Detroit Tigers: 1960-1973
Dick McAuliffe was a power hitting second basemen when power hitting second basemen weren’t a thing.
He hit 20+ home runs in three different seasons and finished his career with 197 round-trippers, 192 of them in a Detroit uniform. His 142 home runs in the 1960’s is first among second basemen. Second place is Bill Mazeroski, with 93.
McAuliffe played 14 seasons in a Detroit uniform. His name is littered all across the team’s record books. A few examples:
- Plate Appearances: 6,828 (11th)
- Runs: 856 (13th)
- Triples: 70 (8th)
- Home Runs: 192 (12th – only behind Whitaker among 2B)
- Walks: 842 (8th)
- WAR: 37.5 (14th)
The left-handed hitting McAuliffe was a key component of the Tigers 1968 World Series winning team. That season he led the league in runs scored with 95. He also hit 16 home runs, 24 doubles, 10 triples, stole eight bases and posted a 126 OPS+. He finished seventh in MVP voting but strangely did not make the All-Star game, despite having made it the three previous seasons.
McAuliffe did play a lot of shortstop early in his career but settled in as the full-time second baseman in 1967. For his career, he started 903 games at second base, compared to 600 starts at shortstop.
Next up is one of the Tigers longest-tenured players, and a player who has been in the news recently thanks to his teammate’s accomplishments.