Today’s Tiger: Hank Aguirre
Posted on January 21, 2011
- Born: Jan. 31, 1931 in Azusa, Calif.
- Died: Sept. 5, 1994 in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
- Throws: Left Bats: Right
- Height: 6′ 4″ Weight: 205 lb.
- Acquired: Traded by the Indians with Jim Hegan to the Tigers for Jay Porter and Hal Woodeshick on Feb. 18, 1958.
- Seasons in Detroit: 10 (1958-67)
- Uniform Number: 30, 37, 21
- Stats: 64-64, 3.29 ERA, 138 Starts, 41 Complete Games, 27 Saves
- Awards: All-Star (1962)
Hank Aguirre pitched 10 seasons for the Tigers, posting a 64 and 64 record from 1958 through 1967, but he wasn’t able to enjoy the joyride of the 1968 World Series team. Aguirre was traded on April 3, 1968, a week before Opening Day, to the Dodgers for a player to be named later.
When he arrived in Detroit for the ’58 season, Aguirre was predominantly a reliever and would be until 1962 when he was moved into the rotation.
For the next five years he averaged 26 starts a season and 41 appearances. Only in 1965 did Aguirre have a defined role: 32 appearances, 32 starts.
His finest campaign was in 1962 when he was named to the All Star team thanks to a 16-8 record and a league-leading 2.21 ERA.
One thing Aguirre wasn’t, though, was a hitter. Not even close. In 427 career plate appearances he mustered just a .085 average and over the course of his career he averaged two hits per season.
According to his obituary in The New York Times, after his career ended with the Cubs in 1970, he served as the club’s pitching coach and later coached in the minors.
In 1979, he established Mexican Industries in southwestern Detroit. The auto parts manufacturer began with eight workers and a contract to supply components to Volkswagen. It now has about 900 employees.
When Aguirre and Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer broke ground on a new building for Mexican Industries in November, Archer said Aguirre’s name “is like magic and gold wherever I go and wherever I’ve been.”
All told, Aguirre was 75-72 with a 3.25 earned run average in his 16 big-league seasons.