Fungo Flashback: May 27, 1980: The Day the Tigers Traded Jason Thompson

Thirty years ago today the Tigers traded my favorite player, Jason Thompson, to the Angels for Al Cowens. Here’s a piece I wrote two years ago about the deal. Get a load of my thoughts on Miguel Cabrera who had recently been moved to first base. Another gleaming example of why I’m not fit to be a GM.


JasonThompson.jpgTwenty-eight years ago today, Tigers GM Jim Campbell broke my heart.

On May 27, 1980, he traded my favorite Tigers player, first baseman Jason Thompson, to the California Angels for outfielder Al Cowens. (For more on Cowens, check out this post from the archives.)

The Hollywood native joined the Tigers full time in 1976 and played 123 games that year, hitting .218, with 17 home runs and 54 RBI. Two of the homers cleared the rightfield roof at Tiger Stadium. It was in 1977, though, that he made his mark: .270, 31 homers and 105 RBI — and earned an All Star Game selection.

Continue reading “Fungo Flashback: May 27, 1980: The Day the Tigers Traded Jason Thompson”

Wednesday Walewanders

spaghetti.jpgIn our recent Fungo Pulse Check, readers said — barely — that they prefer the Tigers go after Toronto’s Roy Halladay (38 percent, 10 votes) over Oakland slugger Matt Holliday (27 percent, 7 votes).

Interestingly enough, almost as many votes came in for “Neither” (35 percent, 9 votes) as votes for Halladay. Personally, I’d like to see Rockies’ rightfielder Brad Hawpe in a Tigers uniform but with the Rockies hanging around the N.L. Wild Card race he’s going nowhere.

The Tigers should go after the A’s Holliday but only if they can sign him to a reasonable extension — if for no other reason than to see what a “reasonable extension” looks like from the Tigers.

In other news…

  • With Joel Zumaya back on the shelf, don’t the Tigers have to at least consider making him a starter? If we’ve learned nothing else, we now see that he’s not built for the late-innings role but might excel in the rotation — think “marathon versus sprint.” Also, if the Tigers have a young Ryan Perry waiting in the wings, why not try to extend Zumaya’s career? What do you think? Take our latest poll –>

  • Great to see Magglio Ordonez go yard with a grand slam last night. Still, it was an off-speed pitch. No chance he gets around on a Joe Nathan fastball, though.

  • A report here in the Arizona Republic says the preliminary Interleague schedule for next season has the Diamondbacks visiting the Tigers. Enough with the Interleague already.

  • On this date in 2005 the Tigers acquired infielder John McDonald for a player to be named later. If you recall, that player was John McDonald.

Finally, in case you were wondering, 25 years ago the Tigers were 66-29 and had a nine-game lead over Toronto in the American League East. On July 22, 1984, the Tigers beat the Rangers 2-0 at Tiger Stadium behind Dan Petry‘s 8-2/3 innings of four-hit ball. Sparky lifted him with two outs in the ninth with lefty Pete O’Brien coming to the plate with the tying run on base. Willie Hernandez came in and got O’Brien to pop out on the first pitch. (And the game lasted only two hours, 11 minutes. Imagine.)

Historically, Christmas Comes 3 Weeks Early for the Tigers

PORTLAND, Ore. — As we all warm ourselves by that roaring hot stove, savoring yesterday’s blockbuster and thinking about the holidays, let’s not forget the boatload of trades the Detroit Tigers have made on December 4ths of the past. According to the Tigers 2007 media guide, the team has completed seven trades on Dec. 4, beginning in 1952.Despite some recognizable names, nothing Earth-shattering:Dec. 4, 1952 — The Tigers acquired Bob Nieman, and infielder Owen Friend and outfielder/infielder J.W. Porter from the St. Louis Browns for right-handed pitchers Virgil Trucks and Hal White, and outfielder Johnny Groth.Dec. 4, 1963 — The Tigers acquired outfielder Don Demeter and right-handed pitcher Jack Hamilton from the Phillies for right-hander Jim Bunning and catcher Gus Triandos.Dec. 4, 1969 — The Tigers acquired pitcher Joe Niekro from the Padres right-hander Pat Dobson and infielder on Dave Campbell.Dec. 4, 1974 — The Tigers acquired right-hander Tom Walker and catcher Terry Humphrey from the Expos for left-hander Woodie Fryman.Dec. 4, 1978 — The Tigers acquired outfielder Jerry Morales and right-hander Aurelio Lopez from the Cardinals for lefties Bob Sykes and Jack Murphy.Dec. 4, 1998 — The Tigers right-hander Willie Blair from the Mets for third baseman Joe Randa.Bonus Deal! Here’s a trade the Tigers completed 20 years ago today, Dec. 5, 1987: The Tigers acquired outfielder Gary Pettis from the Angels for Dan Petry.