Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The DNR 25: #21 Mike Henneman
Michael Alan Henneman
Oklahoma State University
1984, 4th Round, Detroit Tigers
57-42, 193 SV, 3.21 ERA, 130 ERA+
1987 Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year
1989 AL All-Star
Career Saves: 41st all time (193)
Best Tiger Season
Mike was having his best year as a Tiger in ’95 when he was traded to Houston for Phil Nevin. Before the trade, he had put up an amazing ERA+ of 311(!) in 29 games for Detroit with 18 saves.
His best full Tiger season was probably 1988, his first full season as the closer. Henneman went 9-6 out of the pen with 22 saves, a 1.87 ERA, and an ERA+ of 206, despite hurting his arm early in the season. He was never a strikeout pitcher, but man, did he get the job done.
Little Known Fact
Mike’s 154 Tiger saves are second to only Todd Jones in Detroit history.
Reason For Being On The List
Mike was the first pitcher I can remember seeing that threw three-quarters. As a young kid just getting into baseball, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Henneman would be the first (and not the last) Tiger to get me into trouble in Little League by my constant imitating of his mannerisms. (I liked to throw like Henneman and bat like Mickey Tettleton…not something coaches encourage in youngsters.) I'd be playing catch three-quarters, get yelled at, throw overhand for a while, and go back to three-quarters when the coaches weren't watching. Your average stuff for a ten year old.
Henneman is also the best closer in my lifetime as a Tiger fan. Willie Hernandez was great in ’84, but went to crap after. Jones racked up a lot of saves, but was rocky throughout. But neither was as good for as long as Mike was. Plus, he had that goofy “butt-chin” that you don’t see enough of on big league players today.
What Happened To Him?
As I mentioned, Mike was traded for Phil Nevin in mid-1995. The Tigers would never really give Nevin a chance and he went on to a good career in San Diego. Love ya, Randy Smith. Dick.
Mike would sign in 1996 with the Texas Rangers and go 0-7 with 31 saves, a 5.79 ERA, and a 91 ERA+. That would be his last year in MLB as he retired afterwards.
Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.