“Wire to Wire: Inside the 1984 Detroit Tigers Championship Season” by George Cantor
Baseball, Tigers, history
April 1, 2004
3 of 5 stars (okay)
The 1984 Detroit Tigers got off to the best start in baseball history for the first 40 games. They had an incredible 35-5 record at that time and went on to win the World Series in five games over the San Diego Padres. It was a special season for the Tigers and their fans. George Cantor’s book “Wire to Wire” recaps that season by sharing stories from many of the players and relieves some of the best games of the season.
Cantor was a long-time Detroit sportswriter who covered the Tigers in two of their championship seasons, 1968 and 1984. The knowledge he gained by covering the team shows in his writing as he recaps some insights about the players and owner that only a writer who regularly covered the team would know. However, the book never goes deep into the sprit or details of that season.
Most players on that team share some thoughts on that season for the book. Not only the stars like Kirk Gibson and Willie Hernandez talk, but some reserves such as Rusty Kunz, Tom Brookens and Ruppert Jones also are interviewed. I was hoping to get some great insight on this historic team from these players, but the stories were fairly short and predictable. The same could be said for the writing about the games on the field. While Cantor does a decent job describing the highlights of the great start to the season, this portion also lacks the depth I was hoping to read. After those first 40 games, the reader doesn’t learn much else about the season until the playoffs, when he again switches into more detail about the wins against Kansas City in the American League Championship Series and then the World Series win.
He also compares the 1968 Tigers championship to this team and that made good fodder for debate. It reads much like those types of comparisons one would read in a newspaper. There is also a good story on how Tom Monaghan, the Domino’s Pizza maverick, became owner of the Tigers.
Alas, in depth and entertaining stories like that are few and far between in this book. While it was a quick and decent read, if you are looking for a book on this team that covers a lot of ground, this isn’t that book.
Did I skim?
Pace of the book:
While hoping for more details about this team, the writing style did make this a quick read. It read it in two sittings of about one to one and a half hours each.
Do I recommend?
Tiger fans will certainly enjoy this recap of one of the single seasons in baseball history. A casual baseball fan who has heard about this team may also like it. However, hard core fans who want to learn more about this historic season will be disappointed with the lack of depth.
Book Format Read: