Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tiger Heros - Bill Freehan

It has been to long since my last card post.  Life has just got in the way lately, no other excuse.  I have a couple of projects in my mind, but that will require scanning and preparation.  Hopefully I can find the time to scan and prepare.  This post will deal with one of the best catchers in Tiger history, Bill Freehan.

Bill Freehan was a Michigan native who spent his high school years in Florida.  After high school he spent 2 years at the University of Michigan, where he played baseball and football.  Made his debut with the club in 1961, his first year in professional ball.  Spent the entire 62 season in Denver before coming up to stay in Detroit for the 1963 season.  His rookie card is in the 1963 Topps set.

Not known as a great hitter, Bill would hit and even .300 in his first full major leage seaon.  That was the first time a Tiger catcher has hit .300 since Mickey Cochrane.  He won the Gold Glove award for 5 straight seasons in the 60s and was selected for the All-Star game 10 straight seasons.  He set an AL record for being HBP in 1968. 

In case anyone is wondering about the identiy of the coach in the background hitting fielding practice it is Wally Moses.    I did find it interesting that according to the 1968 roster the four coaches were assinged numbers from 50-53.

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