John Hiller

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John Hiller
John Hiller 1975.jpg
Born: (1943-04-08) April 8, 1943 (age 76)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 6, 1965, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
May 27, 1980, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record87–76
Earned run average2.83
Career highlights and awards

John Frederick Hiller (born April 8, 1943) is a Canadian-born former left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers between 1965 and 1980.

Hiller grew up in Scarborough, Ontario (now part of Toronto) where he played sandlot baseball before signing with the Tigers in 1962. After three seasons in the minor leagues, he joined the Tigers in 1965. He appeared in 39 games and compiled a 2.39 earned run average (ERA) for the 1968 Detroit Tigers team that won the 1968 World Series. He also set a major league record with six consecutive strikeouts in 1968.

In January 1971, Hiller suffered a heart attack at his home in Duluth, Minnesota, and underwent surgery to remove several feet of his intestines to control his body's absorption of cholesterol. After losing 50 pounds and missing the 1971 season, Hiller returned to the Tigers' active roster in July 1972. He compiled a 2.03 ERA in 1972, helped lead the team to the American League East title, and won Game 4 of the 1972 American League Championship Series. His comeback peaked in 1973 as he broke the major league record with 38 saves and compiled a 1.44 ERA in 65 games. He was selected as the 1973 American League Comeback Player of the Year and Fireman of the Year, finished fourth in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award, and received the American Heart Association's Heart of the Year Award.

In 1974, Hiller's comeback continued as he set an American League record with 17 relief wins and was selected as a member of the American League All-Star team. He continued to rank among the American League's elite relief pitchers through the 1978 season. By 1979, injuries and age rendered Hiller less effective, and he retired as a player in May 1980 with a career record of 87–76, a 2.83 career ERA, and 1,036 strikeouts. At the time of his retirement, he ranked fourth in American League history with 125 saves. He continues to hold the Tigers' club record with 545 career games pitched.

Hiller returned to professional baseball in the mid-1980s as a minor league pitching coach for the Tigers, but a circulatory disorder in his right leg cut his coaching career short. Hiller has been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Early years[edit]

Hiller was born in Toronto in 1943.[1] He grew up in Scarborough, the son of an auto body repairman.[2] He was a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs while growing up and played ice hockey as a goaltender.[2] He attended David-Mary Thompson Public School and West Hill High School,[3] but dropped out after the 11th grade.[4][5] He competed as a sprinter in the 220- and 440-yard dashes while in high school.[3] He excelled in baseball as a pitcher, and reportedly once struck out 22 batters in a seven-inning game, including one batter who got on base due to a wild pitch.[2]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

Minor leagues from 1962 to 1965[edit]

In June 1962, Hiller, at age 19, signed a contract with the Detroit Tigers for $400 a month, a pair of spikes, and an old glove.[6][7] He was discovered by Detroit scout Edwin "Cy" Williams while playing for the Scarborough Selects, an All-Star team composed of Scarborough sandlot players.[3]

Hiller played for the Tigers' Jamestown, New York, club in the New York-Pennsylvania League during the 1963 season. He appeared in 29 games, 22 as a starter, and compiled a 14–9 record with a 4.03 ERA, 11 complete games, and 172 strikeouts in 181 inning pitched.[8]

Hiller spent most of the 1964 season with the Duluth-Superior Dukes of the Northern League. He appeared in 30 games for the Dukes, 19 as a starter, and compiled a 10–13 record with a 3.45 ERA.[8]

In 1965, Hiller was assigned to the Montgomery Rebels in the Southern League where he was converted to a relief pitcher. In 47 games for Montgomery (43 in relief), he compiled a 5–7 record with a 2.53 ERA.[8] Hiller noted in early 1966 that he initially viewed the assignment to the bullpen as a demotion, but became accustomed to the role: "You don't have to worry about pacing yourself. You just come in and throw hard all the time. It's more exciting, too, once you accustom yourself to pitching with men on base."[9]

