The Detroit Tigers: Club and Community, 1945-1995


415 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-7903-2
DDC 796.357'64'0977434




Reviewed by Ian A. Andrews

Ian A. Andrews is a high-school social sciences teacher and editor of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association’s Focus.


This is a well-researched and scholarly account of how a major
professional baseball franchise, the Detroit Tigers, contributed to the
city of Detroit in the post–World War II era.

The author traces the Detroit organization from the beginning of the
century, thus placing the 1945–95 period in context. The conservative,
traditionalist (and racist) stance followed by the early ownership
paralleled Detroit’s industrial boom. Poor recruiting of players and
poor promotion of the team led to infrequent trips to the World Series.
Tiger Stadium was “the place to be” and provided a sense of identity
to the city’s inhabitants, but demographic restructuring and lack of
racial harmony undermined attendance.

Detroit’s population dropped by 800,000 between 1950 and 1990 as the
city gained a reputation as the crime capital of the United States. It
was also central in the racial disturbances of the late 1960s. Harrigan
notes that the World Series victory of 1968 merely “gave a respite
from economic and racial problems in Detroit; it did not solve them.”

This critical analysis of the business of baseball will be of
particular interest to students of 20th-century history.


Harrigan, Patrick., “The Detroit Tigers: Club and Community, 1945-1995,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,