Wait til Next Year . . . is making a come back.

I am going to mix a bit of the philosophy of my life into this blog as I continue to highlight some of my baseball card collection. (hoping the card collectors of this world welcome me back)

Its been a tough 18 months for me . . . the Chicago Cubs have had it rough as well.

This site will be devoted to all those who need to define what "wait til next year" means.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

1970 Topps: #12 John Hiller

(because of Opening Night and Opening Day, I have been remiss in posting my card by card chronicle of the 1970 set, but now that the season is in "full" swing, I am going to resume and try to get caught up again)

John Frederick Hiller, a 15 year veteran pitcher who spent his entire career with the Detroit Tigers. His career began in September of 1965, though he only pitched in six innings that year and 2 IP in 1966; but saw considerable action as a relief pitcher in years to follow. In 1968, he had a 9 - 6 record with 2 saves and a 2.39 ERA for the World Series Champs earning Hiller a ring.

In January of 1971, Hiller suffered a heart attack which would sideline him for the entire '71 season. His recovery was long (remember it was 1971 and medical rehab was much much different) but the Tigers did invite him to spring training for 1972. He was left off the roster and asked to remain as the batting practice pitcher "coach". He did that and eventually in July of '72 was to rejoin the 25 man roster and remain on it for nine more years.

In 1973, marking Hillers full recovery and return to the Tigers, he lead the league in games (65) and broke the AL record for saves with 38. 1973 would award Hiller with the Hutch award and AL Comeback Player of the Year.

John Hiller currently holds the Tiger franchise record for games appeared in with 545; a Tiger for "life", for his career in Detroit and his toughness to comeback.

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