The Tigers began as a minor league baseball team in the 1890s. The league was reorganized as the American League, and became a major league in 1901. The Tigers were one of the first teams to have an "official" nickname. They obtained permission from a military group called the Detroit Light Guard, which was known as the "Tigers". That group had fought in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.
The Tigers have often lived up to their nickname, having great success from time to time. Their most famous player was Ty Cobb, usually regarded as among the very greatest players of all time. The Tigers have frequently played in baseball's post-season games. They have won several World Series, in 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984. They also played in the World Series in 2006 and 2012, where the lost to the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants, respectively.
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