The Mysterious Enos Cabell

I love “where-are-they-now” pieces as much — and probably more — than the next guy.

cabell_enosSo, when I saw Tom Gage’s piece about Enos Cabell over the weekend, I was interested to read why Cabell, who hit .311 for the 1983 Tigers, moved on after that season.

He wanted to stay a Tiger, and they weren’t averse to him staying.

“But they wouldn’t give me a raise,” Cabell said Saturday. “I hit .311, played with a knee brace the last two months of that year, and they wouldn’t give me a penny more.

“So I said bye-bye. I was pretty sure the Astros wanted me back, anyway.”

As Rob Neyer might say, well, maybe. I remember there was talk about Cabell having a drug problem and that Sparky Anderson wanted none of that in his clubhouse. Then, in 1986:

Commissioner Peter Ueberroth gives seven players who were admitted drug users a choice of a year’s suspension without pay or heavy fines and career-long drug testing, along with 100 hours of drug-related community service. Joaquin Andújar, Dale Berra, Enos Cabell, Keith Hernandez, Jeffrey Leonard, Dave Parker, and Lonnie Smith will be fined 10 percent of their annual salaries to drug abuse programs. The commissioner also doles out lesser penalties to 14 other players for their use of drugs.

Somewhere in the middle is the truth, right?

Today’s Tiger: Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

  • Born: July 6, 1954 in Hollywood, Calif.
  • Bats: Left Throws: Left
  • Height: 6′ 4″ Weight: 200 lb.
  • Acquired: Drafted by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 1975 amateur draft.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 5 (1976-80)
  • Uniform Number: 30
  • Stats: .256 avg., 98 HR, 354 RBI, .779 OPS
  • Awards: Three-time All Star (1977, ’78 and ’82)

JasonThompson.jpg
On May 27, 1980, Tigers GM Jim Campbell traded my favorite player, first baseman Jason Thompson, to the California Angels for outfielder Al Cowens.

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 “Today’s Tiger: Jason Thompson”

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”

And Speaking of Birthdays…

Cabellenos.jpg Happy 59th to Enos Cabell.

The Tigers picked him up at the end of Spring Training 1982 from the Giants for Champ Summers. In two years with Detroit he hit .286 — .261 in ’82 and .311 in ’83.

I remember being surprised that the Tigers cut him loose after the ’83 season but then we heard rumblings that Old E liked the nose candy — and who among major leaguers didn’t in those days? A quick check of the always-reliable-if-not-accurate Wikipedia reports:

On February 28, 1986, Cabell and six others were suspended for the entire season for admitting during the Pittsburgh drug trials that they were involved in cocaine abuse. The suspensions for all seven were avoided after agreeing to large anti-drug donations and community service.

I’m guessing Sparky didn’t care for Cabell’s extracurriculars and thus was shown the highway component of Anderson’s “my way/highway” mantra.

Today, Cabell’s a special assistant to Astros GM Ed Wade. What’s more, he lives in Missouri City, Texas, the Houston suburb I once called home.

(Did you know that he’s a cousin of Dick Davis and Ken Landreaux? True.)