5 from the Archives: 30th ’84 Reunion, Newhouser’s Greatness, Galarraga’s ‘Strange’ Season, Bridges’ Near Perfecto, McAuliffe’s Quiet Standout Career

Three decades later, Detroit Tigers’ 1984 World Series champs – some of them, anyway – set to reunite

by Joe Lapointe, for MLive (6/29/2014)

Eight years ago, for his 50th birthday, Dave Rozema’s daughters treated him to a tattoo.

On his right forearm, the one he pitched with as a Detroit Tiger, his skin now sports in blue ink a four-inch display of the old English ‘D’ with his number ’19.’

“I am proud of it,” Rozema said. “It means a lot. It was a big time in my life.”

A Tiger for eight years starting in 1977, Rozema made 29 appearances (16 of them starts) in 1984 for Detroit’s World Series championship team, which is gathering for a 30th anniversary reunion Monday night before the Tigers play Oakland at Comerica Park.

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Newhouser is best Tigers’ pitcher ever, but several right-handers are bunched together after that

by Michael Betzold for DetroitAthletic.com (2/7/2014)

Just how good is Justin Verlander when measured against the greatest Detroit Tigers’ pitchers?

If you were going to name two starting pitchers to an all-time Tiger franchise team, one would be an easy choice. Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser, a southpaw, is clearly at this point the best man ever to take the mound for the Tigers. But who is the best right-hander?

It’s not easy to tell, for two reasons: the candidates are closely matched, and it’s very difficult to compare starting pitchers across different eras.

Many of the traditional measures of excellence for starting pitchers no longer are meaningful. Starters don’t routinely pitch nine innings anymore, so we can throw complete games and shutouts right out the window. For the curious, George Mullin is the franchise’s all-time leader for complete games (336), and Mickey Lolich — clearly the second-best left-handed Tiger starter ever — pitched the most shutouts, 39.

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Galarraga’s ‘strange’ season, pending arbitration, could convince the Tigers to let him go

by Jim Hawkins for the Oakland Press (9/26/2010)

For Armando Galarraga, this has been the strangest season by any Tigers’ pitcher since1952 when Virgil Trucks tossed not one, but two no-hitters — but won just three other games the rest of the year.

I asked Jim Leyland if he has an explanation as to why Galarraga has won only two of the 19 games he has started since he pitched what all agree was a perfect game on June 2?

“I do not,” the Tigers’ manager replied tersely.

The Tigers maintain there is nothing wrong physically with the 28-year-old right hander.

So what’s the problem?

Galarraga is eligible for binding arbitration this winter and, personally, I would not be at all surprised if the Tigers simply let him go.

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August 5, 1932: Tommy Bridges Bid For Perfection Is Broken Up By The 27th Man

by Wade Forrester for On This Day In Sports (8/5/2014)

On August 5, 1932, in front of 8,000 fans, at Navin Field in Detroit, Tommy Bridges sat down 26 men in a row, before his bid for perfection was broken up by the 27th man he faced. The Tigers, along with their hurler were in cruise control as they entered the bottom of the ninth up 13-0 over the visiting Washington Senators.

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Throwback Tigers: The quiet career of Dick McAuliffe

by Ashley MacLennan for Bless You Boys (2/22/2018)

Richard John “Dick” McAuliffe was never the kind of player destined to make it into Cooperstown, and yet he was precisely the kind of hard-nosed, rough and tumble baseball player who helped turn the 1968 Tigers team into world champions. The spirited infielder was known as “Mad Dog” to his teammates.

McAuliffe spent 14 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, starting in 1960 at the tender age of 20 years old, and continuing until he was 33. He spent the final two years of his career with the Boston Red Sox, though by then he was in the declining stages of his career, and his time with the Sox was largely unremarkable.

With the Tigers, he managed three back-to-back All-Star seasons in 1965, 1966, and 1967, but not in the winning 1968 season when he had an American League high 95 runs scored. His career line with the Tigers was .249/.345/.408. Again, not the numbers to net you a plaque in Cooperstown, but a perfectly respectable 14-season line.

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Image: Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

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