Detroit Tigers: 10 Best Players from Michigan

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Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

7. Jim Northrup

Northrup was from a small town west of Saginaw called Breckenridge. There he helped on his grandfather’s farm before the family moved to St. Louis, Michigan. The highlights of his summer were the long drives to Detroit to see the Boston Red Sox because he idolized Ted Williams. He attended the small mid-Michigan Alma College where he played five sports, but his true love was baseball.

He signed with the Tigers in 1960 and made his major league debut four years later as an outfielder. He could easily play all three spots in the outfield, but in 1968, he became the centerfielder so fellow Michigan man, Mickey Stanley, could play shortstop. He played for 11 years with the Tigers where he held a .267 batting average. He played alongside other great outfielders, like Al Kaline and Willie Horton. His career fielding percentage was .981, but in 1968 he had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in his 60 starts at center and left. While he is not as well-known as his contemporaries, he deserves a spot on this list for his dedication to the game and his outstanding play in the 1968 World Series where he started in all seven games. His best game ever was against the Oakland Athletics in August of 1969 where he went 6-for-6 and won the game with a home run that went over the roof at Tiger Stadium. Ty Cobb was the last Tiger player to hit 6-for-6.

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