Detroit Tigers Top 10 Shortstops in franchise history
Detroit Tigers: 1908-1921
The first great shortstop in Detroit Tigers history, Donie Bush carved out a very lengthy 16 year career. Thirteen of those seasons came in the Motor City. Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane would have loved Bush, as he had little going for him offensively save for his ability to draw a walk.
Bush led the league in walks five times, including four years in a row from 1909-1912. He finished his career with 1,158 free passes, good for 68th all-time. Not bad for a guy who posed a career OPS+ of 91.
Bush was a stabilizing presence in a dominant lineup that featured Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford and Harry Heilmann during Bush’s tenure. While his .250 batting average and nine career home runs are nothing special, Bush was a solid offensive contributor.
His defense is what makes him truly stand out however, as he posted a 10.7 dWAR for his career. That’s good for 202nd all-time and eighth in Tigers history. Admittedly, defensive WAR is not the most reliable statistic, particularly when applied to players from over 100 years ago. Still, Bush was no doubt ahead of his peers with the glove, which led to a 38.5 bWAR in a Tigers uniform. That’s good enough for 13th in franchise history, ahead of Tigers legends like Dick McAuliffe, Lance Parrish and Willie Horton. It also places him second all-time among Tigers shortstops. Behind you-know-who.