Detroit Tigers - Baseball Hall of Fame

Ty Cobb (1936)

Ty Cobb, undoubtedly one of the best players in baseball history, played with the Detroit Tigers for 22 years (1905-1926) and with the Philadelphia Athletics for two years (1927-1928). He also managed the Tigers from 1921 through 1926.

In 1911, Cobb won the American League MVP award. That year he led the American League in batting average with .420, RBIs with 127, doubles with 47, triples with 24, and stolen bases with 83.

During his career, Cobb set several records, including leading the American League in batting average 12 times. In addition to being an excellent hitter, Cobb was a threat to steal and four times after reaching first base, he stole second base, third base, and home all in one inning. Cobb's unbroken major league records include having the best career batting average with .366 and the most career steals of home with 54. He is the only major league player with two 35 game hitting streaks and he is second to Pete Rose in the number of 20 or more game hitting streaks with six (Rose had seven).

In 1926, Cobb, along with Tris Speaker, was forced into retirement due to a game-fixing scandal. However, both were cleared and Cobb returned in 1927 to the Philadelphia Athletics. He voluntarily retired at the end of the following season.

Statistics for Cobb in 24 seasons (1905-1928) in the major leagues include:

  • 18 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 248 in 1911
  • 15 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 47 in 1911
  • 17 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 24 in 1911 and 1917
  • 7 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 127 in 1911
  • 8 seasons with over 50 stolen bases, with highs of 76 in 1909, 83 in 1911, and 96 in 1915
  • 19 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .420 in 1911

Career statistics for Cobb include:

  • 3,035 games played
  • 4,189 hits
  • 724 doubles
  • 295 triples
  • 1,937 RBIs
  • 892 stolen bases
  • .366 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Ty Cobb
ESPN Sports - Ty Cobb


Mickey Cochrane (1947)

Mickey Cochrane started his professional baseball career in 1923 in the minor leagues. Two years later, he joined the Philadelphia Athletics. In 1925, his first season in the major leagues, Cochrane batted .331 with 139 hits and 21 doubles in 134 games.

In 1928, Cochrane won the American League MVP award. That season he batted .293 with 137 hits and 26 doubles in 131 games.

After nine years with the Athletics, Cochrane's contract was sold by Connie Mack to the Detroit Tigers. Cochrane became the Tigers' player-manager in 1934 and he led the team to two World Series (1934, 1935). In his first season with the Tigers, Cochrane won his second American League MVP award, batting .320 with 140 hits and 32 doubles that year.

Cochrane was a good defensive catcher. His career fielding statistics include:

  • 1,451 games played
  • 111 errors
  • 840 assists
  • 6,414 putouts
  • .985 fielding percentage

Cochrane's playing career ended early in the 1937 season when he was hit in the head by a pitch. He continued to manage, however, for another year. His ending record as a manager was 348 wins to 250 losses.

Batting statistics for Cochrane in 11 full seasons (1925-1935) in the major leagues include:

  • 7 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 42 in 1930
  • 8 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .357 in 1930

Career batting statistics for Cochrane include:

  • 1,482 games played
  • 1,652 hits
  • 333 doubles
  • .320 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Mickey Cochrane
ESPN Sports - Mickey Cochrane
Baseball Reference.com - Mickey Cochrane


Charlie Gehringer (1949)

While still playing baseball in college, Charlie Gehringer signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1923. He played most of the 1924 season in the minor leagues, playing in just five games with the Tigers. The following season he was again in the minor leagues except for eight games with the Tigers. In 1926, his first full season in the major leagues, Gehringer batted .277 with 127 hits, 19 doubles, and 17 triples in 123 games. The following season was an even better one for him, with a .317 batting average, 161 hits, 29 doubles, 11 triples, and 17 stolen bases in 133 games.

Gehringer played his entire career (1924-1942) with the Tigers. His best season was probably 1937 when he won the American League MVP award and the league's batting title. That season he batted .371 with 209 hits, 40 doubles, 14 home runs, and 96 RBIs in 144 games. His playing diminished in his last seasons and he played in just 45 games in 1942, his last season in the major leagues.

