John Hiller

Topps 1973 #448: John Hiller. On this date in baseball history, back in 1971, John Hiller at the age of 27 suffers a heart attack and misses the entire 1971 season. Thirty pounds overweight and two packs of Marlboros contributed to the near fatal event that took place after Hiller had just gotten back from a snowmobile trip.

When he returned, Hiller pitched 44 innings in his 1972 comeback, and compiled an impressive 2.03. He would really make his mark the following season when he recorded a then major league record of 38 saves during the 1973 campaign. 1974 was another stellar season for the southpaw when he set the AL record by winning 17 games in relief. Ultimately he would pitch 15 seasons – all in Detroit, winning 87, saving 125 with an ERA of 2.83. His 545 games pitched as a Tiger is a franchise record!








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