The Fun-Time Baseball Hall: Detroit Tigers

The Fun-Time Baseball Hall was created for pure fun and to help me build my knowledge of my favorite sport. All teams will be featured throughout the year, along with an ample voting period. There will be built-in exclusivity for induction, described below, and voting will continue each year.

Please vote in the poll after you review the player write-ups.
Try to vote for at least 7 and no more than 10 - even if arguably everyone here deserves it. For more information, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Lady and Gentlemen, Your Detroit Tigers:
Norm Cash (1B)
  • Began his career with the Chicago White Sox, playing somewhat sparingly in 1958 and 1959. Was traded in the off-season to Cleveland and then to Detroit.
  • Played for the Tigers from 1960-1974, the rest of his career, filling the middle of the batting order for the bulk of his career.
  • Five-time All-Star
  • Was considered one of the better defensive first baseman of the 1960s, leading the league in putouts (1961), fielding percentage (1964, 1967) and assists (1965–67).
  • World Series champion (1968) and hit .385 (10-26) with one home run in the series. 
  • 1961 AL batting title, hitting .361, the highest average of any player in the 1960s.
  • In 1961, hit 41 home runs (6th in the AL), 132 RBIs (4th), 119 runs (4th), 124 walks (2nd), .488 on base percentage (1st), and 354 total bases (2nd). Season was overshadowed by the 61 home runs of Roger Maris.
  • Two-time AL Comeback Player of the Year (1965, 1971)
  • Career totals: .271, 377 home runs, 1,103 RBIs

Ty Cobb (OF)
  • 22 seasons (1905-1926) as a Tiger before finishing his career with two seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • 12 batting titles including 9 straight from 1907-1915
  • Held all-time records for hits, runs, stolen bases, games played, at bats - until they were broken in the 70s/80s.
  • Hit more than .400 three times.
  • 1911 AL MVP 
  • Second on baseball's all-time triples list between Tigers teammate Sam Crawford.
  • Career totals: .367 average, 4,191 hits, 1,939 RBIs, 892 stolen bases (third all-time), 2,245 runs
  • Played in World Series in 1907, 1908, 1909. Never a champion.
  • In 1936, Cobb earned the highest percentage of votes in the first Hall of Fame election.

Sam Crawford (OF)
  • Wahoo Sam played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1899-1902 and then the Tigers from 1903-1917.
  • One of the greatest sluggers of the dead-ball era. Still holds MLB records for career triples (309) and inside-the-park home runs in a season (12). 
  • He has the second best all-time record for most inside-the-park home runs in a career (51). He became first player to lead both the AL and the NL in home runs (1901 and 1908).
  • 309 career triples tops the MLB record book.
  • In 1911, he hit a career-high .378 with 115 RBIs and 57 extra base hits. From 1913-1915, he played in 472 consecutive games for the Tigers. He was among the AL leaders in hits, RBIs, extra base hits, slugging percentage and total bases every year from 1905-1915.
  • Considered an excellent fielder in his prime. In 1905, he led all AL outfielders with a .988 fielding percentage – 35 points higher than the league average.  
  • Led AL in runs in 1907 with 102.
  • Led NL in triples in 1902 and 1903 and the AL in 1910 and 1913-1915.
  • Led AL in RBIs in 1910, 1914, and 1915.
  • Career totals: .309, 2,961 hits, 97 home runs, 1,525 RBIs

Cecil "Big Daddy" Fielder (1B/DH)
  • With the Tigers from 1990-96. Before then, Toronto Blue Jays (1985-88); Hanshin Tigers in Japan (1989). New York Yankees (1996-97); Both the Anaheim Angels and Cleveland Indians (1998).
  • Hit 51 HRs and had 132 RBIs in 1990. Eleventh player in ML history to reach 50. Previous high was 14 with Toronto in 1987. 
  • No player in Detroit history had hit as many over a six-year period (219), and no major league player had more home runs between 1990–95. 
  • Made All-Star Team in 1990, 1991, and 1993.  
  • One of only four players to homer over the left-field roof at Tiger Stadium (joining Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard and Mark McGwire). Hit only HR ever hit out of Milwaukee County Stadium—during both the Braves' Milwaukee history (1953–65) and Brewers' park history (1970–2000). 
  • Career totals: .255, 319 HRs, 1008 RBI, 2 SB

