Detroit Tigers’ All-Time Strikeout Leaders
The Detroit Tigers have a winning tradition, though the team has only four championships in their 100-year-plus history. The Tigers always seem to have great pitchers in particular, and here is a list of the franchise’s all-time Top 10 in strikeouts:
Mickey Lolich (2679)—Most people remember Mickey Lolich’s “beer belly” that he seemed to be proud of, but man, could the guy pitch. The lefty pitched most of his career in Detroit, from 1963 top 1975, and Lolich had double-digit wins twelve straight years. He also leads the Tigers all-time with 2679 strikeouts, and Lolich’s best season was 1971. That year, he had career highs in wins (went 25-14) and strikeouts (308) with a 2.92 ERA, finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting to Oakland’s Vida Blue.
Jack Morris (1980)—While many remember Jack Morris for how he helped the Twins win a title against the Braves in 1991, Morris pitched for Detroit for many years before that, helping the Tigers win it all in 1984. Morris pitched for the Tigers from 1977 to 1990, and ranks second in franchise history with 1980 strikeouts. Morris had a career best 232 strikeouts in 1983, but his best overall season was 1986—with a 21-8 record, 3.27 earned run average and 223 K’s.
Hal Newhouser (1770)—Hal Newhouser pitched in Detroit most of his career, from 1939 to 1953, and he ranks third in team history with 1770 strikeouts. Newhouser had an amazing stretch from 1944 to 1946 in which he won 25 or more games each season, and his best overall season was 1946. That year, Newhouser went 26-9 with a 1.94 ERA and career high 275 strikeouts.
Tommy Bridges (1674)—Tommy Bridges pitched for the Tigers his entire career, from 1930 to 1946, and he ranks fourth in their history with 1674 strikeouts. Bridges had his best season in 1936, when he went 23-11 with a 3.60 ERA and career high 175 strikeouts (led the league that season).
Jim Bunning (1406)—Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game for the Phillies, but he began his career with Detroit and pitched very well for the Tigers from 1955 to 1963. Bunning ranks fifth in franchise history with 1406 strikeouts, and his career high in Detroit was 201 K’s in 1960. Bunning’s best overall season with the Tigers was 1957, when he had a career high 20 wins against 8 losses, with a 2.69 earned run average and 182 strikeouts.
George Mullin (1380)—George Mullin pitched in Detroit for most of his career, from 1902 to 1913, and he ranks sixth in the team’s history with 1380 strikeouts. Mullin had a career high 170 strikeouts in 1903, but his best overall season was with the Tigers in 1909. That year, Mullin only had 124 K’s, but went 29-8 with a 2.22 ERA, both career best numbers.
Hooks Dauss (1201)—Besides having one of the great baseball names, Hooks Dauss pitched very well over the course of his career, all with Detroit, from 1912 to 1926. Dauss ranks seventh in Tigers’ history with 1201 K’s, and he had a career high 150 strikeouts in 1914. But Dauss’ best overall season was 1915, when he went 24-13 with a 2.50 ERA and 102 strikeouts.
Dizzy Trout (1199)—Dizzy Trout pitched for Detroit most of his career, from 1939 to 1952, and he ranks eighth in franchise history with 1199 strikeouts. Trout struck out a career high 151 batters in 1946, and his best overall season was 1944, when he went 27-14 with a 2.12 earned run average (wins and ERA career bests) with 144 K’s.
Denny McLain (1150)—Denny McLain pitched most of his career in Detroit, from 1963 to 1970, and ranks ninth in team history with 1150 strikeouts. McLain won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 1968 and 1969, leading the Tigers to a world championship in ’68, his best season when he also won the AL MVP Award. That year, McLain went an astonishing 31-6 with a career best 1.96 ERA and career high 280 strikeouts.
Bill Donovan (1079)—Bill Donovan pitched in Detroit from 1903 to 1912, and again in 1918, and he ranks tenth in Tigers’ history with 1079 strikeouts. Donovan had 187 strikeouts with Detroit in 1903, his highest total with the team, but his best overall season was in 1907, when he went 25-4 with a 2.19 ERA and 123 K’s.