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6/30/2014 9:35 P.M. ET

Top 10 seasons in Detroit Tigers history

1. 1984

Record: 104-58
How season ended: World Series champions

The 1984 Tigers led the American League East from wire-to-wire and won the division by a whopping 13 games. Detroit started the season 35-5 and never looked back. A balanced offense and a pitching staff led by Cy Young Award winner Willie Hernandez keyed the spectacular run. In the postseason, the Tigers dropped just one game, sweeping the Royals in the AL Championship Series and beating San Diego for the World Series title, which stands as the most recent one won by the organization.

2. 1968

Record: 103-59
How season ended: World Series champions

As 1968 is known to baseball fans as The Year of the Pitcher, it's fitting that the AL Cy Young Award winner pitched for the World Series champions. Denny McLain's 31 wins that season make him baseball's last 30-game winner, and there might not ever be another. McLain wasn't even the most important hurler to the Tigers' postseason run, which culminated in a Game 7 World Series win over St. Louis. That honor belonged to Mickey Lolich, who pitched three complete-game wins in that Series.

3. 1935

Record: 93-58
How season ended: World Series champions

The 1935 Tigers didn't just dominate their opponents on the diamond; they crushed them at the turnstiles, too. More than one million fans packed Navin Field that year to see Detroit storm back to capture the AL pennant from the Yankees. In the World Series, the Tigers did what they couldn't do the year before, defeating their National League counterparts, the Cubs, to win the first title in franchise history. Hank Greenberg knocked in 170 runs in 1935, the eighth-highest single-season total in Major League history.

4. 1934

Record: 101-53
How season ended: Lost World Series

The predecessor to the 1935 championship club had the best winning percentage in franchise history but ended its season in bitter fashion. In a decisive World Series Game 7, having played seven straight days, the Tigers were whipped by the Cardinals, 11-0. All but two of Detroit's offensive starters hit above .300, and none hit worse than .285. Tommy Bridges and Schoolboy Rowe combined for 46 victories.

5. 1945

Record: 88-65
How season ended: World Series champions

With the World Series on the line, the 1945 Tigers relied, as they had all year, on left-hander Hal Newhouser. The MVP of the season didn't disappoint. Newhouser pitched a complete game to help Detroit to its second championship, again over the Cubs. Greenberg, who had missed four seasons due to military duty, returned in July and hit .311.

6. 1961

Record: 101-61
How season ended: Missed postseason

Fittingly, the 1961 Tigers lost only 61 games to finish with what is still the third-best record of any Detroit team. Yet somehow, they finished the season eight games behind the Yankees and didn't get the chance to play for a title. Norm Cash earned the AL batting crown by hitting .361. Frank Lary won 23 games as the ace of the pitching staff.

7. 1909

Record: 98-54
How season ended: Lost World Series

Ty Cobb hit .377, knocked nine home runs and drove in 107 runs to win the Triple Crown. But in the World Series against Pittsburgh, he was a non-factor for the most part, and the Pirates snatched the title in seven games. It marked the third straight year in which Detroit took the American League pennant but came up just short in the World Series. George Mullin compiled a 29-8 record to go along with a 2.22 ERA.

8. 1915

Record: 100-54
How season ended: Missed postseason

The 1915 American League pennant race was hotly contested between the Tigers and the Red Sox, but Boston took it by 2 1/2 games. Baseball historian Bill James refers to the Detroit outfield that season as the best in Major League history. Cobb, Sam Crawford and Bobby Veach combined for 323 RBIs. Three Tigers pitchers won at least 17 games, but all five of the members of Boston's rotation, including Babe Ruth, won a minimum of 15.

9. 1940

Record: 90-64
How season ended: Lost World Series

The 1940 season came down to a three-game series in Cleveland, with the Indians in need of a sweep to advance to the World Series. Detroit took the first game to clinch and advance to the World Series, where the Tigers lost in seven games to Cincinnati. Greenberg batted .340, hit 41 homers and drove in 150 runs. Bobo Newsom went 21-5 and compiled a 2.83 ERA.

10. 1987

Record: 98-64
How season ended: Lost American League Championship Series

These Tigers won six of their last eight regular-season games to steal the AL East Division title from Toronto. In the ALCS, they were felled in five games by eventual World Series champion Minnesota. Detroit wouldn't return to the postseason until 2006. Shortstop Alan Trammell batted .343 with 28 homers and 105 RBIs. 

Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.