Paying Tribute to the Greatest Tiger Team of My Generation
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Kirk Gibson may not get into the Hall of Fame, but he definitely had some Hall of Fame moments. His monster three run shot in Game 5 of the 1984 World Series, and an equally impressive Game 1 walk off homer in the 1988 World Series are my two most memorable moments in all of baseball.
1984 was Gibby’s breakout season, and he was extremely consistent for the next five years. He hit between 24 and 29 homers in each of those five seasons, and he stole between 26 and 34 bases. He was plagued by injuries most of his career, and was only able to play in 140 games in three or more seasons.
Let’s take a look at his numbers.
Runs Created 98
Batting Runs Above Replacement 52
Fielding Runs Above Replacement -1
Equivalent Average .305
Wins Above Replacement Player 5.6
Gibson was never known for his fielding, but he could hit. Ken Griffey had a nice season, but Gibby had a great one. Blade says this one was close, and it might have been if we were comparing Gibson to the 1976 Griffey, but we’re not.
Scorecare – 1975 Reds 5, 1984 Tigers 3
If there was one player I most tried to mimic as a kid, it was Chet Lemon. The way he’d casually go back, stand under the ball, and just sort of hold his mitt under the ball, letting it fall into his glove was classic. Rarely did he catch anything two handed, and rarely did I. In fact I still catch grief when I play softball, since I basically conditioned myself to catch the ball without both hands.
1984 was a great season for Chet Lemon. What’s funny is, I don’t remember him for a great catch. And I don’t remember him for a clutch homer. What I do remember him for is going back on a fly ball, losing it in the sun, and getting clocked in the head. I vividly remember sitting in friend’s basement and watching Gibby and a couple other Tigers carrying Chet off the field.
Chet Lemon didn’t set any career marks in 1984, but he probably had his best all-around season. His twenty homers were second best to the year before, and his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging were all above his career marks.
Here’s the numbers:
Runs 77 Slg% .495
Runs Created 88
Batting Runs Above Replacement 41
Fielding Runs Above Replacement 41
Equalized Average .295
Wins Above Replacement Player 9.0
Chet Lemon had a WARP of 9.0, which tied him with Tram for the team lead, so he was as much of an MVP on this team then anyone. Gibby had a monster season at the plate, but his defensive skills (or lack of) hurt when it came to WARP.
And it looks like Blade doesn’t have much to argue about here. In fact he conceded a lot more easily then I thought.
Scorecard – 1975 Reds 5, 1984 Tigers 2
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