DETROIT TIGERS HISTORY
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Harry Heilmann

Harry Edwin Heilmann
Slug
Born: 8/3/1894 in San Francisco, CA USA
Died: 7/9/1951 in Southfield, MI USA
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6.1   Weight: 195 lb.
Harry Heilmann of the Detroit Tigers
Tiger Years
1914 — 1929

1952 Baseball Hall of Fame

PRIMARY POSITION

RF

All-Time
Tigers Ranking

#5   Alan Trammell
#6   Harry Heilmann
#7   Sam Crawford
All rankings

Player Bio | Stats

When the discussion turns to the best right-handed hitters in baseball history, the name of Harry Heilmann still deserves to be mentioned. His career .342 batting average ranks twelfth all-time.

Heilmann must have been an impressive hitter because he was able to push aside Sam Crawford in Detroit's star-studded outfield in 1916-17. Heilmann joined Ty Cobb and Bobby Veach to form another hard-hitting trio for Detroit.

At first, Cobb tried to tinker with Heilmann's batting approach, but he quickly realized that the youngster didn't need any help. Heilmann won batting titles in odd-numbered years for the Tigers in the 1920s: in 1921, 1923, 1925, and 1927. He toyed with the .400 mark each season, topping it in 1923 when he batted .403 and finished third in AL MVP voting behind Babe Ruth and Eddie Collins.

Harry was a fun-loving guy who enjoyed living in Detroit during the Roaring '20s. Unlike Cobb, Heilmann imbibed in bootleg liquor during prohibition. He was also popular with his teammates.

His best season may have been 1927 when he hit .398 with 50 doubles, 201 hits, 14 homers, 120 RBIs, and only struck out 16 times. He was runnerup to Babe and his 60 home runs for MVP.

After his playing career, Heilmann was a radio broadcaster for the Tigers from 1934 to 1950, earning a new generation of admirers. He died in 1951 from lung cancer.

Heilmann never much cared for Cobb, but Ty was impressed with Heilmann's skill with the lumber. "People nowadays just don't realize how great a hitter Harry was. Next to Rogers Hornsby, he was the best righthanded hitter of them all," Cobb said many years later.

Career Record

YearTeam LgGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOAVGOBPSLGGDPHBPSHSFIBB
1914DETAL691822541812181822290.2250.3160.313212
1916DETAL136451571273011273942400.2820.3490.410515
1917DETAL1505565715622115861141540.2810.3330.387319
1918DETAL7928634791065391335100.2760.3590.40628
1919DETAL140537741723015893737410.3200.3660.477218
1920DETAL145543661682859893739320.3090.3580.429218
1921DETAL1496021142374314191392653370.3940.4440.606215
1922DETAL11845592162271021928458280.3560.4320.598311
1923DETAL1445241212114411181159774400.4030.4810.632523
1924DETAL15357010719745161011413578410.3460.4280.533426
1925DETAL150573972254011131346667270.3930.4570.569123
1926DETAL1415029018441891036767190.3670.4450.534425
1927DETAL1415051062015091412011572160.3980.4750.616217
1928DETAL151558831833810141077357450.3280.3900.507018
1929DETAL12545386156417151205650390.3440.4120.565214
1930CINNL142459791534361991264500.3330.4160.577115
1932CINNL15313820060020.2580.2580.32300

Totals21487787129126605421511831539113648565500.3420.4100.52004027700
Per 16216258797201411114116956541032100
DET19917297120924994971451641442111647924980.3420.4100.51803926200

Feats & Milestones

FeatMDYTeamLgOppLocDetails
1000th Hit001922DETAL
1500th Hit001924DETAL
2000th Hit001927DETAL
2500th Hit001930CINNL

Hitting Streaks

GamesYearTeamLgFromToABHR2B3BHRRBIBBSOSB
231921DETA5/196/10100422473319430
211926DETA//

Hall of Fame Voting

YearBallotCategoryVotesPCT
1937BBWAAPlayer105.0
1938BBWAAPlayer145.3
1939BBWAAPlayer82.9
1942BBWAAPlayer41.7
1945BBWAAPlayer52.0
1946Nominating VotePlayer2311.4
1947BBWAAPlayer6540.4
1948BBWAAPlayer4033.1
1949BBWAAPlayer5938.6
1950BBWAAPlayer8751.8
1951BBWAAPlayer15367.7
1952BBWAAPlayer20386.8
75% needed for election by the BBWAA