1965 to 1967 seasons[edit]

On September 5, 1965, the Tigers purchased Hiller from Montgomery.[10] He made five relief appearances for the 1965 Tigers and did not allow an earned run in six innings pitched.[1]

Hiller began the 1966 season with the Tigers, but appeared in only one game, pitching two innings in relief against Washington on April 17, giving up two hits and two earned runs.[1] Three days later, Hiller flew back to Detroit where he was hospitalized at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy.[11] On May 11, he was sent down to the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League.[12] He compiled a 4.45 ERA in 54 relief appearances for Syracuse in 1966.[8]

Hiller started the 1967 season with the Toledo Mud Hens of the International League, compiling a 5–1 record with a 3.00 ERA.[8] He was called up by the Tigers in late June for his third stint with the club. Farm director Don Lund noted at the time that Hiller had recently mastered his control on breaking pitches to balance his excellent fastball.[13] Over the last three months of the 1967 season, Hiller appeared in 11 games, eight as a starter, and compiled a 4–2 record with a 2.50 ERA.[1]

1968 and 1969 seasons[edit]

Hiller spent his first full season in the majors as a reliever and spot starter for the 1968 Tigers team that won the American League pennant and the 1968 World Series. Hiller appeared in 39 games, 12 as a starter, and compiled a 9–6 record with a 2.39 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched.[1] On August 6, he set a major league record when he struck out six consecutive batters against Cleveland.[14] On August 20, he pitched a one-hit complete game shutout against the Chicago White Sox;[15] the one hit came in the eighth inning on a ball that just missed Hiller's glove.[16]

Hiller also had two relief appearances in the 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching the last two innings in the 7–3 Game 3 loss, and facing five batters without recording an out in Game 4, a 10–1 loss. He allowed six hits and three walks, posting a 13.50 ERA, but the Tigers recovered to win the Series in seven games.

Following a players' strike in the spring of 1969, Hiller returned to the Tigers. He appeared in 40 games for the 1969 Tigers, but his ERA increased by more than a point-and-a-half to 3.99.[1] During the 1969 season, Hiller acquired the nickname "Ratso" after he went with teammates to see the movie Midnight Cowboy. The character "Ratso" Rizzo, played by Dustin Hoffman, had a limp, as did Hiller at the time.[17]

Hiller returned to form in 1970, appearing in 47 games, 42 in relief, and compiling a 6–6 record with a 3.03 ERA.[1] On October 1, in the final game of the season, he pitched a two-hit, complete-game shutout and struck out 11 batters, including seven in a row. With Hiller pitching quickly, the game was played in only one hour and 41 minutes – the fastest game of the year at Tiger Stadium.[18]

Heart attack[edit]

On January 11, 1971, Hiller, at age 27, suffered a heart attack at his home in Duluth, Minnesota. Hiller described the attack as follows: "I had just gotten up and was having a cup of coffee. I lit up a cigaret. It was strange – a heaviness in my chest. It felt like the pneumonia I had in 1966 so I put the cigaret out. Later I had another cigaret and had the same feeling. So I didn't smoke the rest of the day."[19] He went to the hospital when the pain returned that night. He was hospitalized for three weeks and notified the Tigers of his heart attack in mid-February. Hiller was placed on a strict diet, quit smoking cigarettes, and lost 20 pounds in the month after his heart attack.[19]

By late March, he weighed 180 pounds, 30 pounds lighter than he had been during the 1970 season.[20] By the time of his 28th birthday, Hiller had lost 40 pounds and four pant sizes in the waist. He reported at the time: "The doctors have never even hinted that I'd be able to pitch again."[21] Despite the pessimism of doctors, Hiller made a birthday promise to himself that he would pitch again.[21] In April, Hiller underwent an ileo-bypass, a surgery in which about the doctors removed seven feet of his small intestines – the portions that are responsible for absorbing cholesterol.[22] The Tigers announced in May that Hiller would not return to the team during the 1971 season.[23] In August 1971, Hiller reported that he had lost 50 pounds (down to 160 pounds) and was selling furniture in Duluth and playing golf and paddleball.[24]