In 1942, Gehringer enlisted in the US Navy and served for three years. He returned to the Tigers in 1951 and was the general manager of the team for three seasons.

Gehringer was known for his excellent defensive plays as a second baseman. Fielding statistics for Gehringer at second base include:

  • 2,206 games played
  • 309 errors
  • 7,068 assists
  • 1,444 double plays
  • 5,369 putouts
  • .976 fielding percentage

Batting statistics for Gehringer in 16 full seasons (1926-1941) in the major leagues include:

  • 12 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 227 in 1936
  • 10 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 60 in 1936
  • 7 seasons with over 10 triples, with a high of 19 in 1929
  • 7 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 127 in 1934
  • 13 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .371 in 1937

Career batting statistics for Gehringer include:

  • 2,323 games played
  • 2,839 hits
  • 574 doubles
  • 146 triples
  • 1,427 RBIs
  • .320 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Charlie Gehringer
ESPN Sports - Charlie Gehringer
Baseball Reference.com - Charlie Gehringer


Harry Heilmann (1952)

Harry Heilmann had a long and successful career in the major leagues, playing for fifteen years (1914, 1916-1929) with the Detroit Tigers and playing for his last two years (1930, 1932) with the Cincinnati Reds. His major league contract was bought by the Detroit Tigers in 1913 and he joined the team on the field the following year for 69 games. However, the Tigers sent him back to the minor leagues in 1915. Heilmann returned to the Tigers in 1916, but two years later, he joined the U.S. Navy and played in only 79 games with the Tigers that season. He stayed with the Tigers until they sold his contract to the Cincinnati Reds after the 1929 season. He didn't play at all in 1931 due to arthritis in his wrists and after only 15 games in 1932, Heilmann retired as a player.

Although Heilmann excelled as a hitter, his fielding was poor and in 1919, he led the American League in errors at first base. However, his hitting talent made up for his weaknesses on the field. He led the American League in batting average four times (1921, 1923, 1925, 1927) and in hits in 1921 with 237. Heilmann was one of the last two American League players to hit over .400 (Ted Williams was the other one) when he batted .403 in 1923.

After leaving major league baseball as a player, Heilmann started a long career (1934-1950) as a radio announcer for the Detroit Tigers.

Statistics for Heilmann in 15 seasons (1916-1930) in the major leagues include:

  • 13 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 237 in 1921
  • 11 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 50 in 1927
  • 9 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 16 in 1924
  • 8 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 139 in 1921
  • 12 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .403 in 1923

Career statistics for Heilmann include:

  • 2,148 games played
  • 2,660 hits
  • 542 doubles
  • 151 triples
  • 1,539 RBIs
  • .342 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Harry Heilmann
ESPN Sports - Harry Heilmann


Hank Greenberg (1956)

Hank Greenberg started his career with the Detroit Tigers in 1930 but he played in only one game before they sent him to the minor leagues. He didn't return to the Tigers until 1933, his first full season with them. That year he batted .301 with 135 hits, 33 doubles, and 87 RBIs in 117 games.

In 1934, Greenberg led the American League in doubles with a career high of 63. That September Greenberg, the first prominent Jewish major league baseball player, refused to play on Yom Kippur even though his team was in a critical championship game.

Greenberg won the American League MVP award and he led the league in home runs and RBIs in 1935. That season he batted .328 with 203 hits, 46 doubles, 16 triples, 36 home runs, and 170 RBIs in 152 games. Two years later, in 1937, he led the American League in RBIs with a career high of 183 RBIs. The next year, he led the league with a career high 58 home runs.

In 1940, Greenberg won his second American League MVP award and he led the league in doubles, home runs, and RBIs. That season he batted .340 with 195 hits, 50 doubles, 41 home runs, and 150 RBIs in 148 games.

From 1941 through 1945, Greenberg served in the U.S. army, playing in only 19 games in 1941 and 78 in 1945. In 1946, his last season with the Tigers, he batted .277 and he led the American League in home runs with 44 and in RBIs with 127.

Greenberg signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the 1947 season and he became the highest paid player, with a salary of over $80,000. After 125 games that season, Greenberg retired.

