Cup of Coffee: Part 5

Blake VandeBunteContributor IOctober 22, 2009

This segment is taking forever, but I’m having a good time so I’m going to stick with it.  Here we go, part five.

  • Deacon McGuire:  McGuire is not a huge name these days, but for a while, he held numerous Major League records including, most seasons played, games caught, and assists made by a catcher.  McGuire debuted in 1884 with the Toledo Blue Stockings and caught his last game with the Tigers in 1912 at the age of 48.  When it was all said and done, McGuire played 146 games for the Tigers and spent most of his career after baseball in Michigan.  He was the baseball coach at Albion College and died in Duck Lake in 1936.
  • Jose Mesa:  Mesa put together a pretty dynamite career as a relief pitcher.  He broke into the big leagues as a starting pitcher with the Orioles back in 1987.  He pitched for the Tigers for a few weeks in 2007 before failing miserably.  In his 11 innings of work with the Tigers, Mesa and his 321 career saves, posted an ERA 12.34.  Yikes.
  • Hal Morris:  Morris played for the Tigers in 2000 for the final 40 games of his big league career.  Morris went to the University of Michigan.  He once had a hit streak of 32 games while with the Reds.  The main reason I remember Morris was because of his chase for the batting title in 1991.  Morris hit only .318 that season and lost out on the batting title by only one point.  It was one of the lowest batting title marks in history.
  • Hideo Nomo:  Nomo burst onto the big league scene with the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 1995.  Nomo won the Rookie of the Year award in 1995 and placed fourth in Cy Young voting for the first two seasons of his career.  He is one of a select group of players that have thrown at least two no-hitters.  Nomo played for the Tigers in 2000 and went 8-12 with an ERA of 4.00.  The following fall, the Tigers released Nomo.  Nomo responded by throwing a no-hitter the next season and leading the American League in strikeouts.
  • Troy Percival:  Add Percival to the list of big-time closers coming to Detroit (Mesa) and failing.  The Tigers overpaid to bring the flame-throwing Percival to Detroit on a two-year deal prior to the 2005 season.  In 2005, Percival had an ERA of 5.76 and retired after injuries kept him out of the 2006 season.  He made a comeback and had a good year after that.  Percival has 358 career saves, most of them with the Angels.
  • Wally Pipp:  Pipp was a slugging first baseman for the New York Yankees from 1915-1925 and lead the American League in home runs twice.  However, Pipp is best known for what he didn’t do.  In 1925, Pipp went down with an injury and was replaced at first base by Lou Gehrig who then started his 2,130 consecutive game streak.  Pipp played for the Tigers in 1913 before joining the Yankees.  Pipp passed away in Grand Rapids, MI and is buried there.
  • Curtis Pride:  Pride put together a pretty good career as a pinch-hitter.  However, his main claim to fame is being deaf and playing big league baseball.  Pride developed lip-reading skills and was played in the big leagues with eight different teams.  Pride played for the Tigers in 1996 and 1997 and set a career high for HR with 10 in 1996.  He also hit .300 that season on a pretty bad Tigers team.

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