Jim Northrup, a power-hitting outfielder with the Detroit Tigers for many years in the 1960s and early 70s, died today at age 71. I read the sad news on my wife’s iPad just before dinner.
As a kid growing up in Cleveland, I saw Northrup and the Tigers play many, many times, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and on TV. Northrup was seemingly always in the lineup, just one of several Tigers who had a lot of pop in his bat (Ray Oyler and Don Wert notwithstanding.)
Northrup bedeviled the Indians over the years, no time more so than when he belted two grand slams in one game against the Tribe in 1968. I remember it happening, and I remember listening to an Indians game a few nights later when Northrup hit another slam against the White Sox, giving him three in one week.
That was a magnificent year for the Tigers, and in a previous post I noted how vividly I remember Northrup swiping the microphone from one of the announcers in the Detroit locker room after the team had clinched the American League pennant.
Northrup never compiled the stats to be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he was a good player for many years. May he rest in peace.