Greenberg was a first baseman for most of his major league career. His career fielding statistics at first base include:

  • 1,138 games played
  • 104 errors
  • 724 assists
  • 973 double plays
  • 10,564 putouts
  • .991 fielding percentage

After retiring as a player, Greenberg joined the Cleveland Indians as director of their farm system. He served in that position from 1947 through 1949 and then moved to general manager and part owner of the team. He continued in that role until 1957.

Greenberg played in over 100 games in each of 9 seasons (1933-1935, 1937-1940, 1946-1947). His batting statistics during that time include:

  • 6 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 203 in 1935
  • 6 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 63 in 1934
  • 8 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 58 in 1938
  • 7 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 183 in 1937
  • 7 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .340 in 1940

Career batting statistics for Greenberg include:

  • 1,394 games played
  • 1,628 hits
  • 379 doubles
  • 331 home runs
  • 1,276 RBIs
  • .313 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Hank Greenberg
ESPN Sports - Hank Greenberg
Baseball Reference.com - Hank Greenberg


Sam Crawford (1957)

Prior to joining the Cincinnati Reds in 1899, Sam Crawford played professional baseball in the Canadian League. In 1899, he played in just 31 games with Cincinnati but the next season he played in 101 games. That year he had a .260 batting average with 101 hits, 15 doubles, and 15 triples. In 1901, he led the National League in home runs with 16. He had good numbers that year, batting .330 with 170 hits, 20 doubles, 16 triples, 16 home runs, and 104 RBIs in 131 games.

In 1902, Crawford signed two contracts, one with the Cincinnati Reds and a second one with the Detroit Tigers. Detroit won when a judge awarded them Crawford's contract. He then became a full-time player for the Tigers for the next 14 years (1903-1917). He spent his last year, 1917, as a pinch-hitter, playing in only 61 games.

Crawford led the American League in triples in his first season with the Tigers. In 1903, he batted .335 with 184 hits, 23 doubles, 25 triples, and 89 RBIs in 137 games. During his time with the Tigers (1903-1917), Crawford led the American League in home runs once (1908), in doubles once (1909), in triples four times (1903, 1910, 1913-1915), and in RBIs three times (1910, 1914, 1915). He holds the record for the most career triples in major league baseball with 309.

After leaving major league baseball, Crawford played for four years (1919-1921) with the Los Angeles Angels, who were not yet part of major league baseball. He followed that with six years (1924-1929) as the head coach for the University of Southern California's baseball team. His last position in baseball was as an umpire for the Pacific Coast League from 1935-1938.

Statistics for Crawford in 17 full seasons (1900-1916) in the major leagues include:

  • 14 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 217 in 1911
  • 8 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 38 in 1905
  • 17 seasons with 10 or more triples, with a high of 26 in 1914
  • 6 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 120 in 1910
  • 9 seasons with 20 or more stolen bases, with a high of 41 in 1912
  • 10 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .378 in 1911

Career statistics for Crawford include:

  • 2,517 games played
  • 2,961 hits
  • 458 doubles
  • 309 triples
  • 1,525 RBIs
  • 366 stolen bases
  • .309 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Sam Crawford
ESPN Sports - Sam Crawford


Al Kaline (1980)

Al Kaline played his entire twenty-two year major league career (1953-1974) with the Detroit Tigers. At the age of 18, he began playing with the Tigers, never having played in the minor leagues. He originally played in the outfield and towards the end of his career, he moved to first base. Kaline was the Tigers' designated hitter in his last year.

Kaline played in just 30 games with the Tigers in 1953. The next year, his first full season in the major leagues, he batted .276 with 139 hits in 138 games. In 1955, he won the American League batting title and he led the league in hits. That season he batted .340 with 200 hits, 24 doubles, 27 home runs, and 102 RBIs in 152 games.

An excellent defensive outfielder, Kaline won 10 Gold Gloves (1957-1959, 1961-1967). Career fielding statistics for Kaline as a right fielder include:

  • 2,033 games played
  • 61 errors
  • 3,869 putouts
  • .985 fielding percentage

After retiring as a player following the 1974 season, Kaline had a long, successful career (1975-2002) as a TV commentator for the Detroit Tigers. He followed that with a position as special assistant to the CEO and general manager of the Tigers.

