Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mickey Stanley (#13)

Here's Mickey Stanley, fresh off his adventures at shortstop during the 1968 World Series. Topps has updated his position accordingly.

Mickey's career spanned 15 years (1964-1978), all with the Tigers. He was signed by Detroit in 1961, and played 5 years in the Tigers' farm system (although he played a few games with the big club in 1964 and 1965).

Stanley made the Tigers for good at the start of the 1966 season. As a rookie, he split the starting center field job with veteran Al Kaline. (In '65 and '66, Kaline played center field instead of his customary right field.) The following season, Mickey was the innings leader in center field (with 100 more than Jim Northrup) although Northrup (the swing man for all 3 outfield positions) started more games in center than Stanley.

Stanley became the Tigers' regular center fielder from June 1967 until the final week of the 1968 season, when he moved to shortstop (in preparation for the '68 World Series) and stayed there until late-June 1969. When the Tigers acquired Tom Tresh from the Yankees, Stanley returned to his customary post in center until August 1st, 1974, when Ron LeFlore took over the position.

Mickey won gold gloves in '68, '69, '70, and '73. In his final 4 seasons, he was a spare outfielder/1st baseman, and even saw some action at 2B and 3B. He was never the DH, as the Tigers had Willie Horton, then Rusty Staub around for that.