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Woodie Fryman – 1973 Topps #146

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ImageWoodrow Thompson Fryman (April 15, 1940 – February 4, 2011) was a Major League Baseball pitcher. A two-time National League All-Star, he is best remembered as the mid-season acquisition that helped lead the Detroit Tigers to the 1972 American League Championship Series.
Fryman was 25 years old when he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1965. He debuted out of the bullpen for the Pirates in 1966, he made more appearances as a starter, and was used pretty evenly in both roles throughout his career. He went 12-9 with a 3.81 earned run average his rookie season, including three shutouts in a row against the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Chicago Cubs. In Philadelphia, Fryman was used almost exclusively as a starter his first two seasons, but began being used more and more in relief in 1970 and 1971. In 1972, Fryman was 4-10 with a 4.36 ERA for the 34-61 Phillies when the club placed him on waivers at the end of July.
The Detroit Tigers were battling the Boston Red Sox first first place in the American League East when they claimed Fryman off waivers on August 2, 1972. Fryman turned his season around with the Tigers, and was 9-3 with a 2.21 ERA when the Red Sox came to Detroit for a three game set to end the season a half game up on the Tigers. ImageFryman’s .769 win percentage was tops in the American League in 1972, and his ERA+ of 154 is one of the highest in Detroit franchise history.
Fryman spent two more seasons with the Tigers before being dealt to the Montreal Expos for Terry Humphrey and Tom Walker in December 1974. Fryman’s record stood at 8-6 with a 3.74 ERA when he earned his second All-Star nod in 1976. As with his first selection in 1968, he was his team’s lone representative, and he did not appear in the game.
Fryman was inducted into the Montreal Expos’ Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. On February 4, 2011, Fryman died in his hometown of Ewing, Kentucky, where he was a tobacco farmer, two months shy of his 71st birthday.


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