The Tigers lost one of their greats today. Former slugger and broadcaster Jim Northrup has died at 71.
Northrup grew up on a farm in Breckenridge, Mich., and went on to play football (quarterback), basketball and baseball at Alma College before the Tigers signed him in 1960. He debuted four years later, and quickly became a fan favorite — helping them to the 1968 World Series title.
He had a huge, two-run triple off Cardinals ace Bob Gibson in Game 7, after center fielder Curt Flood famously slipped in pursuit. During the regular season that year, he hit five grand slams, including two in a single game.
Northrup, whose white hair earned him the nickname “Silver Fox,” played in the major leagues for 12 seasons, all but two with the Tigers. He finished his career with brief stints with the Expos and Orioles. Overall, he hit .267 with 153 home runs (eight grand slams) and 610 RBIs.
Post-career, he had several business ventures, and from 1985-94 he was the Tigers TV color analyst, working alongside Larry Osterman and others on PASS (the ballclub’s cable network before Fox Sports). I remember him being quite witty, entertaining and fairly critical, too, when the situation called for it.
In remembering Northrup, here he is talking baseball in a recent lengthy web interview with Kurt A. David.