This Week in Detroit Sports History: Howe becomes all-time leading goal scorer


On November 14, 1966, Gordie Howe scored his 627th goal, breaking a record held by Maurice Richard.

November 14
On November 14, 2013, Miguel Cabrera is named the MVP of the American League for the second straight season. Cabrera paced the league in batting (.348), on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, also swatting 44 homers and driving in 137 runs. He becomes the second Tiger to win back-to-back MVPs, joining pitcher Hal Newhouser, who did it in 1944-45.

On November 14, 2006, Justin Verlander becomes the fourth Tiger to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Verlander went 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA in 30 starts as a rookie, also starting Game One of the World Series. He joins Harvey Kuenn, Mark Fidrych, and Lou Whitaker as members of the Tigers to win the award.

On November 14, 1966, when he scores his 627th goal, Detroit’s Gordie Howe becomes the NHL’s all-time goal scorer, including regular season and the playoffs. The goal comes in Howe’s 1,233rd game and breaks the record of the legendary Maurice Richard.

On November 14, 1961, John E. Fetzer gains complete ownership of the Detroit Tigers after he purchases the last remaining stocks owned by minority owners. Fetzer will be in control of the club until 1983.

November 15
On November 15, 2012, the American League announces that Miguel Cabrera has won the Most Valuable Player Award, as he receives 22 of the 28 first-place votes. The Tiger third baseman won the triple crown in 2012, the first time that had happened in 45 years. He’s the first Detroit position player since Hank Greenberg in 1940 to win the award.

On November 15, 2011, Detroit righthander Justin Verlander is named the recipient of the American League Cy Young Award. Verlander won the pitching triple crown in 2011, leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. He becomes the first Tiger hurler to win the prestigious award since Willie Hernandez in 1984.

On November 15, 1927, in one of the most important moves in franchise history, Jack Adams is named coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. Adams will spend 36 years with the Wings, building a hockey dynasty and helping establish one of the best farm systems in the sport. The NHL trophy given annually to the league’s best coach is named for Adams.

November 16
On November 16, 2012, the Tigers sign free agent outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year, $26 million deal. Hunter will play right field and help the team to two division titles while becoming a popular veteran leader on the club.

November 17
On November 17, 1991, the Lions defeat the Los Angeles Rams at the Silverdome, 21-10, but the joy of their victory is tempered when offensive lineman Mike Utley suffers an injury to his spinal cord and has to be carried from the field on a stretcher. As he leaves the field, Utley gives his teammates and the fans a thumbs up, an act that becomes a rallying cry for the Lions and the city.

On November 17, 1987, George Bell of the Toronto Blue Jays is named American League Most Valuable Player, much to the chagrin of Tiger fans. Alan Trammell finishes second in voting, 332-311, despite hitting .343 with 28 homers and 108 RBI while filling in at the cleanup spot for Detroit. Trammell’s clutch performance late in the season led the Tigers past Bell’s team to win the AL East title.

November 18
On November 18, 1974, the Tigers shake things up with a big trade, sending shortstop Eddie Brinkman, outfielder Dick Sharon, and pitcher Bob Strampe to the Padres for slugger Nate Colbert, a three-time all-star first baseman. Colbert had averaged 27 homers for San Diego over six seasons, often launching impressive home runs, but he’ll struggle in Detroit where he lasts less than a season.

November 19
On November 19, 2004, one of the ugliest brawls in sports history occurs at The Palace of Auburn Hills when a fight between members of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers spills into the crowd. Pacer Ron Artest went into the crowd after a drink was thrown at him by a fan. Nine players were eventually suspended for a combined total of 146 games without pay.

November 20
On November 20, 1978, Lou Whitaker is named the winner of the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Second baseman Whitaker batted .285 with 71 runs scored and 58 RBIs for the Tiger sin his first season. Teammate Alan Trammell finishes third in voting. Whitaker is the third Tiger to be named top rookie, and the second in three years.