Roscoe Miller (23-13) led the team in wins and was the Tigers' first 20-game winner. His performance headlined a strong pitching staff that had the third lowest ERA (3.30) in the American League. Joe Yeager had an ERA of 2.61, for the second best Adjusted ERA+ in the AL, behind Cy Young. The offense was not as strong however, scoring 741 runs -- fifth among the eight teams in the league. The team's best hitters were shortstop Kid Elberfeld (.308 average) and center fielder Jimmy Barrett (.293 average; 110 runs).
The Tigers had played their games at Bennett Park since 1896, but the graduation to a major league meant that there would now be games scheduled on Sundays, which was forbidden by Detroit's blue laws. In order to avoid running afoul of this stricture, owner James D. Burns built a ballpark on his own property in Springwells Township, Michigan just outside the Detroit city limits. Named Burns Park, the Tigers would play their Sunday home games there for the 1901 and 1902 seasons.
Pop Dillon with the Detroit Tigers, pictured here in 1903.
After years in the Western League, the Tigers were scheduled to take the field for their first official American League game on April 24, 1901. A standing room only crowd was anticipated at Bennett Park, but the Tigers' inaugural American League game was postponed due to weather. The following day, in front of 10,023 fans, the Tigers entered the ninth inning trailing the Milwaukee Brewers 13–4. Third basemenDoc Casey started the ninth-inning rally with a ground rule double. The Tigers continued the rally to eventually reduce their deficit to one run. Now only down one run, 13–12, with two runners on base and two out, Tiger Frank "Pop" Dillon hit a two-run double against reliever Bert Husting to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 14–13.