Grand Cards: Former Tigers Manager Ralph Houk Dies at Age 90

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Former Tigers Manager Ralph Houk Dies at Age 90

Update: A beautiful post on what Houk meant to the Tigers from Bless You Boys. A must-read.

The hits just keep on coming for the Yankees. After the deaths of Announcer Bob Sheppard and Boss George Steinbrenner, former manager--and general manager--Ralph Houk has passed away. It just so happens, that Houk was a manager for the Tigers as well, which is why you're reading about it here. From the NY Times:
In January 1973, a syndicate headed by Steinbrenner bought the team. Under CBS, Houk had a free hand on the field while Lee MacPhail handled the front-office duties.

Houk quit on the final day of the 1973 season as the Yanks finished fourth in the Eastern Division. He said that he had not accomplished what he hoped for, and “I blame no one but myself.”

Houk managed for five years in Detroit, never finishing higher than fourth place, then retired to his Florida home.
There's a quaint piece of symmetry there, isn't there? What with the Steinbrenner connection and all? Anyway, Houk became the Tigers manager in 1974 after 13 seasons with the Yankees, leading to one of the most absurdly awful baseball cards I've ever seen:

How's that "D" on your hat working out for you Ralph? And nice pinstriped pajamas.

RIP to Ralph Houk and his 363-443 record with the Tigers from 1974-78. May your legacy be remembered for better things than that horrible 1974 Topps card.

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