Detroit Tigers All-Time All-Stars
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons user Femaletrumpet02 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/femaletrumpet02/)
Bill Freehan‘s full-time career with the Detroit Tigers began in 1964, hitting .300 with 18 homers and 80 RBIs. That year began a streak of 10 straight All-Star appearances which included seven starts for the University of Michigan product. He began another streak the following year, 1965, when he collected the first of four straight Gold Glove awards.
Bill had an accurate canon behind home, throwing out a league-leading 53 percent of would-be stealers in 1964. While that exceptionally high number would plateau in later seasons, he would never dip below 32 percent in that category the rest of his career, save for his last year when he saw limited action. He was rewarded for catching the last 30-game winner in baseball, placing second in the MVP voting in 1968, behind teammate and 31-game winner Denny McLain.
All told, Freehan was known more for his glove than bat, yet when he retired in 1976 he had 200 home runs and 2,502 total bases, placing him behind just Yogi Berra andBill Dickey for American League catchers (both of whom are in the Hall-of-Fame). He held the highest career fielding percentage of .9933 until 2002 and held the record for putouts (9,941) until 1988.
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