The Tigers lost much more than a baseball game yesterday; and for that matter so did all Detroit sports fans. I was on the phone last night with Big Al when we learned of the passing of one of our heroes of the 1968 World Series - # 5 Jim Northrup. We spent some time reflecting on our collective memories of Jim and his career.
Jim, born in Breckenridge, Michigan near Saginaw, had been in declining health for the last several years. Yesterday he passed away after suffering a seizure at an Alzheimer’s care facility near Grand Blanc. He was 71.
Jim Northrup of course will forever be remembered for his dramatic 1968 World Series Game 7 triple off of the seemingly invincible Bob Gibson.
The three bagger over Cardinal centerfielder Curt Flood’s head scored Norm Cash and Willie Horton to help secure a 4-1 victory and the championship. Jim had delivered all season long for the Tigers, including five grand slams, two that were hit in one game and at consecutive at bats! A few days later he smashed another base clearing home run to become the first player in major league history to hit three grand slams in one week. You might say that Jim was delivering “Grand Slams” way before Denny’s.
Our heartfelt condolences to Jim’s wife Patty, his five children and seven grandchildren. Rest in peace Jim and thanks for the great memories.