1975 TOPPS CARD
Bill Freehan was an eleven time American League All-Star catcher, seven times voted the starting All-Star catcher. Freehan has the highest lifetime fielding percentage of any catcher in history, tied with Elston Howard. Freehan was regarded as one top handlers of pitchers, and is credited with helping shape the Detroit Tigers' pitching staff into winners, including Mickey Lolich & Denny McLain. Good-natured but an agressive team player Bill Freehan was the 'man in charge behind home plate,' recalled Ken Harrelson, a former major league outfielder and long-time White Sox announcer. 'Freehan knew everything that was going on.' In 1967 Bill Freehan finished third in the MVP award after leading the Tigers to within one game of winning the pennant. And in 1968 he was second in the voting trailing only teammate pitcher Denny McLain, who won 31 and lost just 6 games.
Freehan hit 25 homers in 1968 and helped make the Detroit Tigers the World Champions. His close-to-the- plate batting stance, Freehan set a record by being hit by pitches 24 times in 1968 including three in one game. In 1971, he hit three HR's in one game against the Red Sox. Bill Freehan won five 'Gold Gloves' in his 15 year career, all with the Detroit Tigers. When he retired he held the major league career record for most chances, most putouts and highest fielding pct for a catcher. A graduate of the University of Michigan, after he finished his great playing career he became the university's baseball coach. Bill Freehan's career stats: .262 BA, 241 D, 35 T, 200 HR's, 1591 hits in 1774 games.