Sunday’s Tiger: Glenn Wilson

Glenn Wilson

  • Born: December 22, 1958 in Baytown, Texas
  • Bats: Right Throws: Right
  • Height: 6′ 1″ Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Acquired: Drafted by the Tigers in the 1st round (18th pick) of the 1980 amateur draft.
  • Seasons in Detroit: 2 (1982-83)
  • Uniform Number: 12
  • Stats: .278 avg., 23 HR, 99 RBI, .739 OPS

Twenty-seven years ago this past March, the Tigers orchestrated the trade that all but secured their 1984 World Series championship.

GlennWilsonIn case you’ve forgotten, on March 24 that year, the Tigers sent Glenn Wilson and catcher/first baseman extraordinaire John Wockenfuss to the Phillies for lefty reliever Willie Hernandez and first baseman Dave Bergman.

Certainly it worked out well that year, but I was disappointed that the Tigers traded one of my favorite players –Wilson – and one that Tigers many fans loved for his versatility, his name and his funky batting stance, Wockenfuss.

But back to the beginning.

Wilson made his major-league debut for the Tigers on Opening Day in Detroit against the Blue Jays on April 15, 1982. A rash of injuries to Tigers regulars — Eddie Miller (!) and Rick Leach — led the club to recall the 23-year-old Wilson and Howard Johnson from Triple-A Evansville.

“I was with the Tigers, not on the roster, during spring training,” Wilson told Tom Loomis of the Toledo Blade. “I never expected to be up here this year. I figured what I had to do was work hard down there and I’d get a good shot at the majors next year.”

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Talking with Johnny Grubb, Part II

JohnnyGrubb2.jpgThis is the second and final installment of my conversation with former Tigers outfielder and pinch-hitter extraordinaire, Johnny Grubb. You can find the first installment here.


Mike McClary: Heading into the 1984 season, was it a long off-season? It would seem like you would be chomping at the bit to get back on the field shortly after a little break. Was everyone coming into spring training raring to go?

Johnny Grubb: Yeah, I think so. I remember us getting Dave Bergman and Willie [Hernandez]. So they came over, and they fit right in with the team, too. I mean, we just had a good group of guys that got along, and Dave Bergman is a heck of a guy and so was Willie. So it worked out great.

MMc: Let’s talk about the ’84 season in general. Obviously, you got off to a great start, 9-0, and in the middle of that, Jack Morris throws a no-hitter. As you were getting older and becoming the seasoned veteran, were you really just enjoying about every moment of that season?

JG: Oh, gosh, yeah. It was fun to watch those guys play and every once in a while to jump in and do something myself. But it was a lot of fun watching Gibby and Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker and Darrell [Evans] — and Lance did a great job. And Howard Johnson had the great season for us. I thought he did a great job. And Larry Herndon and all those guys really did well in the pitching.

So really what I remember most about it is that I never really felt like we were out of any ballgame. Any lead a team could get, we felt like we could have a big inning and jump right back in the game. And we had real good pitching, so if we had the lead, we had Willie and [Aurelio] Lopez coming in to shut the door on them. The pitchers did their job, and the hitters did their job. And we just felt like we could win any game.

That 35-5 start really helped a lot, too. But I think that pretty much was an indicator of how strong we were because that’s pretty phenomenal when you think about a 35-5 start in the major leagues. That’s pretty good.

Continue reading “Talking with Johnny Grubb, Part II”