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Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame - 1985 Elections

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The names below represent pitchers and hitters who hung up their Tigers uniforms for the final time by the end of the 1985 season, logging at least 300 innings or 1,000 at-bats during their time with Detroit. It also includes non-players who were significant to the organization.

Between these names and the position players below, we will agree upon a list of up to 12 players which will make up the pool of 1985 nominees.

We will be voting on the 1985 nominees as well as the nominees from previous classes who were not elected but who met the minimum vote percentage to remain on the ballot.

Pitchers

1981-1985

[b]Player	        YR	From	To	W	L	WL%	ERA	G	GS	GF	CG	SHO	SV	IP	H	R	ER	HR	BB	SO	ERA+[/b]
[COLOR="Blue"]Milt Wilcox 9 1977 1985 97 75 .564 3.91 234 220 6 63 7 0 1495.3 1443 721 650 143 537 851 103
Dave Rozema 8 1977 1984 57 46 .553 3.38 208 128 45 36 7 10 1007.3 1006 436 378 102 233 403 120
Aurelio Lopez 7 1979 1985 53 30 .639 3.41 355 4 245 0 0 85 713.0 609 291 270 86 288 519 119
Juan Berenguer 4 1982 1985 25 21 .543 3.87 101 60 16 4 2 1 427.7 357 205 184 45 207 337 102
Pat Underwood 4 1979 1983 13 18 .419 4.43 113 34 36 3 0 8 343.7 366 191 169 47 92 188 95
Dave Tobik 5 1978 1982 10 16 .385 3.65 137 2 69 0 0 13 300.7 265 130 122 35 120 188 112[/COLOR]

Position Players

1981-1985

[b]Player	        YR	From	To	G	AB	R	H	2B	3B	HR	RBI	BB	SO	BA	OBP	SLG	SB	CS	OPS+[/b]
[COLOR="Blue"]Steve Kemp 5 1977 1981 684 2504 378 711 114 18 89 422 375 362 .284 .376 .450 24 16 125
John Wockenfuss 10 1974 1983 677 1855 246 485 70 10 80 284 239 247 .261 .346 .439 4 11 115[/COLOR]

Owners and Presidents

1981-1985

[b]Owner/President         YR	From	To[/b]
[color=blue]John Fetzer 24 1960 1983[/color]

Final 1985 nominees as chosen by voting committee appear in blue.

Carryover Nominees

1901-1980

[b]Player	        YR	From	To	W	L	WL%	ERA	G	GS	GF	CG	SHO	SV	IP	H	R	ER	HR	BB	SO	ERA+[/b]
[COLOR="Blue"]Mark Fidrych 5 1976 1980 29 19 .604 3.10 58 56 2 34 5 0 412.3 397 163 142 23 99 170 126
Denny McLain 8 1963 1970 117 62 .654 3.13 227 219 2 94 26 1 1593.0 1321 605 554 195 450 1150 110
Earl Whitehill 10 1923 1932 133 119 0.528 4.16 325 287 31 147 11 7 2171.3 2329 1225 1004 105 831 838 104
Harry Coveleski 5 1914 1918 69 43 0.616 2.34 157 125 22 68 9 8 1023.3 887 385 266 12 270 400 123[/color]

[b]Player YR From To G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG SB CS OPS+[/b]
[COLOR="Blue"]Mickey Stanley 15 1964 1978 1516 5022 641 1243 201 48 117 500 371 564 .248 .298 .377 44 23 90
Ron LeFlore 6 1974 1979 787 3266 532 970 126 38 51 265 251 628 .297 .348 .406 294 98 108
Charlie Maxwell 8 1955 1962 853 2696 413 723 92 20 133 455 394 432 .268 .363 .465 15 6 121
Rocky Colavito 4 1960 1963 629 2336 377 633 107 7 139 430 346 301 .271 .364 .501 6 8 130
Billy Rogell 10 1930 1939 1207 4418 668 1210 227 64 39 532 590 316 .274 .362 .381 76 52 89[/color]

[b]Manager YR From To G W L WP BstFin WstFin PostSsn Pennts WrldSer[/b]
[color=blue]Mayo Smith 4 1967 1970 651 363 285 .560 1 4 1 1 1
Steve O'Neill 6 1943 1948 933 509 414 0.551 1 5 1 1 1[/color]

Committee Members:

  • Voting Deadline - Friday, May 18th at 12:00 PM - Noon
  • Vote for up to 5 of the player nominees listed in blue above (1985 Pitchers, 1985 Position Players, and 1901-80 Carryover Nominees).
  • Votes for non-players (managers, owners, presidents, broadcasters, etc.) do not count against your 5-vote limit.

