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1966 Detroit Tigers season

1966 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Tiger Stadium (since 1912)
  • Detroit, Michigan (since 1901)
  • Other information
    Owner(s) John Fetzer
    Manager(s) Chuck Dressen, Bob Swift, Frank Skaff
    Local television WJBK
    (George Kell, Ray Lane)
    Local radio WJR
    (Ernie Harwell, Gene Osborn)
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    The 1966 Detroit Tigers season was the 66th consecutive season for the Detroit franchise in the American League. The Tigers, who had finished fourth in the ten-team AL in 1965 with an 89–73 record, won one fewer game in 1966, going 88–74, but moved up to third in the league, ten full games behind the eventual world champion Baltimore Orioles.

    Regular season

    The 1966 season saw the maturation of the core of the 1968 world champion Tiger club, and the addition of starting pitcher Earl Wilson, a future 20-game winner. But it was marred by the in-season illnesses, ultimately fatal, that struck manager Chuck Dressen and his immediate successor, interim pilot Bob Swift. Dressen, 71, suffered a heart attack on May 16 (his second heart attack in two years), with Detroit 16–10, three games behind the Cleveland Indians. He was admitted to a Detroit hospital and third-base coach Swift, 51, took the reins as acting manager, as he had done in 1965. Under Swift, the Tigers won 32 of their next 57 games. But during the July 11–13 All-Star break, with Detroit in second place, eight games behind Baltimore, Swift was hospitalized for rapid weight loss and what was first suspected to be food poisoning. However, tests revealed that he was suffering from lung cancer and he was forced to step aside. Dressen died August 10, and Swift succumbed October 17.

    Another Tiger coach, Frank Skaff, finished the season as acting manager, with the team playing only one game above the .500 mark for him, at 40–39. The Tigers eventually hired Mayo Smith as their new manager for 1967, and Smith would lead them to within one game of the 1967 pennant and the 1968 world title.

    Season standings

    American League W L Pct. GB
    Baltimore Orioles 97 63 .606 --
    Minnesota Twins 89 73 .549 9
    Detroit Tigers 88 74 .543 10
    Chicago White Sox 83 79 .512 15
    Cleveland Indians 81 81 .500 17
    California Angels 80 82 .494 18
    Kansas City Athletics 74 86 .463 23
    Washington Senators 71 88 .447 25.5
    Boston Red Sox 72 90 .444 26
    New York Yankees 70 89 .440 26.5

    Notable transactions

    Roster

    1966 Detroit Tigers
    Roster
    Pitchers Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders Manager

    Coaches

    Player stats

    Batting

    Starters by position

    Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    LF Horton, WillieWillie Horton 146 526 138 .262 27 100
    LF Kaline, AlAl Kaline 142 479 138 .288 29 88
    RF Northrup, JimJim Northrup 123 419 111 .265 16 58

    Other batters

    Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

    Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
    Wood, JakeJake Wood 98 230 58 .252 2 27
    Demeter, DonDon Demeter 32 99 21 .212 5 12
    Brunsberg, ArloArlo Brunsberg 2 3 1 .333 0 0

    Pitching

    Starting pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    McLain, DennyDenny McLain 38 264.1 20 14 3.92 192
    Lolich, MickeyMickey Lolich 40 203.2 14 14 4.77 173
    Wilson, EarlEarl Wilson 23 163.1 13 6 2.59 133

    Other pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Aguirre, HankHank Aguirre 30 103.2 3 9 3.82 50

    Relief pitchers

    Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

    Player G W L SV ERA SO
    Peña, OrlandoOrlando Peña 54 4 2 7 3.08 79
    Gladding, FredFred Gladding 51 5 0 2 3.28 57
    Fox, TerryTerry Fox 4 0 1 1 6.30 6
    Korince, GeorgeGeorge Korince 2 0 0 0 0.00 2
    Graham, BillBill Graham 1 0 0 0 0.00 2
    Hiller, JohnJohn Hiller 1 0 0 0 9.00 1
    Navarro, JulioJulio Navarro 1 0 0 0 0

    Farm system

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    Level Team League Manager

    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Rocky Mount

    Notes

    References