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1979 Detroit Tigers season

1979 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Location
  • Detroit, Michigan (since 1901)
  • Other information
    Owner(s) John Fetzer
    Manager(s) Les Moss, Dick Tracewski, Sparky Anderson
    Local television WDIV-TV
    (George Kell, Mike Barry, Al Kaline)
    Local radio WJR
    (Ernie Harwell, Paul Carey)
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    The 1979 Detroit Tigers finished in fifth place in the American League East with a record of 85-76, 18 games behind the Orioles. They outscored their opponents 770 to 738. The Tigers drew 1,630,929 fans to Tiger Stadium in 1979, ranking 7th of the 14 teams in the American League. This season is most notable for the Tigers' involvement in Disco Demolition Night, of which they were the visiting team to the Chicago White Sox and declared winners by forfeit. Sparky Anderson was hired as manager in mid-June and would continue manage the Tigers through the end of the 1995 season.

    Offseason

    • March 20, 1979: Steve Dillard was traded by the Tigers to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later. The Cubs completed the deal by sending Ed Putman to the Tigers on March 24.[1]

    Regular season

    Season standings

    AL East W L GB Pct.
    Baltimore Orioles 102 57 -- .642
    Milwaukee Brewers 95 66 8 .590
    Boston Red Sox 91 69 11.5 .569
    New York Yankees 89 71 13.5 .556
    Detroit Tigers 85 76 18 .528
    Cleveland Indians 81 80 22 .503
    Toronto Blue Jays 53 109 50.5 .327


    Notable transactions

    Roster

    1979 Detroit Tigers
    Roster
    Pitchers Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders

    Other batters

    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
    C Parrish, LanceLance Parrish 143 493 136 .276 19 65
    1B Thompson, JasonJason Thompson 145 492 121 .246 20 79
    2B Whitaker, LouLou Whitaker 127 423 121 .286 3 42
    3B Rodríguez, AurelioAurelio Rodríguez 106 343 87 .254 5 36
    SS Trammell, AlanAlan Trammell 142 460 127 .276 6 50
    LF Kemp, SteveSteve Kemp 134 490 156 .318 26 105
    RF Morales, JerryJerry Morales 129 440 93 .211 14 56
    CF LeFlore, RonRon LeFlore 148 600 180 .300 9 57
    DH Staub, RustyRusty Staub 68 246 58 .236 9 40

    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
    Summers, ChampChamp Summers 90 246 77 .313 20 51
    Wockenfuss, JohnJohn Wockenfuss 87 231 61 .264 15 46
    Jones, LynnLynn Jones 95 213 63 .296 4 26
    Brookens, TomTom Brookens 60 190 50 .263 4 21
    Wagner, MarkMark Wagner 75 146 40 .274 1 13
    Mankowski, PhilPhil Mankowski 42 99 22 .222 0 8
    Putman, EdEd Putman 21 39 9 .231 2 4
    Gibson, KirkKirk Gibson 12 38 9 .237 1 4
    Corcoran, TimTim Corcoran 18 22 5 .227 0 6
    Peters, RickRick Peters 10 19 5 .263 0 2

    Pitching

    Starting pitchers

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

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Wilcox, MiltMilt Wilcox 33 196.1 12 10 4.35 109
    Morris, JackJack Morris 27 197.2 17 7 3.28 113
    Rozema, DaveDave Rozema 16 97.1 4 4 3.51 33
    Petry, DanDan Petry 15 98 6 5 3.95 43
    Robbins, BruceBruce Robbins 10 46 3 3 3.91 22
    Fidrych, MarkMark Fidrych 4 14.2 0 3 10.43 5

    Other pitchers

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

    Player G IP W L ERA SO
    Billingham, JackJack Billingham 35 158 10 7 3.30 59
    Underwood, PatPat Underwood 27 121.2 6 4 4.59 83
    Baker, SteveSteve Baker 21 84 1 7 6.64 54
    Chris, MikeMike Chris 13 39 3 3 6.92 31

    Relief pitchers

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

    Player G W L SV GF ERA SO
    López, AurelioAurelio López 61 10 5 21 49 2.41 106
    Hiller, JohnJohn Hiller 43 4 7 9 30 5.22 46
    Tobik, DaveDave Tobik 37 3 5 3 19 4.33 48
    Burnside, SheldonSheldon Burnside 10 1 1 0 2 6.33 13
    Taylor, BruceBruce Taylor 10 1 2 0 8 4.82 8
    Arroyo, FernandoFernando Arroyo 6 1 1 0 3 8.25 7

    Awards and honors

    • Steve Kemp, Tiger of the Year Award, from Detroit baseball writers

    All-Stars

    League top ten finishes

    Steve Kemp

    • #4 in AL in OPS (.939)
    • #8 in AL in batting average (.318)

    Ron LeFlore

    • #2 in MLB in stolen bases (78)
    • #3 in AL in singles (139)
    • #4 in AL in times caught stealing (14)
    • #5 in AL in triples (10)
    • #7 in AL in runs scored (110)

    Aurelio López

    • #3 in AL in saves (21)
    • #5 in AL in games finished (49)

    Jack Morris

    • #4 in AL in Adjusted ERA+ (133)
    • #5 in AL in ERA (3.28)
    • #5 in AL in wins (17)
    • #5 in AL win percentage (.708)
    • #4 in AL in hits allowed per 9 innings (8.15)

    Bruce Robbins

    • 3rd youngest player in the AL

    Alan Trammell

    • #4 in AL in times caught stealing (14)

    Milt Wilcox

    • #2 in MLB in hit batsmen (11)

    Players ranking among top 100 all time at position

    The following members of the 1979 Detroit Tigers are among the Top 100 of all time at their position, as ranked by The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract in 2001:

    • Lance Parrish: 19th best catcher of all time (played 12 games as a rookie)
    • Lou Whitaker: 13th best second baseman of all time (played 11 games as a rookie)
    • Alan Trammell: 9th best shortstop of all time (played 19 games as a rookie)
    • Aurelio Rodríguez: 91st best third baseman of all time
    • Ron LeFlore: 80th best center fielder of all time

    Farm system

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    Level Team League Manager

    LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Evansville

    Notes

    References

    • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, N.C.: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3. 

    External links