Saturday, May 03, 2008

Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame update - 2008

Last year, I wrote about a Detroit Tigers Hall Of Fame we have been creating at MotownSports. After many months of research, debating and voting, 65 members have now been inducted. Officially named the Bluhm Memorial Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame, the project is led by Dave Troppens (known on MotownSports as DTroppens) and Alan Chichester (DT34456884), two excellent writers and long time contributors to MotownSports. For those who don't know, Brian Bluhm was one of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings in April. He was a very avid Tigers fan, a friend to many of us in the Tigers online community and one of the most active participants in this project.

We currently have around 25 voters, many of whom have been on the project since the initial election. In each election, each voter is allowed to vote for as many as five players. Managers, executives and broadcasters are also eligible. Any player receiving 75% of the votes gets into the Hall of Fame. That first election included players who finished their careers with the Tigers by 1915. The second election included all players who ended their Tigers careers between 1916 and 1920. Each week, we had an election including players from a new five-year period. In June, 2007 we conducted the voting for players who ended their careers between 2001-2005 and this completed the first phase of the project.

Later in the year, we held special elections for the Detroit Wolverines (a National League team from 1881-1888) and the Detroit Stars (a Negro League team in the 1920s and 1930s). There will also be annual elections for newly retired players and for players who received a significant portion of votes but failed to get inducted in earlier elections. This week we concluded one of those elections and three new players have been added to the Hall of Fame: Bobby Higginson, Mike Henneman and Tony Phillips.

If you go to the second link above, you'll see a profile of each of the 65 members elected so far. A brief summary is included in the Table below.

Name

Position

First Year as Tiger

Last Year as Tiger

Ed Killian

Pitcher

1904

1910

George Mullin

Pitcher

1902

1913

Sam Crawford

Outfielder

1903

1917

Bill Donovan

Pitcher

1903

1918

Hughie Jennings

Manager

1907

1920

Donie Bush

Shortstop

1908

1921

Bobby Veach

Outfielder

1912

1923

Ty Cobb

Outfielder

1905

1926

Hooks Dauss

Pitcher

1912

1926

Harry Heilmann

Outfielder

1914

1929

Frank Navin

Owner,Executive

1903

1935

Mickey Cochrane

Catcher, Manager

1934

1938

Charlie Gehringer

Second baseman

1924

1942

School Boy Rowe

Pitcher

1933

1942

Rudy York

First baseman

1934

1945

Hank Greenberg

First baseman

1930

1946

Tommy Bridges

Pitcher

1930

1946

Wish Egan

Scout

1907

1951

Dizzy Trout

Pitcher

1932

1952

George Kell

Third baseman

1946

1952

Walter Briggs, Sr.

Owner, Executive

1920

1952

Ty Tyson

Broadcaster

1927

1952

Hal Newhouser

Pitcher

1939

1953

Fred Hutchinson

Pitcher

1939

1953

Virgil Trucks

Pitcher

1941

1956

Ray Boone

Third baseman

1953

1958

Harvey Kuenn

Shortstop

1952

1959

Jim Bunning

Pitcher

1955

1963

Vic Wertz

Outfielder

1947

1963

Rocky Colavito

Outfielder

1960

1963

Frank Lary

Pitcher

1954

1964

Denny McLain

Pitcher

1963

1970

Dick McAuliffe

Second baseman

1960

1973

Willie Horton

Outfielder

1963

1973

Al Kaline

Outfielder

1953

1974

Norm Cash

First baseman

1960

1974

Jim Northrup

Outfielder

1964

1974

Mickey Lolich

Pitcher

1963

1975

Bill Freehan

Catcher

1961

1976

John Hiller

Pitcher

1965

1980

John Fetzer

Owner, Executive

1956

1983

Lance Parrish

Catcher

1977

1986

Willie Hernandez

Pitcher

1984

1989

Jack Morris

Pitcher

1977

1990

Chet Lemon

Outfielder

1982

1990

Jim Campbell

GM, Executive

1962

1990

Paul Carey

Broadcaster

1973

1991

Lou Whitaker

Second baseman

1977

1995

Kirk Gibson

Outfielder

1979

1995

Sparky Anderson

Manager

1979

1995

Alan Trammell

Shortstop

1977

1996

Cecil Fielder

First baseman

1990

1996

Travis Fryman

Third baseman

1990

1997

Ernie Harwell

Broadcaster

1960

2002

Turkey Stearnes*

Outfielder

1923

1931

Edgar Wesley*

First baseman

1920

1927

Andy Cooper*

Pitcher

1920

1930

Sam Thompson#

Outfielder

1885

1888

Dan Brouthers#

First baseman

1886

1888

Charlie Bennett#

Catcher

1881

1888

Billy Rogell

Shortstop

1930

1939

Harry Coveleski

Pitcher

1914

1918

Tony Phillips

Infielder/Outfielder

1990

1994

Mike Henneman

Pitcher

1987

1995

Bobby Higginson

Outfielder

1995

2005


* Detroit Stars
# Detroit Wolverines

7 comments:

  1. Why in the world is Higginson considered one of the great Tigers of all time? I understand he was the best player when the Tigers were the worst team in baseball, but come on. Higginson may have had 2 good years as a Tiger.

    You guys need to be more selective as HOF voters if you want to be taken seriously.

    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tim,

    Higginson had a poor finish to his career. However, he was a Tiger for a long time and had several solid seasons. If he was surrounded by better players and they won more games during the period, he would probably look much better to you. He wasn't a slam dunk but I don't think he was a bad choice at all. I voted for him. I received a similar comment about Travis Fryman but I also believe he was a solid choice.

    As far as being taken seriously, all I can say is that most of the voters studied the careers of all the Tigers in the history of the team very carefully. I was pretty happy with the outcome. There are a few people in the group that would enjoy discussing Higginson's qualifications with you in detail.
    Just drop by Motownsports.com and go to the History Forum. Comments are very welcome and so are debates!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Higginson had more than two good years as a Tiger. His OPS+ (% above league average) was high in the following years:

    1996 146
    1997 133
    1998 114
    2000 132
    2001 120

    He was also a very good outfielder for many years.

    You could argue that the end of his career dragged on too long and hurt his candidacy. That's what made him borderline but I consider him a legitimate candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ok, so Higgy was good for 5 years. But HOF material I'm not so sure. He was one of the best players on a very poor team. I guess when I think of Tigers HOF I'd like to keep standards really high like the MLBs HOF. That's why I would not vote for Higgy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. AnonymousMay 07, 2008

    I gotta say, going through this list is kinda fun. I only know player from the 80s on so it's good to have a list like this.

    Even thought I disagree with Higgy it's a fun list.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Tim, It was hard to decide where to make the cut off. There were about about 30 players who were slam dunk Hall of Famers - Cobb, Gehringer, Greenberg, etc. But I think the project would have been boring if we just made a list of great players. We also wanted to include a certain number of players who played with the Tigers for a long time and were pretty good. Figuring out who to include after the obvious one was what made the project interesting. There have been a lot of debates along the way.

    ReplyDelete

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