…When, on May 14, we failed to acknowledge the 57th birthday of former Tigers infielder Stan Papi.
The Tigers purchased Papi’s contract from the Phillies on May 29, 1980 and he made an immediate splash in Detroit.
On Friday, May 30 against the Angels, Papi started at second base and batted ninth (behind the number-eight hitter, Kirk Gibson).
He struck out against Frank Tanana in the bottom of the second but in the fourth smacked a two-run home run of Tanana to give the Tigers and Milt Wilcox a 4-1 lead. He singled in his next at bat and then tripled in the sixth off Jim Barr. The Tigers won the game 12-1.
Papi finished the 1980 campaign with a .237 average, three homers and 17 RBI in 46 games. He hung around for 40 games in the strike-shortened 1981 season, hitting just .204.
His last appearance in a big-league game came on Oct. 1, against the Orioles at Tiger Stadium. Sparky inserted him as a pinch hitter for Rick Leach in the seventh; Papi struck out against Tippy Martinez to end the inning.