The most successful years of the franchise were in the 1950s and 1960s when the team appeared in 10 Grey Cups. Beginning in 1957 under coach Jim Trimble (who left the team after the 1962 season), the Tiger-Cats played in every national final through 1967, except for those of 1960 and 1966, winning 4 Cups (1957, 1963, 1965 and 1967). Tiger-Cat teams have always been characterized by tough defence. Another Grey Cup victory came in 1972 when the Tiger-Cats played before many Hamilton fans at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
The Tiger-Cats were purchased by Harold Ballard in 1978, and despite their success on the field, including a Grey Cup victory in 1986, the team lost money every year. Hamilton businessman David Braley bought the team in 1989 and they responded by advancing to the Grey Cup game, losing to Saskatchewan. Continued poor attendance led Braley to sell the team to a community-based group in 1992. In 1997 the team recorded its worst season ever, and reacted by hiring Ron LANCASTER as head coach. The next season saw Hamilton at the Grey Cup game, narrowly losing to Calgary. In a rematch with Calgary in 1999, Hamilton won its first Grey Cup since 1986. In all, the Tiger-Cats have appeared in 18 Grey Cup games since 1950 and have won 8, most recently in 1999 when they defeated the Calgary Stampeders in Vancouver by a 32-21 score. The Tiger-Cats have their home games at Ivor Wynne Stadium, an outdoor stadium that seats 29 161.
Author DEREK DRAGER