August 9, 1913|
Kearny, New Jersey
|Died: August 1, 2002
Pompano Beach, Florida
|Middle Atlantic League debut|
|1936, for the Charleston Senators|
Born in Kearny, New Jersey, Tighe joined the professional ranks in 1936 as a catcher with the Charleston Senators, a Detroit farm club in the Class C Middle Atlantic League. A right-handed batter, he rose no further as a player than Class A1, two levels below the major leagues, with the Beaumont Exporters of the Texas League in 1938–39.
The following season, Tighe became a manager in the minor leagues. In 1940 and 1941, Tighe was player-manager of the Muskegon Clippers, a Michigan State League Tiger farm club. He was a Detroit coach for the latter half of the 1942 American League season, then resumed his minor league managerial career from 1944–53. In 1948, Tighe was assigned to be the first manager of the Flint Arrows in the Central League.
He was again named to the Tigers' coaching staff in 1955–56, and replaced his boss, Bucky Harris, as Detroit's manager following the 1956 season. Tighe led the Tigers to a 78–76, fourth-place finish in 1957, but when Detroit faltered (21–28) early during the 1958 campaign, he was released in favor of Bill Norman. Tighe's career managing record: 99 wins, 104 defeats (.488).
He later managed and scouted in the Milwaukee Braves organization before returning to the Tigers' farm system, winning the 1967 Governors' Cup championship and the 1968 International League regular season championship at the helm of the Toledo Mud Hens. He served full-time with the Detroit Tigers system until 1982 then under various capacities until 1990.
Umpire Max Felerski ejected Buffalo manager Jack Tighe on August 8, 1953.
The umpire said the manager spit on him. The manager said he didn't.
However, the league chose to take the side of Max Felerski and suspended Tighe indefinitely.
In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence Tighe and three Buffalo players agreed to take a polygraph test at a Buffalo police station.
"Did you deliberately spit on Max Felerski?" The polygraph testor asked.
"I did curse and I may have sputtered, but I didn't spit. I wouldn't spit on a dog", Tighe answered.
The entire polygraph process took two hours where the Tighe answer was found to be truthful. As a result, his indefinite suspension was rescinded:
"Three Buffalo players who had been involved in the argument also submitted to the tests", the 1954 Sporting News Baseball Guide reported. "Tighe and his three players all denied the manager deliberately spit at the arbiter, and the polygraph showed all questions were answered truthfully. League president Frank Shaughnessy lifted Tighe's indefinite suspension."
- "Former Tigers' Manager Jack Tighe Dead at 88". The Bryan Times. AP. August 3, 2002. p. 10. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- Spink, J.G. Taylor, Rickart, Paul A., and Abramovich, Joe, Official 1956 Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1956, page 287
- Adams, Dominic (May 1, 2015). "1 comment Flint joins Baltimore on list of pro baseball games with single-digit attendance". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- 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.