THE Rivalry since the 1950 Tigers-Wildcats merger

Inspired by a comment by an Argo booster on the website, I delved into the playoff successes and related record regarding the Hamilton-Toronto rivalry since 1965 (spanning my lifetime to date). I've taken some extra time to compile a snapshot of the teams' respective success in playoffs and head-to-head since the 1950 Tigers-Wildcats merger that established the Tiger-Cats.

REGULAR SEASON @ October 25, 2010

I decided NOT to compile all regular season game results a) because of lack of time and b) since I currently do not have a Ticat Media Guide at my disposal. However, I found the all-time record of the series referenced in a CBC game preview of the October 15 game, won by Hamilton 30-3 at Rogers Centre. Combining that game result with the indicated record in the article, Hamilton holds a 120-86-2 all-time regular season record against Toronto.

[url=] ... eview.html[/url]

Regarding Labour Day Classics, Hamilton holds a 29-14-1 all-time record against Toronto since 1948, 27-14-1 since the 1950 merger, including the most recent 28-13 win in this year's game on Sept 6 not referenced in the Labour Day preview article on on Sept.3.

[url=] ... y-classics[/url]


I've compiled records since 1950 on three fronts:

  • Head-to-Head Record
  • Missed Playoff Years
  • Grey Cups and Runner-Up Years

All information has been acquired through Internet sources. Wikipedia CFL season recaps are the primary sources, along with other links indicated below.

1) Head-to-Head Playoff Record

All-time head-to-head playoff record: Toronto leads 13-7-1 in individual games, the teams are tied 3-3 in two or three-game total points series


1950 IRFU Finals
(Game One) November 11 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 13 Toronto Argonauts 11
(Game Two) November 15 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 6 Toronto Argonauts 24
Toronto won series 35-19

1951 IRFU Semis
(Game One) November 7 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24 Toronto Argonauts 7
(Game Two) November 10 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 Toronto Argonauts 21
Hamilton won series 31-28

1952 IRFU Finals
(Game One) November 15 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 6 Toronto Argonauts 22
(Game Two) November 19 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27 Toronto Argonauts 21
(Game Three) November 22 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 Toronto Argonauts 12
Toronto won best-of-three series 2-1

1955 IRFU Semi-Final
November 12 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 28 Toronto Argonauts 32

1960 Eastern Final
(Game One) November 18 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7 Toronto Argonauts 25
(Game Two) November 25 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 48 Toronto Argonauts 2 (OT)
Hamilton won series 55-27

1968 East Semi-Final
November 9 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 21 Toronto Argonauts 33

1969 East Semi-Final
November 9 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 9 Toronto Argonauts 15

1971 East Final
(Game One) November 14 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 8 Toronto Argonauts 23
(Game Two) November 20 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 17 Toronto Argonauts 17
Toronto won series 40-25

1983 East Final
November 20 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 36 Toronto Argonauts 41

1984 East Final
November 11 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 14 Toronto Argonauts 13 (OT)

1986 East Final
(Game One) November 16 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 17 Toronto Argonauts 31
(Game Two) November 23 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 42 Toronto Argonauts 25
Hamilton won series 59-56

1987 East Semi-Final
November 15 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 13 Toronto Argonauts 29

1999 East Semi-Final
November 14 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27 Toronto Argonauts 6

2004 East Semi-Final
November 5 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 6 Toronto Argonauts 24

2) Missed Playoff Years

What about MISSING the playoffs? Here is the record of futility for both clubs since 1950...

Hamilton has missed the playoffs 13 times since 1950:

1960 4-10
1973 7-7
1977 5-11
1990 6-12
1991 3-15
1994 4-14
1997 2-16
2002 7-11 (Sask. crossover)
2003 1-17
2005 5-13
2006 4-14
2007 3-15
2008 3-15

Toronto has missed the playoffs 27 times in that time span:

1953 5-9
1954 6-8
1956 4-10
1957 4-10
1958 4-10
1959 4-10
1962 4-10
1963 3-11
1964 4-10
1965 3-11
1966 5-9
1972 3-11
1974 6-9-1
1975 5-10-1
1976 7-8-1
1978 4-12
1979 5-11
1980 6-10
1981 2-14
1985 6-10
1992 6-12
1993 3-15
1995 4-14
2000 7-10-1
2001 7-11
2008 4-14
2009 3-15

All this can be verified via Wikipedia's CFL season recaps.

