Does it seem possible that Opening Day is only four days away? Believe it! To help get ready for the 2016 season, we’ll reflect on some of the best players to wear numbers ten through one for the Detroit Tigers through their long, storied history.
Today, we continue the countdown by reflecting on the career of #4, outfielder Bobby Higginson.
Higginson, born on August 18, 1970, was selected by Detroit in the 12th round of the 1992 draft. He would go on to spend his entire 11-year big league career with the Tigers. Sadly for “Higgy”, the Tigers finished under .500 in all 11 of those seasons. He was a fan favorite for some, but a reminder of some very dark times in baseball for others. The team compiled a less than stellar 712-1,050 record during his time in Detroit.
During the 1997 season, Higginson tied a major-league record by clubbing a home run in four consecutive at-bats. He went 3-for-3 with three home runs (and two walks) on June 30th, 1997, then hit a home run the next day in his first at-bat of the game. He finished the season with a .299 average, and a then-career-high 27 home runs and 101 RBI’s.
His best season at the dish came in 2000 when he finished with a .300 average, 30 home runs, and 102 RBI’s.
One of the highlights of his career came during the 1998 season, during a match-up with the Toronto Blue Jays. Rookie starter Roy Halladay, making his second career start, took a no-hitter into the ninth inning for Toronto. With two outs in the inning, Higginson was summoned from the bench for a pinch-hitting appearance. He took care of the no-hitter (and the shutout, for that matter) with a single swing of the bat, by launching a home run to left field.
Unfortunately for Higginson, injuries started to pile up after the 2001 season. He missed 106 games from 2002-2004, and all but 10 games of the 2005 season, before ultimately retiring.
He was named “Tiger of the Year” in 1997 and 2000, and twice led the league in outfield assists, although he never won a Golden Glove award.
Higginson retired with a career .272 average, with 187 home runs and 709 RBI’s.
In celebrating the four-day mark until Opening Day, we give you: #4 Bobby Higginson!