Batting statistics for Kaline in 22 seasons (1953-1974) in the major leagues include:

  • 9 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 200 in 1955
  • 9 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 29 in 1962 and 1966
  • 9 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .340 in 1955

Career batting statistics for Kaline include:

  • 2,834 games played
  • 3,007 hits
  • 498 doubles
  • 399 home runs
  • 1,583 RBIs
  • .297 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Al Kaline
ESPN Sports - Al Kaline
Baseball Reference.com - Al Kaline


George Kell (1983)

George Kell started his professional baseball career in 1940 in the minor leagues. After three years in the minors, he joined the Philadelphia Athletics for one game in 1943. The next year, his first full season in the major leagues, Kell batted .258 with 138 hits in 139 games.

In 1946, the Athletics traded Kell to the Detroit Tigers after 26 games. The following year, Kell batted .320 with 188 hits, 29 doubles, and 93 RBIs in 152 games.

Kell won the American League batting title in 1949. That season he batted .343 with 179 hits and 38 doubles in 134 games. He led the American League in hits and doubles in both 1950 and 1951. In 1950, he had 218 hits and 56 doubles and the next year he had 191 hits and 36 doubles.

Kell stayed with the Tigers until 1952 when he was traded after 32 games to the Boston Red Sox. Two years later, he was traded again, this time to the Chicago White Sox. In his next to last year, 1956, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles after playing in 21 games with Chicago. He retired after the 1957 season. In his last season as a major league player, Kell batted .297 in 99 games.

After leaving major league baseball as a player, Kell had a second successful career as a TV and radio broadcaster. He started with broadcasting for the Baltimore Orioles in 1957 and the following year he became a broadcaster with CBS-TV. From 1959 through 1996, he worked as a broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers.

Statistics for Kell in 14 seasons (1944-1957) in the major leagues include:

  • 6 seasons with over 150 hits, with a high of 218 in 1950
  • 5 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with a high of 56 in 1950
  • 9 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .343 in 1949

Career statistics for Kell include:

  • 1,795 games played
  • 2,054 hits
  • 385 doubles
  • .306 batting average

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - George Kell
ESPN Sports - George Kell


Hal Newhouser (1992)

Hal Newhouser pitched for the Detroit Tigers for fifteen years (1939-1953) and for two years with the Cleveland Indians (1954-1955). He was first signed by the Tigers in 1939 at the age of 18. However, he only pitched in one game that year, spending most of the season in the minor leagues. The following year, he became a regular member of the Tigers' starting rotation. In 1940, Newhouser pitched in 28 games and he had a 9-9 record and 4.86 ERA.

Initially, Newhouser had control problems but by 1942, he had become a good pitcher with an ERA of 2.45. In 1944, he won the American League MVP award and he led the league in wins. That season he pitched in 47 games and had a 29-9 record with 187 strikeouts to 102 walks and a 2.22 ERA.

Newhouser won a second American League MVP award in 1945. He also won the Triple Crown for pitchers, leading the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. That season he had a 25-9 record with 212 strikeouts to 110 walks and a 1.81 ERA in 40 games. The next year, he again led the American League in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. In 1948, Newhouser led the league one more time in wins with 21.

In 1954, Newhouser signed with the Cleveland Indians. In his last three seasons in the major leagues, Newhouser pitched in a total of just 35 games.

After leaving baseball as a player, Newhouser became a scout, working for several teams, including the Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Detroit Tigers.

Statistics for Newhouser in 13 full seasons (1940-1952) in the major leagues include:

  • 4 seasons with over 20 wins, with a high of 29 in 1944
  • 4 seasons with over 150 strikeouts, with a high of 275 in 1946
  • 5 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.81 in 1945

Career statistics for Newhouser include:

  • 488 games played
  • 2,993.0 innings pitched
  • 207-150 win-loss record
  • 1,796 strikeouts to 1,249 walks
  • 3.06 ERA

Sources for Information
Wikipedia - Hal Newhouser
ESPN Sports - Hal Newhouser