Bill Freehan (C)
  • A Tiger for his entire career (1961-1976).
  • An All-Star in each of the 11 seasons when he caught at least 75 games. His 11 appearances are the most by any eligible player who is not in the Hall of Fame.
  • Freehan caught more games as a catcher than any other player in Tigers' team history and, he ranked ninth in major league history in games caught (1,581) at the end of his career. 
  •  Five-time Gold Glove winner. He held the record for highest career fielding percentage at his position until 2002, when Dan Wilson broke the record.
  • He ranked sixth in AL history with 114 times being hit by a pitch. 
  • Career totals of 200 home runs and 2,502 total bases placed him behind only Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey among AL catchers when he retired. Career .262 average, 758 RBIs.
  • His .412 slugging average and totals of 1,591 hits, 706 runs and 476 extra base hits all put him among the top five AL catchers to that time.

Charlie Gehringer (2B)
  • "The Mechanical Man," a second baseman, played his entire 19-year career (1924-1942) with the Tigers.
  • 6-time All-Star (1933-38)
  • Won AL MVP in 1937 with 209 hits, 133 runs, 96 RBIs and a league high .371 batting average.
  • Helped lead the Tiger to 3 AL pennants in 1934, 1935 (WS title), 1940
  • The Tigers retired his #2 in 1983. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1949. 
  • He had the highest fielding percentage and the most assists by a second baseman seven times in his career. 
  • Lifetime .320 average ranks sixth on the Tigers' all-time list. Ranks high for the Tigers in most offensive categories: .398 on-base percentage (fourth), 2,839 hits (third), 574 doubles (second), 1,774 runs (second), 146 triples (third), 1,427 RBI’s (fourth) and 181 steals (ninth). He ranks third in at-bats and total bases, and fourth in games played.
  • Career totals: .320 average, 2,839 hits, 1,774 runs, 184 home runs, 1,427 RBIs

Kirk Gibson (OF)
  • Played with Detroit from 1979-87 and 1993-95. Played with the Dodgers, Royals and Pirates in between those years.
  • Regular right-fielder for the Tigers from 1983-87
  • World Series champion (1984) with Tigers. Won another World Series with the Dodgers in 1988.
  • ALCS MVP (1984)
  • Named to the All-Star team twice, once as a Tiger, but declined both invitations.
  • He finished in the top 10 in home runs 3 times in his career and ranked in the top 10 in stolen bases 4 times. He fell one home run short of becoming the first Tiger in the 30-30 club in 1985.
  • Career totals: .268, 255 home runs, 870 RBIs

Hank Greenberg (1B)
  • "Hammerin' Hank" played with Tigers in 1930, 1933-41 and 1945-46 before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947.
  • 5-time All-Star
  • 2-time AL MVP ('1935, 1940)
  • Won two World Series with Tigers in 1935, 1945
  • Hit 58 home runs in 1938, two shy of Babe Ruth's record, and a team record.
  • His 183 RBIs in 1937 remains one of the best season totals ever.
  • From 1934-1941, after multiple seasons at or near the top of every major batting statistic, his career was interrupted by serving in World War II. His 45 months served was the longest by any player.
  • Homered in his first game back after the war in the summer of 1945, without any spring training. He clinched the AL pennant for the Tigers that season, with a grand slam, in the dark, in the ninth inning of the last game of the year. 
  • Career totals: .313 batting average, 1,628 hits, 331 home runs, 1,051 runs, 1,276 RBIs
  • The Tigers retired his #5 in 1983. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1956.

Harry Heilmann (OF/1B)
  • Heilmann was one of the top hitters in the 1920s. He played for the Tigers in 1914 and from 1916 to 1929. He finished his career with the Cincinnati Reds (two seasons).
  • Heilmann led the AL in batting average four times, hitting more than .300 each time with a high of .403 in 1923.
  • Missed some playing time during the 1918 season as he joined the U.S. Navy during World War I.
  • Had four seasons of 200-plus hits, eight seasons of 100-plus RBIs and four seasons of 100-plus runs.
  • Called play-by-play for Tigers radio broadcasts from 1934 to 1950.
  • Career totals: .342 average, 2,660 hits, 183 homers, 1,291 runs and 1,539 RBIs.
  • In 1952, he was elected to the HOF.