3) Grey Cups and Runners-Up Years

Toronto has won 6 Grey Cups since 1950 (1950, 1983, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2004) and been runners-up 3 times ( in 1971, 1982, and 1987).

Hamilton has won 8 Grey Cups since 1950 (1953, 1957, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1972, 1986, and 1999) and been runners-up 10 times (1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1989, and 1998).

There you go. The facts! Enjoy.

  • Any and all corrections are welcome if needed.

Oski Wee Wee,


I caught one error in the Labour Day Classic records. The 1948 and 1949 games were lost by the Hamilton Flying Wildcats. I've corrected the record to reflect the post-1950 record (Hamilton leading 29-12-1) accurately.

This update is cited in the quoted material above.

Oski Wee Wee,


They may as well give Bob Young the keys to the Argo offices and the Rogers Centre because the Ticats own the Argos.

There have been many memorable games in this all-time series. To me, the most exciting was the two-game total point Eastern final in 1986. As Russ has shown, we lost the first game by 14 points, then came back in the second to win the series. What isn't shown is that we fell further behind in Game Two before mounting an amazing comeback to earn a spot in the Grey Cup game. In that game of course, we trounced the heavily favoured (by a record margin of something like 28 points I believe) Eskimos to win our only Cup of that decade.

As I recall, it was something like the Cats being 20 point underdogs for that Grey Cup.

As for the the second game of the 1986 East final, I believe Hamilton was down at one point by 28 points in the third quarter...than VROOOOOOOOOOOM! That November was the greatest I've experieced as a Cat fan to this day. Special days and a special team!

Oski Wee Wee,


I’m sure you must be right… it was no doubt that second game deficit that I was thinking of when I recall a 28-point margin.

What a thrill it was to watch them come back and come back and come back in the East final. Toward the end of that second game, the Argos were shell-shocked and seemed to know the outcome was inevitable. The Eskimos were just as stunned when we had them down 36-0 at the half in the GC, and they had a total of something like minus-4 yards offence!

That second game in Toronto was an amazing comeback. And then, a week later,probably the most enjoyable or satisfying Ti-Cat game I ever attended -- the '86 Grey Cup crushing victory over the favoured Eskimos. But, the best two-game-total-point-series was, probably 1961, when the first place Cats lost 25-7 in Toronto, then won 20-2 in regulation time in the second game at home, and followed up by outscoring the Argos 28-0 in the old 2-ten minute halves overtime format. The Grey Cup, that year, also went into overtime, but the Cats were spent and lost by a WPG TD.

Correction: I’m watching the 1986 Grey Cup game again (russtalgia, no?) and Leif Pettersen for CTV referred to a 26-point deficit that the Cats came back from in the East final. Sounds about right to me!

Oski Wee Wee,


In the 1986 Grey Cup, Esks were down 29-0 at the half. :wink:

I don't have the exact half stats from the telecast, but Edmonton was more like 15 total yards offense by the 25 total yards cited subtracted by the ten-yard sack at the end of the half. Still, arguably the most awesome defensive performance since the 1967 Grey Cup triumph.

Oski Wee Wee,


not sure how inspired this research project, but good job

It was 28 points...We lost the first game 31-17 at Ivor Wynne...The Argos got 2 quick touchdowns in the first quarter of game 2 at Exhibition Stadium...

I know this because I was in attendance that day...A huge caravan of buses left the Centre Mall for TO that day and I was on one of them!!!

I 100% remember that it was a 26 point deficit at the end of the first quarter of game 2, and by halftime the deficit was down to 9.

I can't remember, but Ben does and he WAS there too. He agrees with you JFL. Paragraph 5:

And now: memories... LOL

[url=] ... re=related[/url] [url=] ... re=related[/url] [url=] ... re_related[/url] ;)

Oski Wee Wee,


Have to admit, I enjoyed watching that third clip the best. :smiley:

Let the fun begin! :wink:

Oski Wee Wee,


See last post...LOL

The oldest rivalry in professional football will have another slobberknocking installment Sunday. We shall see if the Cats can will win its first playoff game since 2001 and first against Toronto since 1999.

Oski Wee Wee,


UPDATED 11.14.10

Below is the updated history for the Hamilton-Toronto rivalry, including last season's 16-13 Toronto win in the 2010 EDSF. The records are good as of the time of posting.


Oski Wee Wee,


Below is the updated history for the Hamilton-Toronto rivalry, including last Saturday's 37-32 win by Hamilton. The records are good as of the time of posting.


Oski Wee Wee,