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I happen to think this is a pretty carryover-dominated class.

Rozema might be on the outside looking in. Sort of an Ed Siever type; a guy I'd love to vote for but may not find room for. At his level of performance I'd like to see a little more than 1,000 IP out of him. I've got him a tick behind McLain and a couple others. That was a hell of a rookie season though.

Senor Smoke was a great pitcher but he was no Henneman or Hernandez. Another threshold candidate for me.

I do really like Steve Kemp.

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Kemp and Rozema are probably the top two, but I'll have to think long and hard before voting for either of them. There are a lot of deserving carryovers on the ballot this week, and it would be nice to get them in to free up the ballot some.

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Wockenfuss and Underwood should be honorary members since they got us Willie and Bergman.

Weak class. I didn't realize Wockenfuss played that long with the team.

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As weak as this class seems, please look at Wilcox....no losing season as a Tiger, for all the Whitehill lovers face it....Wilcox was better! And, yes I've been waiting for this debate.

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As weak as this class seems, please look at Wilcox....no losing season as a Tiger, for all the Whitehill lovers face it....Wilcox was better! And, yes I've been waiting for this debate.

Worse ERA+, worse RSAA, worse Neutral Win total, and 700 fewer IP equals better. Makes sense.

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I do like Wilcox. I'm kinda on the fence about Lopez. Seems like his seasons were either really solid or really mediocre, however.

Kemp was my first favorite Tiger, but I'm on the fence about him too.

What do you think kept Rozema from being as good as his rookie season indicated he could be? How much did his off-the-field antics play into that? That brawl-related injury certainly didn't do him any favors either.

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Squid,

They are very comparable. Whitehill definitely had more bulk stats, but pitched in an era when that was more likely to happen. If he pitched in the 1980s, his numbers would've been shaved in terms of IP. And this seems to be a key issue with not just Whitehill but several pitchers that have come from earlier eras. I remember people saying someone threw 3 300+ innings and while comparing him with others from the future and stuff like that. Well, that's a dangerous thing to do because the game has changed. Sure an average AB season has essentially remained the same. The only changes there come when the season is longer (140-162) or if offense is so great that a few players may be able to muster 50 or so more ABs than a typical year. We don't have to concern ourselves with that and people seem to judge offense based on that era much better because of it. But pitchers I've seen arguments that this guy tossed X number of innings and while it may have come over 4 seasons that's like 7 today. I guess if that's people's thought process then that's fine, but it's a thought process I really don't understand. A guy can have 450 innings in a season but it's just that - it's only a season. Is it worth a look because he just broke the humanity record for endurance for a season? Sure. But I'm not going to look at that as 2 seasons. I look at pitchers (and batters actually) based on their peers and their overall quality production in that era. As I've said before I like to see that they were pretty darn good for about three of those seasons as well.

Back to Milt and Whitehill - with my reasoning they are pretty darn close. Whitehill does get kudos because his seasons were more "full" meaning he was pitching as much as anyone in his era. But he doesn't get 12 seasons for it. However, Milt gets kudos for being a key starters on that 1984 team (albeit average). And his 1981 season was simply outstanding. I think people forget how close the Tigers came to making the postseason - albeit a second-half season title - that year. (Why did Leach bat there aughhhhhhh)

These guys are really close. My guess right now (as it has been for a few weeks now) is that I will not vote for him. Milt and Whitehill may be my defining pitchers of what and what doesn't get in - at least at this point of the process. But I think if Whitehill is compelling, I can't see how Wilcox can't be either. What Wilcox lacks in "filling his seasons" like Whitehill did, he makes up with at least one big season on a team that went to the last weekend before falling out of the playoffs and another where he was a solid No. 4 guy (hurt all year and essentially pitching it ended his career) on one of the best teams in Tigers' history. Man, if Whitehill had that he'd be... They are essentially the same pitcher to me.

