Paul Howard ‘Dizzy’ Trout is one of the best pitchers in Detroit’s long history. He was with the team from 1939 until 1952, picking up 161 wins and a stellar 125 ERA+.
He was at his best during WWII, when many talented MLB players were overseas serving their country. Dizzy was unable to serve thanks to a hearing impairment. While it’s certainly possible that Trout’s success largely came from a dearth of talent, he still managed to put together some remarkable numbers.
The pinnacle of Trout’s big league success came in Detroit’s World Series run of 1945. After losing 9-0 in game one against the Cubs, the Tigers stormed back to win game two 4-1. They got blanked again in game three, 3-0. That set up a crucial game four matchup between Trout and Cubs pitcher Ray Prim. Prim got knocked around by the Tigers, only lasting 3.1 innings before getting bounced after surrendering four runs.
That was plenty for Trout, who threw a complete game to earn the victory. He gave up one run (unearned) on five hits, with one walk and six strikeouts. He turned it on at the end of the game, retiring 11 of the last 12 he faced after allowing a run on an error by first baseman Rudy York.
The Tigers tied the series up at 2-2 thanks to Trout. They split the next two games, forcing a game seven that Detroit won 9-3 thanks to a five run first inning.
After retiring in 1952, Trout was Detroit’s play-by-play announcer from 1953-1955. He eventually joined the White Sox front office, where he worked until his death at age 56 in 1972.