The comeback begins in 1972[edit]

In February 1972, Hiller returned to the Tigers training camp, but in the capacity as a minor league coach for the Lakeland (Florida) Tigers.[25] After spending the first half of the 1972 season as a pitching coach for Lakeland, Hiller announced in late June that he was running two miles a day, in top shape at 170 pounds, and ready to return to pitching. He said: "I'm ready to go. I'm just waiting for that call from Detroit. It's up to them now if they want me."[26] Hiller suspected that the Tigers' willingness to take a chance on him was impacted by the sudden heart attack and death of Detroit Lions receiver Chuck Hughes during a game at Tiger Stadium in October 1971.[26][27]

On July 7, 1972, the Tigers reinstated Hiller to their roster. He returned to the mound the next day, having had no rehab games in the minors and after not facing a batter in 18 months. He gave up a two-run home run to the first batter, Dick Allen, but Detroit manager Billy Martin opined that Hiller had pitched well, and Hiller confirmed afer the game "this is what I want. I really want it."[28] Two days later, Hiller returned to the mound and retired the side in a victory that gave the Tigers sole possession of first place in the American League East.[29] On October 1, Hiller pitched a complete-game, five-hit victory over Milwaukee Brewers that Jim Hawkins of the Detroit Free Press called the "biggest win of the season".[30] After the game, which was Hiller's first win since October 1, 1970, he told reporters: "I go at this game with a little different attitude than I used to. Before my sickness, I was more uptight every time I pitched. I used to get nervous warming up. Now I don't worry about tomorrow. If I do well, I do well. If I don't – well, there'll aways be another day."[31]

In the last half of the 1972 season, Hiller helped the Tigers to the American League East pennant, appearing in 23 games with a strong 2.03 ERA.[1] He also pitched in three games in the 1972 American League Championship Series against the Oakland Athletics, winning Game 4 when Detroit scored three times in the bottom of the 10th inning.[32]

The comeback peaks in 1973[edit]

Hiller's comeback peaked in 1973 with what baseball historian Bill James rated as the most valuable season by a relief pitcher in baseball history.[33] Hiller appeared in 65 games, all in relief, and compiled a 10–5 record.[1] He broke Clay Carroll's Major League Baseball record with 38 saves. His single-season saves record stood for 10 years until Dan Quisenberry tallied 45 saves in 1983.[34]

Hiller also accumulated a career-low 1.44 ERA in 125 innings to win the American League ERA title; Rollie Fingers ranked second at 1.92.[1][35] Demonstrating how dominant Hiller was during the 1973 season, his Adjusted ERA+, which adjusts a pitcher's ERA according to the pitcher's ballpark and the average ERA of the pitcher's league in a given year, was 285. Only two pitchers in major league history are known to have recorded a higher rating: Hall of Famers Tim Keefe in 1880 (293) and Pedro Martinez in 2000 (291).[36]

Hiller also led the American League's pitchers with 65 appearances and 60 games finished.[37]

On September 30, Hiller became the last man to win a game and the last to throw a pitch in the original Yankee Stadium, getting Yankees first baseman Mike Hegan to fly out to center field in an 8–5 Detroit win.[38]

As the first major league player to suffer a heart attack and then return an active competitor,[27] Hiller's comeback was rated as "one of the most heartwarming sagas in sports."[39] Slugger Frank Howard called it "the kind of thing you see once in a lifetime."[39] After the 1973 season, Hiller won numerous awards for his remarkable accomplishments, including the following:

