On October 7, 1935, The Detroit Tigers were making their 5th appearance in the World Series, they had appeared 3 straight times from 1907 – 1909, and again in 1934 they had twice lost the Chicago Cubs. This was the third time facing the Cubbies.
The Tigers went off 3 games to 1, Chicago took a tight game 6 to ties the series 3-3. Game 7 features Larry Fench for the Cubs and Tommy Bridges for the Tigers. The game went back and forth with 3 lead changes. In the top of the 9th, Stan Hack lead the inning off with a triple, he was sure to score the go-ahead run. Tommy Bridges, a small guy with a big heart was determined to not let that happen. Bridges got the next two batters and then he bounced a curve that looked to get by Cochrane, but Cochrane got down on his knees and was able to block it – barely. Hack, the potential go-ahead run, was forced to scamper back to third. On the next pitch, Galan swung and hit a high popup into short left field.
Years later, Billy Herman would still lament Cochrane’s splendid play: “When I think back to the 1935 World Series, all I can see is Hack standing on third base, waiting for somebody to drive him in. Seems he stood there for hours and hours.”
With one out, Cochrane reached on an infield single, Charlie Gehringer hit a sharp smash to Phil Cavarretta, the Chicago first baseman, who bobbled the ball momentarily before stepping on first to retire Gehringer. His throw to second was too late to nab Cochrane. Goose Goslin singled into right, just over the head of the second baseman Herman’s. Cochrane raced around third and headed home with the winning run. The Tigers were World Series winners for the first time in their history, and Navin Field erupted into pandemonium.
“The greatest exhibition of pitching in the clutch I have ever seen,” exclaimed a jubilant Cochrane in the postgame celebration, referring to Bridges’ ninth-inning heroics. “I told those Cubs that we’d throw 150 pounds of heart at them out there today, and I guess they realize now that Little Tommy is all of that – after that ninth inning. Pitching! He threw the six greatest curves I ever caught to lick them. … That Bridges. What a thrill he gave me. That little guy has the heart of a lion. … What a pitcher, what a heart. Just 150 pounds of grit and courage. That’s what he is.”
The Detroit Free Press –
Police said the crowd was bigger than the Armistice Day crowd of 1918. Even in that glorious moment, no such crowds had choked Detroit streets; no such paralysis of transportation had ensued; no such heights of pandemonium had been reached.
Detroit, through the baseball team that is a symbol and the incarnation of its fighting spirit, had won the baseball championship of the world, and the world was to know it.
It was Detroit’s salute to America.
Detroit had the dynamite; Mickey Cochrane and his Tigers provided the spark.
Detroit celebrated because it had won the world championship.
It celebrated because it was the city that had led the nation back to recovery.
It celebrated because it was the city that wouldn’t stay licked; the city that couldn’t be licked.
It was Detroit the unconquerable, ready to tell the world when the moment arrived.
The moment had arrived, and the world was told.
“There’s no doubt,” Police Inspector William Maloney said, “that it’s the biggest crowd in downtown Detroit in my memory.” And, he added, he has a very long memory