1966 Detroit Tigers season

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1966 Detroit Tigers
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)John Fetzer
General manager(s)Jim Campbell
Manager(s)Chuck Dressen, Bob Swift, Frank Skaff
Local televisionWJBK
(George Kell, Ray Lane)
Local radioWJR
(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 less game in 1966, going 88–74, but moved up to third in the league, ten full games behind the eventual world champion Baltimore Orioles. The team attracted 1,124,293 fans to Tiger Stadium, fifth in the ten-team circuit.[1]

Regular season[edit]

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 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. 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[edit]

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 97 63 0.606 48–31 49–32
Minnesota Twins 89 73 0.549 9 49–32 40–41
Detroit Tigers 88 74 0.543 10 42–39 46–35
Chicago White Sox 83 79 0.512 15 45–36 38–43
Cleveland Indians 81 81 0.500 17 41–40 40–41
California Angels 80 82 0.494 18 42–39 38–43
Kansas City Athletics 74 86 0.463 23 42–39 32–47
Washington Senators 71 88 0.447 25½ 42–36 29–52
Boston Red Sox 72 90 0.444 26 40–41 32–49
New York Yankees 70 89 0.440 26½ 35–46 35–43


Record vs. opponents[edit]

1966 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIN NYY WSH
Baltimore 12–6 12–6 9–9 8–10 9–9 11–5 10–8 15–3 11–7
Boston 6–12 9–9 11–7 7–11 8–10 9–9 6–12 8–10 8–10
California 6–12 9–9 8–10 10–8 9–9 9–9 11–7 11–7 7–11
Chicago 9–9 7–11 10–8 11–7 8–10 13–5 4–14 9–9–1 12–6
Cleveland 10–8 11–7 8–10 7–11 9–9 6–12 9–9 12–6 9–9
Detroit 9–9 10–8 9–9 10–8 9–9 6–12 11–7 11–7 13–5
Kansas City 5–11 9–9 9–9 5–13 12–6 12–6 8–10 5–13 9–9
Minnesota 8–10 12–6 7–11 14–4 9–9 7–11 10–8 8–10 14–4
New York 3–15 10–8 7–11 9–9–1 6–12 7–11 13–5 10–8 5–10
Washington 7–11 10–8 11–7 6–12 9–9 5–13 9–9 4–14 10–5


Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1966 Detroit Tigers
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders 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 Bill Freehan 136 492 115 .234 12 46
1B Norm Cash 160 603 168 .279 32 93
2B Jerry Lumpe 113 385 89 .231 1 26
SS Dick McAuliffe 124 430 118 .274 23 56
3B Don Wert 150 559 150 .268 11 70
LF Willie Horton 146 526 138 .262 27 100
CF Al Kaline 142 479 138 .288 29 88
RF Jim Northrup 123 419 111 .265 16 58

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
Mickey Stanley 92 235 68 .289 3 19
Jake Wood 98 230 58 .252 2 27
Ray Oyler 71 210 36 .171 1 9
Gates Brown 88 169 45 .266 7 27
Orlando McFarlane 49 138 35 .254 5 13
Dick Tracewski 81 124 24 .194 0 7
Don Demeter 32 99 21 .212 5 12
Arlo Brunsberg 2 3 1 .333 0 0
Don Pepper 4 3 0 .000 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

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

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Denny McLain 38 264.1 20 14 3.92 192
Mickey Lolich 40 203.2 14 14 4.77 173
Earl Wilson 23 163.1 13 6 2.59 133

Other pitchers[edit]

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

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dave Wickersham 38 140.2 8 3 3.20 93
Johnny Podres 36 107.2 4 5 3.43 53
Hank Aguirre 30 103.2 3 9 3.82 50
Bill Monbouquette 30 102.2 7 8 4.73 61
Joe Sparma 29 91.2 2 7 5.30 61

Relief pitchers[edit]

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

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Larry Sherry 55 8 5 20 3.82 63
Orlando Peña 54 4 2 7 3.08 79
Fred Gladding 51 5 0 2 3.28 57
Terry Fox 4 0 1 1 6.30 6
George Korince 2 0 0 0 0.00 2
Bill Graham 1 0 0 0 0.00 2
John Hiller 1 0 0 0 9.00 1
Julio Navarro 1 0 0 0 0

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Syracuse Chiefs International League Frank Carswell
AA Montgomery Rebels Southern League Wayne Blackburn
A Rocky Mount Leafs Carolina League Al Federoff
A Daytona Beach Islanders Florida State League Gail Henley
A Statesville Tigers Western Carolinas League Al Lakeman and George Spencer

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Rocky Mount

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  • 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.
  • 1966 Detroit Tigers season at Baseball Reference