  • He received the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award for the American League.[39]
  • He also won the Sporting News Fireman of the Year Award for the American League.[40]
  • He won the Hutch Award as the player who "best exemplified the fighting spirit" of Fred Hutchinson.[41]
  • He was selected by the Detroit baseball writers as the "Tiger of the Year". Hiller received 32 votes (out of 33 votes cast) for the award, more than any other player in the history of the award to that time.[42]
  • He was voted by Detroit sports writers and broadcasters as the Detroit's "Sportsman of the Year" for 1973.[43]
  • In May 1974, he became the first athlete to receive the American Heart Association's Heart of the Year Award which had been presented to President Richard Nixon the previous year. Hiller was recognized "for his courage in meeting the personal challenge of heart attack . . . and for his inspiring example to other heart attack victims."[44]

In an era where no relief pitcher had ever won a Cy Young Award (Mike Marshall became the first one year later), Hiller finished fourth in the voting for the 1973 American League Cy Young Award behind starters Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, and Catfish Hunter.[45] He also tied for fourth in the voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award, behind Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew.[46]

In January 1976, he was honored in Philadelphia with a Most Courageous Athlete award and acknowledged that, prior to the heart attack, he smoked too much, drank too much and ate too much. He described the broader life lesson that he hoped would be drawn from his comeback: "I hoped I've helped a lot of people by talking to them. I hope they understand when you have a heart attack you haven't come to the end of your life or the end of your career."[47]

1974 and 1975 seasons[edit]

In 1974, Hiller had another strong season as he broke the American League record with 17 relief wins. He appeared in 59 games, all in relief, compiled a 17–14 record with 2.64 ERA and a career-high 134 strikeouts.[1] Hiller won his 10th game of the season on July 1 and was on pace to break Roy Face's major league record of 18 relief wins set in 1959.[48] Two weeks later, he was named to the American League All-Star team for the only time his career, though he did not pitch in the game.[49] On September 13, Hiller recorded his 17th relief win of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers. The win broke the American League record of 16 relief wins set by Dick Radatz in 1964.[50] Bill Campbell tied the record in 1975 but it has not been broken.

In 1975, the Tigers compiled one of the worst seasons in club history with 102 losses and a team ERA of 4.27. However, Hiller had another outstanding season. He opened the season without allowing a run in his first five appearances totaling over 14 innings.[51] He continued to pitch well and, during a stretch from late June to late July, he did not allow a hit in 10 games and 16-2/3 innings.[52] He also struck out 87 batters in 70-2/3 inning pitched – giving him a career-high average of 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.[1] Hiller noted in late July: "I've never struck out people like this before."[52]

However, while pitching against Cleveland on July 25, he "felt something tear" in his throwing arm and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.[53][54] While trying to come back in September, Hiller reported that, although the pain had subsided, he could still feel a lump under his left arm where the injury occurred.[55] Despite playing only half the season, he led the team with 36 appearances and 14 saves and compiled a 2.17 ERA.[56]

1976 to 1980 seasons[edit]

In 1976, Hiller returned to the Tigers' spring training with a shaved head. Sports writers joked that Hiller's head was now as smooth as his delivery and compared the new look to Fu Manchu or "a cross between Genghis Khan and Kojak."[57][58] Hiller got off to a slow start in the early weeks of the 1976 season, holding a 1–3 record and a 3.47 ERA in late May.[59][60] However, he then regained his form and won 11 of 15 decisions for the balance of the season, and his 2.38 ERA was on par with the 2.34 ERA recorded by the team's rookie sensation Mark Fidrych, who won the 1976 Rookie of the Year award.[61] Hiller ranked fourth in the American League in games finished (46) and ninth in both adjusted pitching runs and adjusted pitching wins.[1] He closed the 1976 season with a rare start (his first since 1972) and threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout against the Milwaukee Brewers.[62]

In April 1977, the Tigers traded Willie Horton to the Texas Rangers for relief pitcher Steve Foucault.[63] Foucault edged out Hiller as the Tigers' stopper,[64] as Hiller was asked to pitch both in relief and as a spot starter. He started eight games and threw three complete games. However, his ERA jumped by more than a point to 3.56, and he compiled a record of 8–14 and recorded only seven saves.[65] He was diagnosed in late September with an enlarged liver, possibly caused by the intestinal surgery he received after his heart attack; he was told by doctors that he should never have another drink for the rest of his life.[66]

