Detroit Tigers: Eyebrow-Raising Transactions #20-11

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Jun 27, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; A general view of the field at Comerica Park before the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox. THe game was postpone due to weather. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

12. Ron LeFlore. Should have been a Tiger for life.

Ron LeFlore has one of the most unique routes to baseball. He was a prisoner in the nearby Jackson State Penitentiary when news of his baseball skills made it to the then manager, Billy Martin. LeFlore was given the opportunity to tryout for the team and Martin signed him, which gave LeFlore what he needed to be paroled. He spent some time in the minor leagues before he made his rookie debut with the Tigers in 1974. He played centerfield with style. During his time with the Tigers, ticket sales increased because fans wanted to see him play. He was frequently on the MVP ballot and in 1976, he went to the All-Star game. In 1978, he led the AL in runs scored and stolen bases. He batted .300 in 1979.

Despite his success as a Tiger, he was traded to the Montreal Expos to play right field in 1980. In his one season with the Expos, he stole 97 bases, which is still a record with the Expos/Nationals. He is currently in the 52nd spot in MLB history for stolen bases. The Tigers traded LeFlore in exchange for Dan Schatzeder, who pitched with the team for two seasons. The left-handed pitcher posted a 4.57 ERA and a 1.284 WHIP. He never went to an All-Star Game or topped the league in any statistics. The Tigers traded an unforgettable outfielder and base stealer for a completely forgettable pitcher.

Next: #11 He Should Have Been a Tiger for Life