Detroit Tigers: 10 Best Players from Michigan

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Feb 21, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; A major league baseball sits in the grass as Detroit Tigers catchers participate in drills during spring training at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

6. Bill Freehan

There was something about that 1968 Detroit Tigers team and Bill Freehan was the catcher that called the games. He was from Royal Oak where he attended the city high school. He also attended the University of Michigan where he played football and baseball. He hit .446 in his All-American season in 1961; this is the highest batting average of any player in Michigan history.

He was signed in 1961 and played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers. He appeared in 11 All-Star games as a catcher. He earned five Gold Glove awards and he regularly received votes in the MVP voting. He never won the AL MVP, but he finished as high as second place in 1968, where he regularly caught for pitching greats Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain. As a catcher, his fielding percentage was .993. His ability as a catcher and hitter puts only two catchers ahead of him in statistics: Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. One of his most memorable moments of his career was the final catch in the World Series game 7 in 1968, where he caught Tim McCarver‘s (the St. Louis Cardinals catcher) popup. Interestingly, in three of his seasons, he led the league in being hit by pitches.

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