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Detroit Tigers : Paws the Tiger

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Paws the Tiger is the official mascot of the Detroit Tigers, a Major League Baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are in the Central Division of the American League. The Detroit Tigers baseball franchise played their first game for the newly established American League on April 25, 1901 at Bennett Park in front of 10,000 fans. After trailing 13-4 entering the ninth inning, the team staged a dramatic comeback to win the game 14-13. A legend holds that the Detroit Tigers got their nickname after a sportswriter wrote that the team "fought back like tigers." The team eventually finished third in the eight team league. Eleven years later, an elegant stadium was constructed on the site of Bennett Park and named Navin Field. In 1961, Briggs Stadium, as it was then known, was renamed Tiger Stadium. Tiger Stadium was used by the Tigers until the end of the 1999 season.

Since 2000, the Tigers played in Comerica Park. In 1905, the team acquired Ty Cobb, a player who would be considered one of the greatest of all-time. The addition of Cobb to an already talented team that included Sam Crawford, Hughie Jennings, Bill Donovan, and George Mullin quickly yielded results, as the Tigers won three consecutive American League Championships from 1907-09.

 

paws the tiger

 

However, the team came up short in the World Series each time, and would not win its first World Series until 1935. In 2003, the Tigers avoided the 1962 New York Mets' modern record for losses in one season by winning five out of the last six games of the season. Since the mid-1990s, the team's fortunes have been dismal; they last posted a winning season in 1993. In 2004, the team signed or traded for several talented but high-risk veterans, such as Ivan Rodriguez, Ugueth Urbina, Rondell White, and Carlos Guillen, and the gamble paid off. The '04 Tigers had a 29 game improvement over the previous season, one of the greatest improvements in baseball history.

The home ballpark of the Detroit Tigers is the Comerica Park in downtown Detroit, Michigan. Groundbreaking for a new ballpark to replace Tiger Stadium for the Detroit Tigers was held on October 29, 1997 and the new stadium was opened to the public in 2000. The new stadium is part of a downtown revitalization plan for the city of Detroit. In December 1998, the bank Comerica agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights for the new ballpark. Prowling Detroit Tigers games since 1995, Paws has been a fan favorite for over a decade.

Whether he's hosting charity events, competing for 18 hours in a dance contest, or just growling at the fans, this giant striped mascot is always a prominent fixture at home games and throughout Detroit. Erin Blank, who donned the tiger outfit until 2002, points to PAWS' Easter Bunny costume as one of the mascot's highlights.

 

Because what could be more entertaining for kids than an angry tiger in a pink bunny outfit? Paws was paid the ultimate compliment in 1995 when a fan sued him -- for being too entertaining. After being hit by a foul ball, the Tigers fan claimed he was injured because he was watching Paws' antics instead of the game. Detroit's favorite tiger was vindicated when the jury ruled that Paws was not to blame.

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