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Detroit Tigers All Time 9

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A reader forwarded me a link yesterday to a page on the Tigers website asking fans to vote for their all time Detroit Tigers starting 9, by season. You choose one players season at each offensive position as the best ever. I thought it was a cool idea and worthy of discussion amongst dedicated Tigers fans.

You can view the list and vote here.

You can do this with any MLB team if you'd like.

I put together a piece on my choices and thoughts, if you're interested. Some were easy, most were very difficult. It was fun, hope it is for you too.

Detroit Tigers All Time 9 | Eye of the Tigers

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My nine:


1st: Norm Cash 1961 .361 41 132 119 11
2nd: Charlie Gehringer 1937 .371 14 96 133 11
3rd: George Kell 1950 .340 8 101 114 3
SS: Alan Trammell 1987 .343 28 105 109 21
C: Rudy York 1937 .307 35 103 72 3
DH: Gary Sheffield 2007 .265 25 75 107 22
OF1: Ty Cobb 1911 .420 8 127 147 83
OF2: Rocky Colavito 1961 .290 45 140 129 1
OF3: Magglio Ordonez 2007 .363 28 139 117 4

I was real tempted to go with Lou for second base, just to have Lou and Tram together again, but Gehringer was better than Lou in all areas except for SBs. DH was also difficult. It can down to Sheff or Young... Young has more HR and a higher AVG, but Sheff had more runs and his SBs where 11 times bigger than Young.

What makes this effort silly is we're comparing stats from completely different eras, so it isn't really a 1-1 comparison. Plus they are only showing a handful of numbers here. We don't get to see things like hits, walks, SO and such. And of course, this is all just offense, no defense.

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Red,

Defense and intangibles crossed my mind as well. I tried to look deeper than the stats MLB listed, the ranks players had among the league, the impact on the team, but it's all so overwhelming. I agree it isn't a perfect method, but it was fun.

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Cash

Trammell

Parrish

Staub

Gehringer

Kell

Cobb

Colavito

Kaline

The OF was tough but I can't see Al Kaline not being on a list of Tiger outfielders. Not just for one season but for an entire career.

Bobby Higginson and Al Kaline should never be put on the same list, ever, for ANY reason.

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Bobby Higginson and Al Kaline should never be put on the same list, ever, for ANY reason.

Not even a list of players whose uniform numbers were single digits? At #4, Higgy would only be two spots away from #6!

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I like the idea of basing it on certain seasons in a players' career. That's gives it a little twist, since an "All-Time" team has already been picked twice before in team history (once in '69 as part of baseball's centennial celebration, then again in '99 to coincide with the final season of Tiger Stadium).

Just for fun, I picked two teams. One using players from seasons since I became a fan in 1979 and one with players from the pre-1979 era.

1B: Fielder and Greenberg

2B: Whitaker and Gehringer

SS: Trammell and Rogell

3B: Fryman and Kell

C: Parrish and Cochrane

DH: Sheffield and Staub

OF: Gibson, Ordonez and Granderson; Cobb, Heilmann and Kaline

I'm surprised they didn't go with Greenberg's 1938 season, since that's the year he threatened Ruth's single season HR record.

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My nine:


1st: Norm Cash 1961 .361 41 132 119 11
2nd: Charlie Gehringer 1937 .371 14 96 133 11
3rd: George Kell 1950 .340 8 101 114 3
SS: Alan Trammell 1987 .343 28 105 109 21
C: Rudy York 1937 .307 35 103 72 3
DH: Gary Sheffield 2007 .265 25 75 107 22
OF1: Ty Cobb 1911 .420 8 127 147 83
OF2: Rocky Colavito 1961 .290 45 140 129 1
OF3: Magglio Ordonez 2007 .363 28 139 117 4

I was real tempted to go with Lou for second base, just to have Lou and Tram together again, but Gehringer was better than Lou in all areas except for SBs. DH was also difficult. It can down to Sheff or Young... Young has more HR and a higher AVG, but Sheff had more runs and his SBs where 11 times bigger than Young.

What makes this effort silly is we're comparing stats from completely different eras, so it isn't really a 1-1 comparison. Plus they are only showing a handful of numbers here. We don't get to see things like hits, walks, SO and such. And of course, this is all just offense, no defense.

Not Staub at DH?

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The Top 9 based on Offensive Winning Percentage:

POS	PLAYER	         YEAR	OWP	HR	RBI	AVG	OBP	SLG
1B Norm Cash 1961 .864 41 132 .361 .487 .662
2B C. Gehringer 1934 .740 11 127 .356 .450 .517
SS Alan Trammell 1987 .757 28 105 .343 .402 .551
3B Ray Boone 1956 .698 25 81 .308 .403 .518
C Bill Freehan 1967 .713 20 74 .282 .389 .447
DH Dmitri Young 2003 .671 29 85 .297 .372 .537
OF1 Ty Cobb 1910 .876 8 91 .383 .456 .551
OF2 Ty Cobb 1917 .862 6 102 .383 .444 .570
OF3 Ty Cobb 1911 .851 8 127 .420 .467 .621

Ty Cobb had 12 of the top 14 productive seasons among outfielders in Tigers history. The top two non-Ty seasons:

OF7	Harry Heilmann	1923	.838	18	115	.403	.481	.632
OF13 Al Kaline 1967 .791 25 78 .308 .411 .541

According to actual winning production relative to season norms, they have the wrong seasons for Gehringer, Boone, Freehan and Cobb.

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Greenberg

Gehringer

Trammell

Kell

Tettleton

Staub

Cobb

Heilmann

Ordonez

In hindsight I should have picked Freehan, but I love the Mick's OBP.

I refused to vote for Cash because we all know his bat was corked.

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The Top 9 based on Offensive Winning Percentage:

DH Dmitri Young 2003 .671 29 85 .297 .372 .537

So, 2003 was the best season of any DH in Tiger history?? Weird!

Here's who I went with..

C-Rodriguez '04

1B-Greenberg '37

2B-Gehringer '37

SS-Trammell '87

3B-Kell '50

OF-Cobb '11

OF-Kaline '55

OF-Granderson '07

DH-Horton '75

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