Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: 4 hometown players in franchise history

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DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Tonkin #59 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Michael Tonkin #59 of the Minnesota Twins pitches in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers during a MLB game at Comerica Park on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Twins defeated the Tigers 10-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 24: James McCann #34 of the Detroit Tigers pounds fist with Paws before a MLB game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 24: James McCann #34 of the Detroit Tigers pounds fist with Paws before a MLB game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on September 24, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Hal Newhouser was born May 20, 1921, in Detriot, Michigan. Considered one of the best pitchers of his era the Detroit Tigers retired his number in 1997.

The Detroit Tigers signed Newhouser as a free agent before the start of the 1939 season.  Through his first two years in the big leagues, he struggled with control. He walked more batters then he struck out.

When the US joined World War II Newhouser tried to enlist but was classified as a 4-F due to a leaky heart valve. That didn’t stop the Tiger great from trying to enlist multiple times but ultimately he stayed in the Motor City to become a great ballplayer.

During wartime baseball, he became a dominant pitcher racking up a 29-9 season in 1944. The inaugural Sporting News pitcher of the year went to Newhouser following the 1944 season.

When Newhouser ended his career in in 1995 he had racked up over 200 wins. He finished his career with a 207-150 record, 3.06 ERA, and 1,1976 strikeouts. He’s also the only pitcher in baseball history to win consecutive MVP awards.

According to Baseball-Reference, he is the 8th greatest Tiger posting a 61.6 career WAR. He’s just ahead of Justin Verlander on the list. Newhouser is well known amongst Tigers fans and has a stadium outside of Comerica Park.

The next player on our list pitched only 36 2/3 innings for the Olde English D.

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