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Rozema isn't in on my book. He simply didn't have complete seasons. Rozema is the guy that could've been that never materialized. I remember the talk "if we can ever get Fidrych healthy with Rozema..." for those in dreamer land.

Lopez was off and on. When he was awesome he was. He was in 1984 and a key reason why this team went the distance. He, along with Hernandez, really cut the game into six innings because between them they would eat up the last three innings in several key games. If you check his or Hernandez's game logs in 1984 you'll find several times when each went 4 innings one day and then 1 1/3 innings the next day or 2 and 2 or things like that. Today if Jones pitches an inning three days in a row they are dead - forget it. And compound that these guys came in when there was one out and runners on first and third in a one-run game. Such games help their ERAs a bit because most likely the inherited runners will score and they'll get out of the jam before they allow one of their runners in, but nevertheless the 1+ or even 2+ save or at least appearance on back-to-back days was common for them.

When we get to the current relievers I will have to look at them based on what today's role for them is. And then I'll have to figure what level of excellence I am looking for based on that role will be my standard. But for this era Lopez has many many fine seasons that demand I give him a look. Will it be enough is the question. I'm not completely sure one way or the other right now.

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Kemp already had a great fan base amongst us kids when he was a Tiger. I remember there being a ton of Kemp fans on the playgrounds. I was a Parrish fan and became one because it seemed most of my classmates liked people like Trammell, Whitaker and Kemp the most. They didn't need any more people on their bandwagon. Kids were always yelling "I'm Trammell or I'm Whitaker and I'm Kemp" when we played baseball. I never had troubles getting Parrish. Just a neat story.

But in this case I think that juvenile story has it right. He was here for five seasons and he never had a bad offensive year. Now maybe you can argue he played left and that's where is value had to come from, but I don't think anyone was saying "I wish we had more production from our leftfield position." He really has a great case. I put him right there with Charlie Maxwell. I think their cases are very similar. I have voted for Maxwell so it's pretty likely that I'll be doing the same for both this time.

The Tigers are loaded with productive OFers. I know we have a ton of them, but I don't think it's fair to deny others because we have a ton of them. Just like I don't think it makes sense to make sure the top 6 3Bmen are on the team regardless how good or bad that sixth guy was.

I'll sift through this class more later. I'm in my talking out loud thing right now. And I happen to be writing it here while I am in it (that's pretty cool), but this is what I kind of have in my mind before diving in.

Locks - Colavito and McLain seem to be locks for me this time.

Good Contenders - Rogell, Maxwell, Lopez, Kemp

Others getting looks - Wilcox, Fidrych and LeFlore.

Fidrych's candiacy looks more favorable against this class, but I fear it's still going to fall short. I bet he gets a few more votes this go around than last because he does compare better.

How those names are listed are not in any particular order.

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One of my favorite games I've ever listened to was the Pat Underwood vs. Tom Underwood game. It was Pat's first ever start if I recall right and it was against his brother and he won 1-0. I think his bro went the distance while Underwood went 8 1/3rds innings I do know he went 8 1/3rds.

It's a game I wish I taped and I wish I could find on tape.

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I'll have room for Rogell this time. Lots of room. I'll probably submit a 4 player ballot.

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What Wilcox lacks in "filling his seasons" like Whitehill did, he makes up with at least one big season on a team that went to the last weekend before falling out of the playoffs and another where he was a solid No. 4 guy (hurt all year and essentially pitching it ended his career) on one of the best teams in Tigers' history. Man, if Whitehill had that he'd be... They are essentially the same pitcher to me.

So Milt had the good fortune to have his peak season on a team that was talented enough to finish third in an abbreviated half-season. How does that "make up" for the disparity between he and Whitehill?

	[B]   ERA+	IP	RSAA	NW	Win Shares[/B]
Whitehill 104 2171.3 51 131 131
Wilcox 103 1495.3 22 89 84

Earl Whitehill isn't Tommy Bridges. He isn't even Bill Donovan. But neither is he Milt Wilcox. He just isn't.

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* - I don't have all the Win Share data available to me, so I could only find Wilcox's WS total for his entire career (not just Detroit). His total as a Tiger is probably in the 90s.

.

Wilcox had 84 win shares as a Tiger.

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