44. Tony Phillips

Tony Phillips had a long career spanning eighteen seasons but his five in Detroit clearly reflected the best offensive numbers of his career.  Phillips would lead the American League in Runs Scored in 1992 and in Walks in 1993, a season he also batted .313 and finished 16th in MVP voting.  The versatile player also put up his best defensive output as a Detroit Tiger.
Damn, this is a long process isn’t it?

We have told you that we are looking to do for each major North American Franchise in professional sports their top 50 players.  There have been quite a few that we have done, but as you know there are a lot more left to do!

As such, we have another team whose top 50 players we are ready to announce, in our opinion of course.

It is a return to Motown, with multi-time World Series Champion, the Detroit Tigers.

As one of the more successful and tenured franchises in Major League Baseball, this is quite a list, and you can see the complete 50 here.

We encourage you all to take a look and let us know your thoughts on this group and we thank you for your support.
As we continue or slow process of ranking the all-time Top 50 of each major North American franchise, we also have to constantly update the ones we already have. The one that we have done this time is revising the Detroit Tigers up to accomplishments up to the end of 2016 season.

In this particular case, we did not just adjust everything based on what transpired in 2015. The way in which we determine our baseball lists are as follows:

  1. Sabremetric tallies while with that team, mostly WAR.
  1. Traditional metrics and how they finished in their respective league overall.
  1. Playoff accomplishment.
  1. Their overall impact on the team and other intangibles not reflected in a stat sheet.
Remember, this is ONLY based on what a player does on that particular team and not what he accomplished elsewhere and also note that we have placed an increased importance on the first two categories.

This has resulted in a significant shift in the overall Top 50 of the Tigers and many new entries that had not been listed previously.

The revised list can be found here.

9. Lou Whitaker

Playing with Alan Trammell for virtually his entire career, Lou Whitaker was one half of the longest running double play combination in Baseball history.  Like Trammell, Whitaker was a great player with both bat and glove and a big part of Detroit’s World Series win in 1984.

90. Norm Cash

How is it possible to hit .361 and hit 41 home runs without anyone noticing?  The answer is to perform that incredible feat the same year that Roger Maris hit 61 Home Runs.

91. Darrell Evans

Talk about being forgotten.  Darrell Evans is one of the few eligible players to hit more than 400 Home Runs and not get elected to the Hall of Fame.  He actually never made it past the first ballot.  He only made the All Star Team twice.  He was a great fielder but Mike Schmidt won all the Gold Gloves at third.  He won a World Series with Detroit but was overshadowed by Whitaker, Trammell, Morris and Hernandez.  A lot of this may have happened because he had a lifetime Batting Average of .248.

92. Frank Tanana

Frank Tanana won 240 career games, yet never seemed to be on the tip of the tongue when you think of all time great pitchers; or even really good ones. Yet, a closer look at the Michigan native shows a Pitcher whose career was a lot better than you may initially think.