The Detroit Tigers won the American League pennant Friday. If the Cardinals join them things could look pretty familiar.
In the 2006 World Series the Detroit Tigers' pitchers couldn't throw to first base. In 1968 someone finally managed to beat Bob Gibson. In 1934 the St. Louis Cardinals' Dean brothers befuddled everybody around Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg. In 1887 the old National League Detroit Wolverines made the St. Louis Browns' absurd owner Chris Von der Ahe so furious that he traded Bob Caruthers, their star player, and said he hoped his team had gotten its "big head" knocked out of it after a 10-5 series loss.
For more about the St. Louis Cardinals' World Series victories, from Bob Caruthers to David Freese, than you ever wanted to know, read The Ultimate Cardinals Record Book, which its author hopes will be out of date sometime in the next week or so.
And in 2012, the Cardinals and the Tigers—St. Louis and Detroit—could meet again. The Tigers swept the New York Yankees to win their first American League pennant since 2006, and the Cardinals will need to win one game out of the next three against the San Francisco Giants to win their second pennant in as many years.
That's far from a sure thing, as the Cincinnati Reds can most recently attest. But if the Cardinals can reach the World Series again, we now know they'll be meeting the Tigers again, for the fifth time. No Bob Gibson, no Dizzy Dean, no Bob Caruthers—no Anthony Reyes, either. But yet another look at two remarkable franchises who could skip the customary thirty-some years in 2012.