Charlie Gehringer may have had the single best All-Star Game by any Tiger, and it came in just the second Midsummer Classic ever. The 1934 game, which the AL won 9-7, remains one of the most famous. In fact, it was the very definition of an "all stars" game. Seventeen of the 18 players in the starting lineup eventually were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
One of the more memorable events came in the first and second innings. Representing the NL, Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell struck out five consecutive batters: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Fox, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. But before he did that, he allowed a single to the first batter he faced: Detroit's own Charlie Gehringer.
Gehringer at the time was a 34-year-old second baseman enjoying at the time one of the best seasons in his career. He finished the 154-game season with 214 hits and 134 runs scored, batted .356 with a .450 on-base percentage and .517 slugging average. It's like video game numbers. He was selected to the first six all-star games, beginning with that first exhibition in Chicago in 1933 and ending in 1938 a year after he was chosen as the most valuable player in the American League.
The game proved to be a great chance for the Fowlerville native and Michigan alum to show off his abilities. He went 2-for-3 with three walks -- one intentional in the midst of the AL's six-run fifth inning. He also stole as base.
But that wasn't his only success in the game. Gehringer is at or near the top of several ASG leaderboards, not the least of which are for his batting average (.500) and on-base percentage (.659 in 29 plate appearances).
Tommy Bridges and Mickey Cochrane also represented the Tigers at the ASG, however neither made it into the game. If there's one thing you learn by looking into the history of the game, it's that the starters remained in most of the game and the reserve players just had really good seats.
By the way, 1934 ranks among the top seasons in Tigers history, although they lost the World Series to St. Louis in seven games that year. Detroit went 101-53 that year for a franchise-best .656 winning percentage. After a back and forth World Series with the Cardinals, Detroit held a 3-2 lead entering game six in Detroit. That contest, too, was a back and forth matter that St. Louis won after scoring the game-winning run in the seventh. The Cardinals trounced Detroit 11-0 in the deciding game after scoring seven runs in the third inning.
You might know how the story ends for that generation of Tigers, however. In 1935, they won 93 games to earn another appearance as the AL representative in the World Series. This time, they met the Cubs and made the best of the chance. Detroit won the 35 Fall Classic four games to two.