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Bobby Higginson

The main item of Tiger news that caught my eye this past week was the passing of Bobby Higginson onto the DL for elbow surgery. My hunch is that he will not return to the roster until September 1.

I like Bobby. I always have. You see, he and I have something in common: our birthday. And we were born in the same year, too. Bobby grew up in Philly, I now live and work in the Philadelphia area. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bobby has been a major disappointment the last few years. And the words “major disappointment” don’t really do it justice. But let’s not forget those years when Bobby was one of the few reasons to actually watch the Tigers. There is an internet bulletin board/forum by and for Mets fans out there called The Crane Pool, named for the decidedly ordinary long-time Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool. I hope that, in a few years, after we have some perspective on “The Lost Years”, us Tiger fans can look back in appreciation of what Higgy gave to us during those lean years, just like Mets fans appreciate the contributions of Ed Kranepool.

I cringe when I see all the criticism Higginson has gotten from the fans and the press. It wasn’t his fault that Randy Smith reached as far as he did to sign Higgy to that unreasonable contract extension. And Higgy, as far as I know, has made every attempt to play whenever he was physically able. Part of his problems these past few years may well have been a result of his trying to play through pain a little too much.

I don’t know what the future holds for Bobby Higginson, but I’ll never be one of those that showers the boo-birds down on him. I’ll remember the good times.

I’ve always been a Higginson fan, and I was really hoping he’d have a good year.

Posted by Brian on May 20th, 2005 at 1:23 pm

Here’s the rub, Higginson was the face of the Tiger organization through some very lean years for which he deserves credit. He had a couple of good seasons, mixed with some mediocre to bad ones. The contract was not his fault, either, Mr. Ilitch was the impetus behind it. Yet, I have always found him smug and much too willing to offer his opinions to the press (who are more than glad to receive them) when his focus should have been on his own success. I held out hope he might salvage a decent final year in Detroit but it appears that any perceived closeness between he and Trammell must have diminished or his abilities have diminished more than we have imagined. I would say in the Tiger pantheon, his places resides with the Larry Herndon’s and Steve Kemp’s and not anywhere near the Al Kaline level. Maybe Champ Summers level? Ultimately, had he have been able to contribute at all this season it would have been nice finish to his Tiger career.

Posted by Steve on May 24th, 2005 at 1:08 pm

I agree with that, Steve. He’s nowhere near the Al Kaline level, nor the Trammell/Morris/Whitaker/Parrish level. He’s not within shouting distance of Gehringer & Greenberg level, and Ty Cobb is offended to be mentioned in this sentence. Still, there are players on every team that is bad — and stays bad for a good long while — that the fans take a liking to. Was Bobby too quick with his opinions in the press? Probably, but that’s just Bobby. With the way Mr. I jacked around with the budget for a few years there, I can’t say that I blamed him much.

I’m surprised that no one took me to task for not mentioning that Ed Kranepool won a championship with the Mets (the Miracle variety, 1969), whereas Bobby… Well, we all know the answer to that one. All too well.

Posted by Jeff k on May 24th, 2005 at 4:07 pm

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