Lynn Henning: Bill Freehan’s baseball skills, history yet awe Tigers teammates

Appropriate and painful, those video snippets running for the past couple of months. They show Bill Freehan with his Tigers cap on backwards and his catcher’s mask tossed to the side. He settles beneath a pop-up launched by Tim McCarver that had been shot into the afternoon sun at Busch Stadium, just right of the plate. Freehan raises his catcher’s mitt and snags the ball.

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Bill Freehan 1968 Topps Sporting News All Star card

Bill Freehan: The Tiger Who Was a Horse

Bill Freehan was considered the premier catcher in baseball until Johnny Bench came along and claimed that title. He began a run of 10 consecutive All-Star Game selections in 1964 — just three years removed from his time as a University of Michigan two-sport standout — and finished third in American League MVP voting in 1967 and second in 1968, when his Detroit Tigers won the World Series.

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