Willie Horton (OF/DH)
  • Willie Horton played for the Tigers from 1963-77. He went on to play for five more teams from 1977-80 (Texas, Cleveland, Oakland, Toronto and Seattle).
  • Horton had double-digit home run totals in 12 regular seasons from 1965–76. He hit 20 or more home runs seven times. He had a career-high 36 home runs in 1968, a pitcher's year in which Detroit won the World Series.
  • He finished second that year in the AL to Frank Howard in home runs, slugging and total bases. Carl Yastrzemski won the batting title that year with a .301 mark and the league average was .230. Horton hit .285, good for fourth in the AL.
  • Finished fourth in the AL MVP voting in 1968.
  • Batted .304 in the 1968 World Series.
  • Four-time All-Star with the Tigers (1965, 1968, 1970, 1973)
  • Ranked sixth among AL right-handed hitters in career home runs (325) when he retired. 
  • In the later years of his career, he was twice named the AL's top designated hitter, and was the AL Comeback Player of the Year in 1979 with the Seattle Mariners.
  • Career totals: .273, 325 home runs, 1,163 RBIs

 Al Kaline (OF)
  • Mr. Tiger spent his entire 22-year career (1953-74) with the Tigers playing mostly outfield and some first base.
  • 15-time All-Star - including 13 straight, 10-time Gold Glove winner.
  • Finished in top 10 of AL MVP voting nine times; twice the runner-up.
  • Skipped the minor leagues and debuted at age 18.
  • Youngest to win the AL batting title, hitting .340 at age 20 in 1955.
  • Youngest player to hit three home runs in a game and accumulate 200 hits in one season.  
  • On Detroit's 1968 World Series championship team, hitting .379, 2 home runs and 8 RBIs.
  • Career totals: .297 batting average, 3,0007 hits, 399 home runs, 1,622 runs, 1,583 RBIs
  • The Tigers retired his #6. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980, becoming the 10th player in history to be inducted in his first year of eligibility.

George Kell (3B)
  • Played 5 full seasons and parts of 2 others for the Tigers (1946-52). Had his best years for the team, and played their longer than with any other team. He also played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles.
  • Played in the All-Star game as a third baseman every season he was with the Tigers, and played in 10 total.
  • Best season took place in 1950, when he hit .340 and led the league with 218 hits and 56 doubles, along with 114 runs and 101 RBIs
  • Fourth place finish in the AL MVP voting in 1950.
  • Career totals: .306, 2,054 hits, 385 doubles, 881 runs and 870 RBIs.
  • Called play-by-play for Tigers telecasts from 1959 to 1996 - along with Al Kaline for most of those years (1975-1996). Voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1983.

 Mickey Lolich (SP)
  • Pitched 13 seasons for the Tigers and holds many team records, including games started (459), shutouts (39) and strikeouts (2,679). 
  • He ranks third in career strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher, behind only Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson. He struck out 200 or more batters seven times.
  • Finished his career with three seasons for the New York Mets and San Diego Padres.
  • Three-time All-Star (1969, 1971, 1972)
  • World Series Champion (1968)
  • World Series MVP (1968): He pitched three World Series victories (all complete games) in that seven-game series, becoming the 12th pitcher to win three WS games and he remains the last to win three complete games. He pitched game seven against Bob Gibson on two days rest.
  • Lolich was a model of consistency, winning 14 or more games for 10 consecutive seasons, including 1971 when he led the AL with 25 victories (a total no subsequent Tiger pitcher has reached) and 22 in 1972. He struck out a career-high 308 batters in 1972, helping the Tigers to the AL East Championship that season while finishing runner-up in the Cy Young balloting. 
  • Never won the Cy Young award. 
  • Lolich was deemed to be right-handed, but a tricycle accident that occurred while he was young forced him to adapt to using his left hand. This would come to include baseball, once he began to play it. Although he became a left-handed pitcher, Lolich batted right-handed and still writes right-handed.
  • 2,679 strikeouts is #1 on the Tigers all-time list
  • 39 shutouts is #1 on the Tigers all-time list
  • 459 games started is #1 on the Tigers all-time list 
  • Career totals: 217-191, 3.44 ERA, 2,832 strikeouts

