1979 Detroit Tigers season

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1979 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) John Fetzer
General manager(s) Jim Campbell
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 both the Tigers' involvement in the infamous Disco Demolition Night, of which they were the visiting team to the Chicago White Sox and declared winners by forfeit, as well as for their mid-season hiring of Sparky Anderson as manager. Anderson would manage the Tigers through the end of the 1995 season.

Offseason[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Season standings[edit]

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 102 57 0.642 55–24 47–33
Milwaukee Brewers 95 66 0.590 8 52–29 43–37
Boston Red Sox 91 69 0.569 11½ 51–29 40–40
New York Yankees 89 71 0.556 13½ 51–30 38–41
Detroit Tigers 85 76 0.528 18 46–34 39–42
Cleveland Indians 81 80 0.503 22 47–34 34–46
Toronto Blue Jays 53 109 0.327 50½ 32–49 21–60


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1979 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore 8–5 9–3 8–3 8–5 7–6 6–6 8–5 8–4 5–6 8–4 10–2 6–6 11–2
Boston 5–8 5–7 5–6 6–7 8–5 8–4 8–4 9–3 5–8 9–3 8–4 6–6 9–4
California 3–9 7–5 9–4 6–6 4–8 7–6 7–5 9–4 7–5 10–3 7–6 5–8 7–5
Chicago 3–8 6–5 4–9 6–6 3–9 5–8 5–7 5–8 4–8 9–4 5–8 11–2 7–5
Cleveland 5–8 7–6 6–6 6–6 6–6 6–6 4–9 8–4 5–8 8–4 7–5 5–7 8–5
Detroit 6–7 5–8 8–4 9–3 6–6 5–7 6–7 4–8 7–6 7–5 7–5 6–6 9–4
Kansas City 6–6 4–8 6–7 8–5 6–6 7–5 5–7 7–6 5–7 9–4 7–6 6–7 9–3
Milwaukee 5–8 4–8 5–7 7–5 9–4 7–6 7–5 8–4 9–4 6–6 9–3 9–3 10–3
Minnesota 4–8 3–9 4–9 8–5 4–8 8–4 6–7 4–8 7–5 9–4 10–3 4–9 11–1
New York 6–5 8–5 5–7 8–4 8–5 6–7 7–5 4–9 5–7 9–3 6–6 8–4 9–4
Oakland 4–8 3–9 3–10 4–9 4–8 5–7 4–9 6–6 4–9 3–9 8–5 2–11 4–8
Seattle 2–10 4–8 6–7 8–5 5–7 5–7 6–7 3–9 3–10 6–6 5–8 6–7 8–4
Texas 6–6 6–6 8–5 2–11 7–5 6–6 7–6 3–9 9–4 4–8 11–2 7–6 7–5
Toronto 2–11 4–9 5–7 5–7 5–8 4–9 3–9 3–10 1–11 4–9 8–4 4–8 5–7


Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1979 Detroit Tigers
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

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 Lance Parrish 143 493 136 .276 19 65
1B Jason Thompson 145 492 121 .246 20 79
2B Lou Whitaker 127 423 121 .286 3 42
3B Aurelio Rodríguez 106 343 87 .254 5 36
SS Alan Trammell 142 460 127 .276 6 50
LF Steve Kemp 134 490 156 .318 26 105
RF Jerry Morales 129 440 93 .211 14 56
CF Ron LeFlore 148 600 180 .300 9 57
DH Rusty Staub 68 246 58 .236 9 40

Other batters[edit]

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
Champ Summers 90 246 77 .313 20 51
John Wockenfuss 87 231 61 .264 15 46
Lynn Jones 95 213 63 .296 4 26
Tom Brookens 60 190 50 .263 4 21
Mark Wagner 75 146 40 .274 1 13
Phil Mankowski 42 99 22 .222 0 8
Ed Putman 21 39 9 .231 2 4
Kirk Gibson 12 38 9 .237 1 4
Tim Corcoran 18 22 5 .227 0 6
Rick Peters 10 19 5 .263 0 2

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

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

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Milt Wilcox 33 196.1 12 10 4.35 109
Jack Morris 27 197.2 17 7 3.28 113
Dave Rozema 16 97.1 4 4 3.51 33
Dan Petry 15 98 6 5 3.95 43
Bruce Robbins 10 46 3 3 3.91 22
Mark Fidrych 4 14.2 0 3 10.43 5

Other pitchers[edit]

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

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jack Billingham 35 158 10 7 3.30 59
Pat Underwood 27 121.2 6 4 4.59 83
Steve Baker 21 84 1 7 6.64 54
Mike Chris 13 39 3 3 6.92 31

Relief pitchers[edit]

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
Aurelio López 61 10 5 21 49 2.41 106
John Hiller 43 4 7 9 30 5.22 46
Dave Tobik 37 3 5 3 19 4.33 48
Sheldon Burnside 10 1 1 0 2 6.33 13
Bruce Taylor 10 1 2 0 8 4.82 8
Fernando Arroyo 6 1 1 0 3 8.25 7

Awards and honors[edit]

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

All-Stars[edit]

League top ten finishes[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Evansville Triplets American Association Jim Leyland
AA Montgomery Rebels Southern League Dennis Sommers
A Lakeland Tigers Florida State League Fred Hatfield
Rookie Bristol Tigers Appalachian League Joe Lewis

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Evansville

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ed Putman at Baseball-Reference
  2. ^ Champ Summers at Baseball-Reference
  3. ^ Rick Leach at Baseball-Reference
  4. ^ Rusty Staub at Baseball-Reference

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]