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In this thread we discuss Bobby Higginson


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17 years after retirement, everyone who was a Tigers fan in the late 90's and early 00's loved or hated him. Probably both. I think it is time to have a retrospective visit to the one of the stars of a struggling franchise. Share your favorite Higgy memories (or the ones that made you despise him) here.

From Wikipedia:

Robert Leigh Higginson (born August 18, 1970) is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played his entire career for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Higginson made his major league debut in 1995, and played 130 games for the Tigers. He batted .320 in 1996 and .300 in 2000, scored over 100 runs in 2000 and drove in over 100 runs in 1997 and 2000. His career high of 30 home-runs came also in 2000. He twice led the Majors in outfield assists, and also led all American League left fielders in putouts in 2000 (305) and 2001 (321), although he never won a Gold Glove for his fielding. He was never named to an All-Star team.

On June 30 and July 1, 1997, Higginson tied a major league record by hitting four home runs in four consecutive at bats (note, there were some walks interspersed) -- three on the first day, and then another in the first inning of the second day.[2]

Higginson was named "Tiger of the Year" by the Detroit chapter of the BBWAA in 1997 and 2000. Since the award's inception in 1965, ten players have been named "Tiger of the Year" on multiple occasions: Higginson, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Travis Fryman, Cecil Fielder, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Ron LeFlore, and Denny McLain.[3][4]

An elbow injury limited Higginson to 10 games in 2005, which ended up being his final season. He was granted free agency on October 31, and he retired at the age of 35. He ended his career never having played on a team that had a winning season.

Higginson is also known for breaking up a no-hitter in the ninth inning and two out on a game in Toronto on September 27, 1998, with a pinch-hit home run.[5] The pitcher, future Hall of Famer Roy Halladay, was making his second ever appearance, and ended up winning his first career game, 2–1.

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1. He personifies the worst era in Tigers baseball for me.

2. He famously was outspoken about our Moneyball trade with the A’s that sent Jeff Weaver packing.

3. His dad used to frequent the old Freep Tigers forum and stir up shit.

4. I’m pretty sure Bobby was using steroids and his steep decline occurred after he stopped.

5. He still remains one of my favorite baseball cards:

 

 

3D46B534-6EC3-4466-A0A4-2DE6F6CD3B55.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Tigeraholic1 said:

We used to sit in the LF stands (Before the Arm Barn moved over there). There was a season or two that if you showed your tix to the peanut vendor under the scoreboard Higgy would comp them. 

Was that back when they tried to cash in on his popularity and named the LF stands under the scoreboard Higgy's Back Yard?

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He touched off a firestorm on the old board by making the team in 2005 ahead of Marcus Thames, who had hit home runs in 2004 in Toledo and Detroit at ridiculous rate.  Higginson had been pretty well washed up since 2003 but the scuttlebutt was that Gibson had advocated for him.  It didn't matter much, he only played a handful of games in 2005 and that was the end of his career.

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25 minutes ago, Jim Cowan said:

He touched off a firestorm on the old board by making the team in 2005 ahead of Marcus Thames, who had hit home runs in 2004 in Toledo and Detroit at ridiculous rate.  Higginson had been pretty well washed up since 2003 but the scuttlebutt was that Gibson had advocated for him.  It didn't matter much, he only played a handful of games in 2005 and that was the end of his career.

Gibson always brought up “Big Bob” (Higginson’s dad) during broadcasts.  It seems like there was a bit of favoritism in that 2005 decision.

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if the tigers had a 25 year old outfielder who hit 320/404/577, you'd all be going bananas right now.

higgy was pretty good for a number of years for some pretty bad teams.  we all remember "you try and trade em", but he was a good player for awhile.

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10 minutes ago, UCFKNIGHT said:

Bobby Higginson liked the ladies a little too much and I believe they were a distraction and contributed to his downfall. 

He certainly wasn't the first player to enjoy women! Whether or not he did it more than others or it affected his play is pure speculation.  

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25 minutes ago, Tenacious D said:

Kemp > Higgy

Looking at the best WAR years with the Tigers:

Kemp 3.3 4.2 3.5 3.8

Higginson 3.6 3.2 5.3 3.4

Higginson had more bad years at the end, but his peak was very similar to Kemp.  Kemp had his bad years elsewhere.  

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My top ten Tigers left fielders:

1. Bobby Veach

2. Willie Horton

3. Rocky Colavito

4. Bobby Higginson

5. Charlie Maxwell

6. Steve Kemp

7. Dick Wakefield

8. Matty McIntyre

9. Fats Fothergill

10. Goose Goslin

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I have quite a collection of Higgy cards....I should organize them someday. He was my favorite player in an awful era. If he had come up in 2005 rather than the late 90's, we'd have a much different view of him methinks.

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I don’t have any memories of Bobby Higginson except at the very end of his career. I lived 2000 miles away, had no way and no time to follow a generally disappointing team from a distance, a demanding profession, 4 children, many other pressing priorities etc. The Tigers didn’t come back on my radar until 2004. I might as well have been Tom Hanks on a desert island from 1987 to 2004. 

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Higgy was a good player that put up some very nice statistical seasons in the middle of the Steroid era.    The biggest issue with him and the fanbase was that his production immediately declined after signing a large contract extension.  He became the very overpaid face of some bad, bad Tiger teams.

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15 hours ago, casimir said:

Higginson was probably my favorite player of that awful era.  I knew that he never played in the playoffs, but I guess I had forgotten that none of those squads played .500.

Definitely the most memorable player of that late 90s, early 2000s era and probably the best as well. He strikes me as a guy who would have been remembered differently had he been around and at his prime during the 2006-2014 era.

13 hours ago, casimir said:

Gibson always brought up “Big Bob” (Higginson’s dad) during broadcasts.  It seems like there was a bit of favoritism in that 2005 decision.

Completely forgot about this, but this is spot on... he frequently brought up "Big Bob" during broadcasts when he was paired with Lewin. In retrospect it was sorta weird, but one gets the impression that Gibby must have liked that crew off the field.

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My favorite memory about Bobby Higginson was when I first moved to the big city here and the Tigers were in town playing the locals. I was the guest of a magazine group in their suite at the park (back when graft for media buyers was still ascendant). The rep was a pretty good baseball fan and we chatted about this player and that team and whatnot.

At one point, when Bobby came up to the plate, I mentioned to the rep that this guy was going to be one of our big stars for a long time to come. The rep asked me, what’s this guy’s name?, and when I said “Bobby Higginson”, he collapsed laughing for several seconds, and when he composed himself sufficiently, he put on a snooty butler-like persona mocking his name: “Ooooh, Bobby Higgins! Mister ‘iggins! OOOOOOH!” while lengthening his face, holding an air teacup with his pinky extended, and using an exaggerated English accent. And everyone within earshot just cracked up.

What could I do? I could only laugh and nod and say, OK, Sox fan, you’ll see. You’ll see. I opted against correcting him on the last name, of course.

I was mostly right for a few years, anyway.

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