It was a long summer, and the Tigers finished a miserable 66-87, bad enough for sixth place, some 30 games behind the pennant-winning Philadelphia A's.

One footnote: in the September major league draft, the Tigers selected a 19-year-old kid from San Francisco named Harry Heilmann, an outfielder from Portland of the Northwestern League. Heilmann would, in the near future, make his mark as a Tigers icon.

LEADERS
HR: Crawford (9)
RBI: Crawford (83)
BA: Cobb (.390)

Wins: Jean Dubuc (15)
K: Dauss (107)
ERA: Dauss (2.48)

*****************************************

By GregEno
 

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Detroit Tigers, George Mullin, Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb

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