Three Detroit Tigers Who Had Hit Singles (Kind Of) [Video]
Now that baseball season is here, let’s recall those Tiger players and broadcasters who worked for the Detroit team, but in their spare time dabbled in the music industry.
Do you remember these Tiger recording artists?
1. Ernie Harwell — The legendary baseball announcer also spent some of his free time as a song writer. All told 65 of Harwell’s songs were recorded by various artists such as country stars Homer and Jethro. More of a hobby than a second career, Harwell wrote the song ‘Tiger, Tiger’ in 1984 to celebrate the eventual World Series champions. Although it was overtaken by the much more popular ‘Bless You Boys’ as the theme song of that season, it still brings back memories of that glorious year of Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris.
2. Denny McLain — The last major league pitcher to won 30 games in a season, ( he won 31 in the 1968 world championship season) McLain was an enigma. A guy who loved partying and gambling more than staying in shape, McLain had a regular gig in the off season, performing on the Hammond organ in Las Vegas (whcih didn’t help with his gambling problem). He was signed by Capitol Records and released two albums while he was still in his pitching prime. Here’s a cut from one of them, with Denny playing ‘Girl From Ipanema’
3. Bill Slayback — A pitcher who lost more games than he won in his brief four years with the Tigers, Slayback wrote folk and pop songs and hooked up with Harwell to pen an ode to Henry Aaron, who was on the cusp of shattering babe Ruth’s career home run mark in 1974. The song, ‘Move Over, Babe (Here Comes Henry)’, recieved some nominal national airplay just prior to Aaron’s record setting home run in April of 1974. It then faded quickly from memory, until now.
All three of these guys are no longer with us, having moved on to the field of dreams, but these novelty records will always be a part of Tiger lore.