1952 Detroit Tigers: 50-104-2
This is the oldest team on the list by far. So old, in fact, that the league still allowed ties. They tied the Washington Senators in 11 innings on May 8 and with the Philadelphia Athletics in the second game of a doubleheader on July 20.
Hall-of-famer Hal Newhouser was this team’s best player by WAR (2.2). He had a 3.74 ERA in 1952. Virgil Trucks was had a solid 3.97 ERA as well. One thing was clear when looking at this team’s pitching staff: they walked a lot of batters.
Maybe it was just the era, but my goodness, this team had a huge problem with free passes. Ted Gray walked a whopping 101 batters in 1952. Every starting pitcher had a strikeout to walk ratio under 2. Again, it may have been the time period, but that’s a lot of walks.
One of my favorite things to do when looking at baseball teams from the old days is seeing the amazing names, and this team has no shortage of them. They had a pitcher named Dizzy Trout, who actually had a solid big league career. He was a two-time All-Star who had a career 3.23 ERA and a WAR of 49.8.
This team actually wasn’t terrible offensively, ranking seventh in the American League in OPS. Outfielder Vic Wertz led the team with an .851 OPS, while first baseman Walt Dropo led the team in home runs with 23.
And less we forget, this team’s GM was Charlie Gehringer, who had been inducted into the HOF as a player just three years earlier. He was only the GM for two years, but he did sign the great Al Kaline, so his tenure wasn’t a complete wash.