Denny McLain (SP)
  • Pitched for the Tigers from 1963-70. Pitched two more seasons for the Washington Senators (1971) and Oakland A's and Atlanta Braves (1972).
  • On September 14, 1968, at Tiger Stadium, McLain pitched a 5-4 victory over the Oakland A's to become the first 30-game winner since 1934. Dizzy Dean, the last man to have won 30 games, was on hand to congratulate him. Finished season 31-6. 
  • Only 13 players in 20th Century have won 30 games. He was the first pitcher in the history of the AL to win the MVP Award and Cy Young Award in the same season.
  • Three-time All-Star (1966, 1968, 1969)
  • Two-time Cy Young winner (1968, 1969); AL MVP (1968)
  • World Series champion (1968)
  • Had a 13-4 record at mid-year 1966 to earn the starting pitching nod in that year's All-Star game, where he retired all nine batters he faced with 28 pitches. He finished the season with a 20–14 record with a 3.92 earned run average.
  • Led AL in home runs allowed for three consecutive years between 1966 and 1968.
  • Career totals: 131-91, 1,886 IPs, 1,282 strikeouts, 3.39 ERA

Jack Morris (SP)
  • Pitched for the Tigers from 1977-90. Made the rotation in 1979, posting a 17-7 record and a 3.29 ERA and establishing himself as the staff ace.
  • Won a World Series with the Tigers in 1984. Won three more in 1991 (with the Twins and was named WS MVP) 1992 (Blue Jays) and 1993 (Blue Jays).
  • Known for his competitive spirit, he was a five-time All-Star (including four seasons as a Tiger).
  • Gave up the most hits, earned runs and home runs of any pitcher in the 1980s. Also started the most games, pitched the most innings and was the winningest pitcher of the decade with 162 victories.
  • AL Wins leader (1981, 1992); AL strikeout leader (1983); AL shutouts leader (1986).
  • Hold record for consecutive opening day starts with 14 (1980-1993).
  • Ranks #8 on the all-time MLB list for wild pitches with 206.
  • Ranks No. 1 in team history for wild pitches (155) and balks (23).
  • Career totals: 254-186, 3.90 ERA, 2,478 strikeouts.

Hal Newhouser (SP)
  • Pitched for the Tigers for 15 seasons from 1939-53, before finishing off his career with the Cleveland Indians for two seasons.
  • 7-time All-Star.
  • Only pitcher to ever win back-to-back MVP awards: (1944) 25-9, 1.81 ERA, 212 Ks - league leader in all categories - the pitcher's Triple Crown; (1945) 26-9, 1.94 ERA, 275 Ks - leader in wins and ERA.
  • In 1943, he went 29-9 with a 2.22 ERA. 
  • In 1945, led the league in IPs, games started, complete games and shutouts. Won 2 games to help lead the Tigers to the 1945 World Series title, including earning the win in Game 7.
  • Widely noted as the top pitcher of the World War II era.
  • Career totals: 207-150, 3.06 ERA, 1,796 Ks
  • The Tigers retired his #16 in 1997. He was inducted into HOF in 1992 by Veteran's Committee.

Lance Parrish (C)
  • Played for the Tigers from 1977-86, then with six more teams between 1987-95.
  • 8-time All-Star, including six times as a Tiger.
  • Won three Gold Glove Awards (1983-85) and six Silver Slugger Awards, given to the best offensive player at each position.
  • Ranks fifth in MLB history for home runs as a catcher with 299, 10th among catchers in total bases with 3,113, and 11th in RBIs with 1070.
  • Parrish was a key member of the 1984 World Series champion team. As the clean-up hitter, he had 33 home runs and 98 RBIs.
  • Drafted as a third basemen and converted to catcher in the minors.
  • In 1982, he set the AL record for home runs by a catcher (32), surpassing the mark set by Yogi Berra and Gus Triandos, then surpassed his own mark two years later.
  • Career totals: .252 average, 324 home runs, 1,070 RBIs.

