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Dick McAuliffe

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Richard John McAuliffe

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[edit] Biographical Information

Dick McAuliffe was a three-time American League All-Star second baseman best remembered for his offensive productivity as a member of the 1960s Detroit Tigers. A rarity in his day - a keystone man with power - he topped 20 homers three times in the heart of baseball's Second Deadball Era. Thanks to his pronounced uppercut, he tied a major league record by going the entire 1968 season without grounding into a double play. Primarily a lead-off hitter, McAuliffe was unmistakable at the plate with his plucky, intense approach, wide-open batting stance, and high Mel Ott-style leg kick.

A Tiger igniter during their 1968 World Championship year, he led the AL with 95 runs scored that year. Gritty, McAuliffe was suspended for five days during the stretch drive for charging the Chicago White Sox's Tommy John during a brushback war. He showed his fortitude again the following season, hitting a pinch homer in his last at-bat before being forced onto the disabled list with a knee injury. Despite lacking exceptional natural ability, he was a three-time AL All-Star from 1965 to 1967, starting at shortstop in the 1965 and 1966 All-Star Games, and elected as a second baseman in 1967.

Incredibly, considering his position, size, and era, he retired among historically strong-hitting Detroit's all-time top ten in five offensive categories. His main teammates included Al Kaline (5110), Norm Cash (5026), Bill Freehan (4573), Willie Horton (3317) and Mickey Lolich (3252).

McAuliffe grew up and played baseball as a youth in Farmington, CT.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 3-time AL All-Star (1965-1967)
  • AL Runs Scored Leader (1968)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1964, 1966 & 1967)
  • Won a World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1968

[edit] Further Reading

  • John Cizik: "Dick McAuliffe", in Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan, ed.: '75:The Red Sox Team that Saved Baseball, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 177-184. ISBN 978-1-933599-97-7
  • Richard Goldstein: "Dick McAuliffe, Stalwart of ’68 Tigers, Dies at 76", The New York Times, May 17, 2016. [1]

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