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Bill Freehan – 1973 Topps #460

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William Ashley Freehan(born November 29, 1941 in Detroit) is a former professional baseball player. He played his entire Major League Baseball career as a catcher for the Detroit Tigers. An eleven-time All-Star, and winner of five consecutive Gold Glove Awards, he was regarded as the premier catcher in the American League for several years. Freehan attended the University of Michigan, where he set an all-time Big Ten Conference batting mark of .585 in 1961 and also played football. He signed with his hometown Tigers in 1961 for a $100,000 bonus, which his father withheld until he graduated in 1966, and broke in briefly with 4 games at the end of the season before returning to the minors in 1962. In 1963 he arrived in the majors to stay, working with former catcher Rick Ferrell on his defense and splitting catching duties with Gus Triandos, who was traded following the season. The 1964 campaign gave indications of what was to come; he batted .300 to finish sixth in the American League, along with 18 home runs and 80 runs batted in. He also earned the first of ten consecutive All-Star selections, and placed seventh in the Most Valuable Player Award balloting. In 1965 he led the American League in putouts for the first of six times, and received his first of his five consecutive Gold Gloves. In 1966 he again led the league in putouts, and also led in fielding percentage for the first of four times.


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