Monday, February 28, 2005
February 28th, 1972
Dizzy Trout Dies
Dizzy Trout was the ace for the Detroit Tigers for many years, starting during the Second World War, when Trout was at his best (arguably due to the weakened competition) winning twenty-seven games in 1944 and finishing second in the MVP race to his teammate Hal Newhouser, who won twenty-nine games. Together the pair accounted for fifty-six of the Tigers' eighty-eight wins (that's sixty-three percent). With no other starter able to win more than twelve games, the Tigers lost the pennant race by one game to the St. Louis Browns.
Trout, like many good but not great pitchers (and to be fair, some great ones), relied on one pitch almost exclusively, in his case a blazing fastball. Trout had a collection of other pitches, including a forkball that some have said more closely resembled a modern split-finger fastball, but he essentially lived and died with his fastball. Trout lived more than he died however, and his fastball was good enough for him to win one hundred sixty-one games with the Tigers, good for seventh all-time.
Trout was just fifty-six when he died, but had already fathered a son, Steve, who would begin his Major League career in 1978. Steve won eighty-eight games, mostly for the White Sox and Cubs, which left him and Dizzy just short of the "Fathers and Sons One Hundred Wins" Club.