In the tenth of an extensive series, we will take a look at the top 10 hitters of every Major League Baseball franchise. Here we feature the Detroit Tigers.
10) Bill Freehan
The 11-time American League All-Star catcher from Detroit, Michigan had 200 home runs with Detroit from 1963 to 1976. He had a career-high 25 home runs in 1968. That season Freehan was not only known for hitting home runs, but getting hit by a pitch too. He led the American League in the category with 24.
9) Lance Parrish
The catcher from Clairton, Pennsylvania had 212 home runs with the Tigers from 1977 to 1986. He had a career-high 34 home runs in 1984. That season, the Tigers won the World Series with Parrish belting a home run in game one of the American League Championship Series (an 8-1 Tigers win over the Kansas City Royals) and game five of the World Series (an 8-4 Tigers win over the San Diego Padres).
8) Rudy York
The first baseman from Ragland, Alabama had 239 home runs with then Tigers from 1937 to 1945. The five-time All-Star with the Tigers had a career high 37 home runs in 1937 and led Major League Baseball with 34 home runs in 1943.
7) Lou Whitaker
The five-time American League All-Star second baseman from Brooklyn, New York had 244 home runs with the Tigers from 1977 to 1995. He had a career-high 28 home runs in 1989. When Whitaker was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1978, he only had three home runs.
6) Cecil Fielder
The three-time All-Star first baseman from Los Angeles, California had 245 home runs with the Tigers from 1990 to 1996. He led the Major Leagues with 51 home runs in 1990 and 44 home runs in 1991.
5) Willie Horton
The four-time All-Star outfielder from Arno, Virginia had 262 home runs with the Tigers from 1963 to 1976. He had a career-high 36 home runs in 1968. During that season, the Tigers won the World Series. In game two of the series, Horton homered in an 8-1 Tigers win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
4) Hank Greenberg
The Hall of Fame first baseman from New York, New York had 306 home runs with the Tigers from 1933 to 1946. It should be noted Greenberg did not play three seasons from 1942 to 1944 because of World War II military service. He led the Major Leagues with 36 home runs in 1945, a Tigers single season franchise record 58 home runs in 1938, and 44 home runs in 1946. Greenberg also led the American League with 41 home runs in 1940. In 1935 and 1940, Greenberg was also named the American League Most Valuable Player. Greenberg hit a home run in the 1935 World Series, won by the Tigers over the Chicago Cubs. It came in game two of the series won by the Tigers, 8-3. Greenberg also hit two home runs for the Tigers against the Cubs in their 1945 World Series win. In game two, a 4-1 Tigers win over the Cubs, Greenberg hit a three-run home run, which broke a 1-1 tie.
3) Miguel Cabrera
The eight-time All-Star corner infielder has 372 home runs with the Tigers since 2008. Cabrera led the American League with 37 home runs in 2008 and Major League Baseball with 44 home runs in 2012. During the 2012 season, Cabrera earned the Triple Crown, becoming the last Major League Baseball player to do so. He also led the American League with 139 runs batted in and a .330 batting average that season.
2) Norm Cash
The All-Star first baseman from Justiceberg, Texas had 373 home runs with the Tigers from 1960 to 1974. In 1961, Cash had his finest Major League Baseball season. He had a career high 41 home runs, and led the Major Leagues with a .361 batting average and a .487 on base percentage, and led the American League with 193 hits. When the Cardinals won the 1968 World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals, Cash had a home run in game two of the series, an 8-1 Tigers win.
1) Al Kaline
The 18-time All-Star Hall of Fame first baseman from Baltimore, Maryland had 399 home runs with the Tigers from 1953 to 1974. Even though Kaline never reached 30 home runs in a season, nine times he had 20+ home runs in a season. When he led Major League Baseball with a .340 batting average and 200 hits in 1955, Kaline had 27 home runs. Kaline had two home runs in the 1968 World Series, a series that the Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. One came in game six, a 13-1 Tigers win.