Fred Hutchinson (1952-1954)
Half way through the 1952 season, Fred Hutchinson replaced Red Rolfe as manager. After Rolfe had a few strong seasons, his team quickly dropped in the standings. Hutchinson was primed and ready to take over the team, but he did not prove to be a better manager. In 1952, Hutchinson only improved by .10 from Rolfe’s beginning. That year, the team finished 45 games back from first with 50 games won and 106 games lost. The next year, Hutchinson’s team finished 40 ½ games back with a .390 win rate. Hutchinson was given a third year at the helm and he proved to be slightly better. He never brought the team above the .500 mark; but in 1954, his team won 68 games and lost 86 finishing 43 games back.
Hutchinson’s 1953 team included the rookie Al Kaline and the aging Johnny Pesky (of the pole in Fenway Park). Hal Newhouser was a pitcher on this team, but he had his worst ERA ever: 7.06 which earned him a trade to the Cleveland Indians in the following year. Even with players of this caliber on the team, Hutchinson could not lead the majority of his players to batting averages over .275. This team lost 34 blowouts and 22 one-run games. It was certainly not a happy year for fans of the Tigers, especially on June 18, when the Red Sox scored 23 runs to the Tigers 3 runs at Fenway Park.
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