Tiger of the decade?

Tram & LouWhile on the Comerica Park tour during Fanfest, I noticed a large display just outside the Tigers clubhouse. It was actually on a wall adjacent to the clubhouse, facing the kitchen/food area. It was floor to ceiling high and featured Tiger history by decade. Each decade featured one photo prominently which presumably represented the Tiger of the Decade. Al Kaline was the 60’s, Willie Horton the 70’s, Trammell the 80’s and Whitaker the 90’s. It raised several questions for me.

  • Was it awkward for Trammell to have that big honkin’ picture/tribute on the wall while he was a manger?
  • Whitaker was by far my favorite Tiger, but was he really the Tiger of the decade? Was that more a tribute to Whitaker or an indictment on the decade in general? Who else could it have been? Cecil Fielder? Travis Fryman? Mike Henneman? Tony Clark?
  • And lastly, who has been the Tiger of the decade for the 00’s?

I know the decade is only half over, but I’m having a hard time finding anyone who has distinguished themselves. Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe are the longest tenured, but neither really defines the team in a local sense. Nor have they performed at a level that has had them anywhere near an All Star game or any other honor (Inge could get a Gold Glove this year).

Jeremy Bonderman has received the most attention , but has yet to become more than an average pitcher. Mike Maroth has been a stand-up guy for each of his seasons in Detroit, and he has the crafty veteran vibe going for him. And yet he doesn’t really feel like a Tiger of the decade.

Here we are half way through the decade, and the Tigers seem to be more defined by players contracts than the players themselves. So I pose two questions:

  1. If you had to pick a player of the decade based on performance to date who would it be?
  2. When all is said and done, who do you think will be the Tiger of the decade?

baseball, detroit tigers


  1. ripi$money

    January 22, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    Honestly, the only player of the decade thus far would be Placido Polanco, and he hasn’t even spent a whole season here.

    By the end, I think the Tiger of this decade will probably be either Polanco, Bonderman, or Verlander/Zumaya/Some young pitcher. Bondo had a strong start last season, and was almost an all star, so you have to believe he’ll be back in 2006 & beyond (hopefully with more stamina).

  2. Brian A.

    January 22, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    At this point I think Tiger of the Decade would have to go to Dmitri just because if it weren’t for him 2003 might have been a 130 loss season.

  3. Ian C.

    January 23, 2006 at 11:22 am

    To me, Cecil Fielder was the Tiger of the 90’s. Up until Cecil came to Detroit, Whitaker was their best player and their only thunder in the lineup. But I’d argue the most excited this area has been about the Tigers in the last 15 years was during Cecil’s 51-homer season.

    For this decade? It’s not based on achievement or performance (well, maybe it is), but I don’t think anyone represents the disappointment this team and its fanbase has endured more than Bobby Higginson.

  4. Tim D

    January 23, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    I’d say Pudge just for coming here. Hopefully by 2010 there will be a couple of real candidates. Bonderman, Verlander, Granderson, Ordonez, Polanco, etc. I’m sure Kenny Rogers will be in there. And Juan Gone too.

  5. Craig

    January 24, 2006 at 9:11 am

    I think it will be Guillen. For two years now, he has contributed like no other, when he has been able to play. He is quiet off the field (i.e. Sweet Lou) and gets it done on the field. Another two years of him like he was in ’04 and I don’t think it could be questioned.

  6. Joey

    January 24, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    I’m gonna go with Hal Morris.

  7. Nicole

    January 22, 2007 at 12:59 am

    i think pudge, guillen, inge, mags, and rogers would be contenders