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  1. He was a five sport athlete at Alma College (football, basketball, track, golf, and, of course, baseball).

  2. Nice article, Chris. I was too young (barely) to watch him play, but my grandfather told me many stories about him, and I enjoyed watching him as a broadcaster.
    As much of that 68/72 Tiger core moved on, the Tigers certainly went into a deep dark hole. Northrup, Kaline, Cash followed soon by Lolich. They all seemingly left at the same time.

  3. I was eight when Northrup hit his World Series home run.  I believe it was a shot to right field, over Roger Maris’ head.

  4. Oh – and I apparently left out that he hit a key triple in Game Seven of the 1968 World Series.

  5. Northrup’s bat and Ray Oyler’s lack of bat brought about one of the greatest risky decisions in baseball history.  Tiger Manager Mayo Smith switched Mickey Stanley, maybe the best centerfielder of his era, to shortstop and installed Northrup into the starting line-up in center.  Oyler had hit a miserable .135 for the ‘68 season and the other shortstops, Tracewski at .156 and Matchick at .203 weren’t much better.  The Tigers defeated the Cardinals in seven games.

  6. I believe it was Northrup who in Game 7 of the ‘68 Series hit the ball that Curt Flood initially went in on, only to have it go to the fence for a triple.  Again, IIRC, Gibson didn’t blame Flood, saying something like, “Remember, Northrup hit the damn ball 400 feet.”

  7. My greatest memory of Jim Northrup was not of his performance on field, but off.  He gave his tickets to my family so my 8 year old son could see his first Tigers game.  It was a thrill no one in my family will ever forget.

  8. Less than 24 hours earlier, a record 17,500 fans, many of them decked in Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold, had surged forward in their seats each time NBA rookie Lonzo Ball touched the basketball.

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