Alan Trammell (SS)
  • Played 19 seasons with the Tigers, his entire career (1977-96), highlighted by a World Series championship in 1984 and an AL East division title in 1987. Managed the team from 2003-05.
  • 1984 World Series MVP.
  • Six-time All Star, four-time Gold Glove winner; three-time Silver Slugger winner.
  • Made MLB debut together with Lou Whitaker on Sept. 9, 1977. The two played 19 seasons together, the longest continuous double-play combination in baseball history.
  • In 1985, Trammell became only the second player in team history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. Kirk Gibson with the other; Curtis Granderson later joined the group. Trammell also set a career-high that year with 75 RBIs.
  • In 1987, he became the first Tiger to collect 200 hits and 100 RBIs in the same season since Al Kaline did it in 1955. That year, Trammell appeared among the league leaders in most AL offensive categories: third in batting average (.343), tenth in RBI (105), third in hits (205), tied for fifth in runs (109), fourth in total bases (329), fifth in on base percentage (.402). He narrowly finished second to Toronto's George Bell in the MVP voting.
  • Career totals: .285, 2,365 hits, 185 home runs, 1,003 RBIs.

Lou Whitaker (2B)
  • Five-time All-Star (1983-87); three-time Gold Glove winner; four-time Silver Slugger winner
  • 1978 Rookie of the Year
  • World Series champion (1984)
  • Had perhaps his best season in 1983, hitting .320, 12 home runs, 72 RBIs and 94 runs. 
  • Made MLB debut together with Alan Trammell on Sept. 9, 1977. The two played 19 seasons together, the longest continuous double-play combination in baseball history.
  • Currently ineligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, after not receiving the required five percent of the votes in his first (and only) year of eligibility (2001). Has statistics compare to other second basemen in the Hall of Fame (including contemporary Ryne Sandberg, a third-year inductee. Whitaker is ineligible for baseball's highest honor until 2015.
  • Career totals: .276, 2,369 hits, 244 home runs (sixth in team history), 1,084 RBIs, 1,386 runs (fourth in team history), 143 stolen bases.

When voting, please keep in mind a player's body of work for the team featured. It's your call whether longevity for a team and counting stats is your critical deciding factor or if you prefer judging a player's overall impact on the team, if even made in a relatively short time.
Whether you want to dig deep into the past or whether you prefer casting votes for players you have heard of, that's also your call. Part of the beauty of this project for me is to see how you fellas (and one lady) vote. It's your Hall too! Oh, and in case you noticed, players currently on the team are not included. To be listed, players must be away from a team for at least three years.

First-year balloting will differ from subsequent years, when percentage voting will come into play.

  • For teams in existence since 1920 or before, 7 players - the top vote-getters - will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1921-1940, 6 players will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1941-1960, 5 players will win first-ballot induction. 
  • For teams established between 1961-1975, 4 players will win first-ballot induction.
  • For teams established between 1976-1990, 3 players will be inducted. 
  • For newer expansion teams, the ballots will be grouped and the top three from all of these teams will be inducted.
  • Roughly one year after a team(s) is featured, a second ballot will be held. 
  • Four more players will enter the Hall for each team in existence since 1940 or before. Three more for teams established between 1941 and 1975. Two more for teams established after 1976. One more total for the combined newer expansion teams.* 
  • * I intend to fully adhere to these rules but I possibly will add a percentage requirement also for second-year induction, which I know for sure I'll implement in subsequent years.


  1. I LOVE Wahoo Sam Crawford, in fact I am in the process of writing a book about him. The triples records is right up there with Cy Young's wins as one of the more unbreakable records just because of how the game has changed.

    That is a man that needs to be used as one of the newer short-prints instead of the same 20-25 guys everytime.

    1. Writing a book about him!? That's awesome! I want details (and an autographed copy!)

      I agree. I just don't get why Topps can't get so many other guys into these new sets. (I'm sure there's some sort of reason I'm not aware of.)

      I'm already very tired of seeing the same names.


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