The Detroit Tigers are a storied MLB team with a long and proud history. Founded in 1894 the Tigers have been around for over a century. As part of that history, they have retired the jerseys of some of their most iconic players.
In total, the Detroit Tigers have retired 8 jersey numbers in honor of some of the greatest players in the history of the franchise. In this blog post, we will take a look at each of those players and their accomplishments/accolades.
The List of Detroit Tigers Retired Jersey Numbers
#5 – Hank Greenberg (Retired June 12, 1983)
The first player on our list is Hank Greenberg. Greenberg played for the Tigers for 12 seasons from 1930 to 1946 and was a two-time World Series champion (1935, 1945). He was also a four-time All-Star and won the American League MVP award in 1935. Greenberg’s jersey number (five) was retired by the Tigers in 1983.
#6 – Al Kaline (Retired August 17, 1980)
The next player on our list who had his jersey number retired by the Detroit Tigers is First Ballot Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Kaline, nicknamed “Mr. Tiger” played for the Tigers from 1953 to 1974 and was a World Series champion in 1968. He was also an 18-time All-Star and won received 10 Gold Glove Awards. Kaline’s jersey number (six) was retired by the Tigers in 1980.
#2 – Charlie Gehringer (Retired June 12, 1983)
Up next is Charlie Gehringer. Gehringer played his whole career for the Tigers, from 1924 to 1942. He was nicknamed “the Mechanical Man” due to his efficiency and effort at second base and at batting. Gehringer became a World Series champion in 1935. He was also a six-time All-Star and won the American League MVP award in 1937. Gehringer’s jersey number (two) was retired by the Tigers in 1983.
#16 – Hal Newhouser (Retired July 27, 1997)
Fourth on the list is Hal Newhouser. Newhouser played for the Tigers from 1939 to 1955 and was a two-time World Series champion. Hal was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during his time with the Tigers. He was also a six-time All-Star and won the American League MVP award in 1944 and 1945. Newhouser’s jersey number (16) was retired by the Tigers in 1996.
#11 – Sparky Anderson (Retired June 26, 2011)
The next person and one of two managers on our list is George “Sparky” Anderson. Anderson managed the Tigers from 1979 to 1995, winning the World Series Championship in 1983 and picking up 2 American League Manager of the Year awards (1984, 1987) along the way. The Tigers retired the number 11 in honor of Sparky in 2011.
#3 – Alan Trammell (Retired August 26, 2018)
The sixth player on our list is Alan Stuart Trammell. Trammell played for the Tigers for his whole career from 1977 to 1996, he also had a short stint managing the team from 2003 to 2005. Some of Trammell’s accomplishments included a World Series championship and MVP in 1984, and a six-time All-Star to go along with a few Silver Slugger and Golden Glove awards. Trammell’s jersey number (three) was retired by the Tigers in 2000.
#47 – Jack Morris (Retired August 12, 2018)
The seventh player is Jack Morris. Morris played for the Tigers from 1979 to 1990, was a 4-time All-Star, and won a World Series championship with the Tigers in 1984. Morris’s jersey number (47) was retired by the Tigers in 2017.
#23 – Willie Horton (Retired July 15, 2000)
And the final player on our list is Willie Horton. Horton played for the Tigers from 1963 to 1977 and was a World Series champion in 1968. He was also a four-time All-Star. Horton’s jersey number (23) was retired by the Tigers in 2000.
Honorable Mentions: The greatest player in Detriot Tiger team history Ty Cobb nicknamed “the Georgia Peach” played before the introduction of uniform numbers. Cobb played for the Tigers from 1905 to 1926 and was a World Series champion in 1908. He was also a 12-time All-Star and won the American League MVP award in 1911.
Other players: Harry Heilmann, Heinie Manush, Hughie Jennings, Sam Crawford, Mickey Cochrane, and George Kell, have their names on the wall out there but their numbers have not been retired.
Potential Future Detroit Tigers Retired Numbers
The Detroit Tigers have retired nine jersey numbers including Jackie Robinson’s 42 in their long and storied history. But there are a few more players who have worn the Tigers uniform with a distinction that could one day see their number join the ranks of the immortals. Here are a few names to keep an eye on:
Miguel Cabrera “Miggy” is one of the most obvious candidates on this list. The two-time AL MVP and Triple Crown winner is already a Tigers legend and he’s still got a few good years left in him. Cabrera has worn number 24 throughout his Tigers career.
Another player who could one day have his number retired by the Tigers is Justin Verlander. The former AL MVP and Cy Young winner is one of the best pitchers in team history. Verlander has worn number 35 throughout his Tigers career.
Finally, there’s Victor Martinez. The five-time All-Star and former Tiger of the Year is one of the most popular players in recent years. Martinez has worn number 41 throughout his Tigers career.
So there you have it, a comprehensive list of all the Detroit Tigers’ retired jersey numbers. Do you think there are any players who deserve to have their jersey number retired?