15 Days: Number of Ryan Raburn Home Runs in 2010
14 Days: Number of Cards in 2003 Topps Base Set
13 Days: Number of Starts by Jacob Turner for Lakeland in 2010
12 Days: Number of Franchise Playoff Appearances
11 Days: Number of 2010 Tiger Rookie Debuts
10 Days: Number of American League Pennants
Our countdown to opening day rolls into the single digits with only nine days left. Today we honor that number by remembering the nine long (consecutive) years in which the Tigers sent only the one obligatory player to the All-Star game.
In 1994, Mickey Tettleton and Travis Fryman earned trips to the mid-summer classic, and in 2004, Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez made the team. The between years were filled with less than elite players (although the list isn’t quite as terrible as I thought it might be).
Here’s the list:
1995: David Wells
1996: Travis Fryman
1997: Justin Thompson
1998: Damion Easley
1999: Brad Ausmus
2000: Todd Jones
2001: Tony Clark
2002: Robert Fick
2003: Dmitri Young
The run actually didn’t start off too badly. David Wells would go on to have a nice career, and would be named as an All-Star twice more in his career, and Travis Fryman was making his fourth appearance in five years. These two guys are at least All-Star worthy names.
But the next seven players would only combine for eight All-Star appearances in their careers. Only Dmitri Young would go on to play in a second game. He made the National League squad with the Washington Nationals in 2007. Guys like Damion Easley, Brad Ausmus, Todd Jones, and Tony Clark were certainly solid players over the course of their careers, and they had some very nice seasons here and there, but their careers weren’t exceptionally noteworthy.
Justin Thompson and Robert Fick were supposed to be “the next big things” in their respective tenures as Detroit Tigers, and their All-Star years were supposed to be signs of the good times to come. Thompson actually had quite a year in 1997. He finished the season with a 3.02 ERA, but he benefitted from a .260 BABIP against that year. He would pitch two more seasons in Detroit before being traded to Texas for Juan Gonzalez after the 1999 season. He would only pitch 1.2 more innings in his major league career.
Fick helped close Tiger Stadium by sending a home run off of the roof in the final game at the old park, but that bit of trivia may have been his highest point as a Tiger. He did have a pretty good bat, but he didn’t really hit well enough to make up for the fact that he never really found a position.