Detroit Tigers: 1977-1986
One of the most prolific home run hitters in team history, Lance Parrish was a force behind the plate for a decade in the Motor City. Parrish was drafted in the first round of the 1974 MLB draft and made his debut three short years later in 1977.
After part-time duties in 1977 and 1978, Parrish became the full-time backstop in 1979. He hit .276 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI.
Parrish really came into his own in the 1980’s. He was an All-Star six times for the Tigers, including five years in a row from 1982-1986. He blasted 176 home runs in 906 games, good for an average of 25 per season. His slash line from 1980-1986 was .266/.318/.476, with a .794 OPS and a 117 OPS+.
Not only did Parrish make five All-Star games, he was a five time Silver Slugger Award winner and a three-time Gold Glove winner.
He blasted 30 or more home runs twice, including a career high 33 in the magical 1984 season.
Parrish was a free agent after 1986 and signed with the Phillies. He bounced around quite a bit over the next nine seasons, playing for six different teams. He managed to make two more All-Star games and won the Silver Slugger award in 1990 with the California Angels.
All told, Parrish finished his career with 324 home runs, 1,070 RBI and a .753 OPS. He had a 39.5 career bWAR, 30.1 of it earned in the Motor City. Parrish’s 324 home runs rank him sixth all-time among catchers, tied with the great Gary Carter.
Parrish currently manages Detroit’s Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps, and was discussed recently in this excellent piece by Lynn Henning of the Detroit News.