Left Field – Willie Horton
After spending only a portion of the 1963 and 1964 seasons in the Majors, Willie Horton busted out in his first full season with the Detroit Tigers. His 104 runs batted in remained his career high until he drove in 106 late in his career as a member of the Seattle Mariners and his 29 home runs was only topped by his 36 for the Tigers championship team of 1968.
While Horton’s first full season as a Tiger was one of his best, his career was hardly that of a suddenly bright star that quickly faded. By 1968, H0rton was an established veteran and went on to finish fourth in AL MVP voting. In a season dominated by pitching, finished second in the AL in home runs, slugging and total bases, while his .285 batting average was fourth best.
1968 saw Horton make the second of his four career All-Star Games in the 15 seasons he spent as a Tiger. The graduate of Detroit Northwestern High School finished his Tigers career with a .276 batting average, 262 home runs and 886 runs batted in over the course of 1,515 games. His 262 home runs rank fifth on the Tigers all-time list, having been passed by Miguel Cabrera for fourth in 2015.
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