Detroit Tigers: Five Former Players Appear on Hall of Fame Ballot for First Time

Detroit Tigers

October 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Detail view of a Detroit Tigers logo with autographs before game one of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum. The Tigers defeated Athletics 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers fans will certainly be seeing some familiar faces on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. Five former Tigers players were added to the ballot for the first time.

Detroit Tigers players Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are surely bound for Cooperstown at this point in their respective careers.

What’s more, the likes of Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez also have a shot at making it into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

However, five former Tigers could beat the quartet to the punch.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced the ballot for the class of 2017.

The former Detroit players new to the ballot include Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, Matt Stairs and Edgar Renteria.

Ordonez, Guillen and Rodriguez stand out as the trio were catalysts on the 2006 team that took Detroit all the way to the World Series.

One of, if not the, memorable moment from that campaign was Ordonez’ walk-off home run against Huston Street to sweep the A’s send clinch the American League pennant.

In seven seasons with the Tigers, Ordonez hit .312 with a .373 on-base percentage and an .849 OPS. The outfielder turned in one of the better offensive seasons in recent memory in 2007 when he batted .363 with 139 RBI, an 8.0 WAR and a 169 wRC+.

The veteran finished second to Alex Rodriguez in the MVP voting that season.

Overall, Ordonez appeared in two All-Star games while taking home a Silver Slugger in 2007.

Joining him on the ballot for the first time are four ex-teammates. These four include Matt Stairs, who played in just 14 games for Detroit in 2006. Stairs would go on to spend 19 years in the Majors.

Detroit Tigers

Apr 24, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; A view of the Detroit Tigers logo on the on deck circle at Comerica Park. The Indians won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Guillen

Carlos Guillen, who Detroit shrewdly acquired from Seattle 2004 for Juan Gonzalez and Ramon Santiago, spent eight years in the Motor City.

The trade looks all the more lopsided when considering Gonzalez never reached the Major Leagues. Santiago, meanwhile, registered just 58 at-bats in a Mariners uniform before returning to Detroit as Guillen’s backup.

Guillen eclipsed the 5.0 WAR plateau twice, and turned in WAR numbers of 2.0 or higher on five different occasions. From 2004 to 2007, the longtime Tiger averaged 83 runs scored, 77 RBI, 32 doubles, 16 home runs, 12 stolen bases and seven triples per campaign.

Overall, Guillen went to three All-Star games, finished in the top 25 of MVP voting twice and mashed 95 home runs for the Tigers. He also posted a .297 batting average, a .366 on-base percentage and an 18.2 WAR in 817 games with Detroit.

What’s more, the player never struck out more than 93 times in a season with Detroit.

What was perhaps most impressive about Guillen’s time in Detroit was his ability to shift positions. Early on, he made a name as a slugging shortstop. However, the veteran would go on to spend significant time at first base, second base, third base and in left field before retiring.

Detroit Tigers

May 7, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Former Detroit Tigers Ivan Pudge Rodriguez (R) shakes hands with Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) after he throws out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Tigers

Ivan Rodriguez

One of the best to ever play his position, Ivan Rodriguez made 14 All-Star Games while playing for the Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, Astros and Nationals.

He also snagged 10-straight Gold Gloves, not to mention six Silver Sluggers, in a ten-year period with the Rangers to begin his career.

However, many in Detroit will remember him for the five years he spent with the Tigers.

Rodriguez made four All-Star games during that period, while taking home three Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger. He finished 10th in the MVP voting during the 2004 season.

In 611 career games in a Detroit uniform, the backstop registered an even 300 RBI and 300 runs scored. He also collected 140 doubles and 62 home runs.

Catchers generally aren’t known for running, but that didn’t stop Rodriguez from totaling 30 stolen bases and 17 triples with the Tigers. All in all, the former Ranger hit .298 in his career with Detroit.

Rodriguez played his last game for Detroit in July of 2008 before being dealt at the trade deadline to New York for reliever Kyle Farnsworth.

The trade didn’t exactly go as planned seeing as Farnsworth notched a 6.75 ERA and a 5.07 FIP in just 16 innings. He signed with Kansas City following the season.

Detroit Tigers

Aug 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers hat and glove in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Edgar Renteria

The only former Tiger on the list not to be part of that magical 2006 team, Renteria joined Detroit ahead of the 2008 season in an offseason trade with Atlanta.

A veteran of 16 Major League seasons, the shortstop found much of his success elsewhere—namely in the National League.

Renteria finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1996 with the Marlins before appearing in five All-Star Games over the course of his career.

The longtime Cardinal also took home three Silver Sluggers, and a Gold Glove award. He finished in the top 20 in MVP voting on two different occasions.

In his sole season with the Detroit Tigers, Renteria hit.270 with a .317 on-base percentage. He also posted a 1.1 WAR while totaling 69 runs scored, 55 RBI, 22 runs scored, 10 home runs, six stolen bases and two triples.

The veteran would go on to sign with the San Francisco Giants following the season. While he would go on to register a -0.1 WAR the next year with the Giants, it is what Detroit gave up to acquire him that stood out.

Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, who would later be dealt for the likes of Nate Mclouth and Gaby Sanchez, moved to Atlanta. Joining him was starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens.

In five seasons with the National League East club, Jurrjens posted a 3.58 ERA, a 3.94 FIP and a 9.9 WAR. The starter twice logged sub-three ERAs for Atlanta.

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