Photo courtesy fanbase.com
On Aug. 12, 1987, the Detroit Tigers were trailing the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East Division and were looking to make a push.
The Tigers acquired starting pitcher Doyle Alexander from the Atlanta Braves for young pitching prospect John Smoltz.
Alexander was absolutely outstanding for the Tigers, posting a 9-0 record and 1.53 ERA in 11 starts, and the Tigers won 33 of their remaining 51 games to overtake the Jays for the AL East title.
However, the Tigers lost the ALCS to the Minnesota Twins in five games, and Alexander was out of baseball two years later.
Smoltz teamed with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine for many years to lead the Braves to 14 consecutive NL East titles and a World Series championship in 1995. Smoltz is the only man in MLB history to record 200 wins and 150 saves, ending his fabulous career in 2009 with a likely place in the Hall of Fame sometime in the near future.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.