Kenny Rogers had a 20-year MLB career that spanned from 1989-2008. Only three of those seasons were spent in Detroit, but the left-hander left quite an imprint in Detroit’s history.
Originally drafted in the 39th round of the 1982(!) MLB draft, Rogers made his big league debut with the Texas Rangers in 1989. “The Gambler” was a reliever at first, even leading the league in games pitched in 1992. But in 1993 the Rangers brought him into the rotation, where he remained for the rest of his career.
He stayed with the Rangers until 1995. From there he bounced to the Yankees for two years, the A’s for a year and a half, the Mets for half a season, the Rangers again for three years, the Twins for one season, the Rangers again for two years and then the Tigers for the final three. Whew.
For his career he made four All-Star games and won five Gold Glove Awards. He won 219 games and is 94th all time in innings pitched.
Rogers was arguably at his best as a 41-year-old in 2006. That season he went 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. He finished fifth in Cy Young voting and 26th in MVP voting.
His postseason performance is one for the record books, as Rogers started three games and threw 23 scoreless innings. He struck out 19 and only gave up nine total hits.
Rogers suffered through two more injury-riddled seasons before ending his career after the 2008 season.
Rogers joined the Tigers as a spring training instructor in 2013.
In 2014, he was on the Hall of Fame ballot, garnering 0.2% of votes.