I have been a fan of the Detroit Tigers since the Summer of 1984. That means I am lucky enough to vividly remember my baseball team winning a World Series title, and waiting for them to win another. Since every year the team itself asks me who my Tiger is I decided to write about my favorite 25 Tigers since I became a fan…at eight years old…This has less to do with performance as it does with whatever intangible qualities Tigers’ players have…I mean this is the town that loved Brandon Inge and Don Kelly…and no neither one of those players will make my list…With all of that being said…
#24 Pitcher Dan Petry
Around the 1986 season I started hearing about and caring about where my Detroit Tigers players were signing autographs. Mostly that was because I was now collecting baeball cards and spending my Saturdays at the baseball card shop…soaking in the atmosphere. This was back in the day before guys charged to sign stuff…and all you had to do to get something signed was find out where the player would be…and wait in line…I was lucky enough to also get a few signatures on the concourse of Old Tiger Stadium as the players were leaving the clubhouse. One of the first guys I remember meeting from the 1984 team was Dan Petry…at Westland Mall…
This was before I was a stat nerd, and a sports writer, or knew how to evaluate a guy based on his performance. What I knew about Dan then was he was the #2 guy for the entire 1980’s. His best year was 1984
and his worst year was probably 1987 where had it not been for Walt Terrell and Frank Tanana Petry’s performance would have left the starting rotation very exposed.
What I know now is despite pitching in three post seasons he does not have a playoff win…and was blown up in the only loss to San Diego in the 1984 World Series…it’s funny but I can not remember much about those games played out west that post season…granted I had just turned 8 but whatever.
Petry was a home grown talent and he was always the next guy up after Jack Morris. He was a work horse and probably suffered from pitching in Tiger Stadium as much as he did. However much like the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons…the organization wasn’t fast enough in dealing away the core pieces of the ’84 championship team…even though Petry was traded away for Gary Pettis, who would show fans of my generation what it was like to have a legit base stealing threat…seriously that is all Pettis brought to the table.
When I look at Petry’s numbers now I really think he got used up in those seasons in the middle of the 80’s. He pitched more than 230 innings for four years in a row and when 1987 rolled around it seems like the tank was empty.
Petry would come back to Detroit for the 1990 season, and was traded to the Atlanta Braves during the 1991 season. A few days later he was traded to the Boston Red Sox.
My Favorite Detroit Tigers