Hiller reclaimed his role as the Tigers' closer in 1978. He appeared in 51 games, all in relief, and his total of 46 games finished ranked sixth in the American League.[1] He led the 1978 Tigers with a 2.34 ERA and 15 saves.[67] The Tigers honored Hiller on June 25, 1978 with a John Hiller Recognition Day at Tiger Stadium.[68]

In 1979, Hiller had 43 relief appearances, but Aurelio Lopez (acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals before the season began) took over as the Tigers' closer as Hiller's ERA soared to 5.22.[69] Hiller played with pain in his left shoulder during the 1979 season, and his season ended on August 27 when he was placed on the disabled list.[70] Hiller believed that he injured his shoulder in mid-May while "messing around trying to throw a screwball."[71]

Hiller returned to the Tigers briefly in 1980, just long enough to break Hooks Dauss' franchise record of 538 games pitched. Hiller broke Dauss' record on April 29 and ended his career having appeared in 545 games as a Tiger.[72] He was the last member of Detroit's 1968 World Series championship team to remain with the club. During the 1970s, Hiller appeared in 426 games for the Tigers, nearly double the total of any other Detroit pitcher.[73]

On May 30, 1980, after finishing a clubhouse card game with teammates, Hiller called a team meeting and said that he was retiring. The Tigers interrupted the game that night to announce Hiller's decision. Hiller stepped out of the dugout in street clothes and waved to the crowd. The crowd reacted with polite applause at the surprise announcement and then began chanting, "We want Hiller! We want Hiller!" until the game was interrupted to allow Hiller to step onto the field for a final bow.[74] Hiller told reporters after the game: "I just don't think I can compete here anymore. . . . I don't want to embarrass myself. I always said the hitters would let me known when it was time to retire, and they did."[74]

After his retirement, the Detroit Free Press paid tribute to Hiller, not on its sports page but on its editorial page:

"[W]hat sets the John Hiller story apart is neither the professional skill nor the personal grace and style that were his in such an abundant measure. Detroiters have a special affection for Hiller for what he had to overcome and for the dogged persistence with which he fought his way back from a heart attack. By will and discipline, he made himself a fit professional athlete again. He overcame."[75]

Hiller ended his career with a record of 87–76, a 2.83 ERA, 545 appearances, and 1,036 strikeouts in 1,242 innings pitched.[1] At the time of his retirement, his 125 saves ranked behind only Sparky Lyle (231), Hoyt Wilhelm (154) and Rollie Fingers (136) in American history, and remained a Detroit Tigers club record until 1993.

Family, later years, and honors[edit]

Hiller married Janis Patricia Baldwin in 1965.[3] They had three children, including son Steve and daughter Wendy.[5] His first marriage ended in divorce in February 1985, and he married his second wife, Linette, later that year.[2][76]

After retiring from baseball, Hiller returned to his home in Duluth, Minnesota. Hiller and his wife had lived in Duluth since 1966. In 1982, he bought an abandoned farm near Felch in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and played baseball for the Felch Rangers.[77] He was appointed constable for Felch in 1983.[78] Hiller later lived for more than 30 years in Hermansville and then Iron Mountain, both in the Upper Peninsula.[79][80]

He also supported himself with jobs selling insurance, owning a pet shop, operating a country store, and working as a Pepsi distributor. From 1985 to 1987, he returned to professional baseball as a minor league pitching coach for the Tigers.[76][81][82] However, his coaching career ended when he was diagnosed in 1988 with a blockage behind his right knee that had caused the arteries in his lower leg to deteriorate. Doctors recommended amputation, but Hiller declined.[79]

Hiller has been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (inducted 1985),[83] Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (inducted 1989),[84] Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (inducted 1999),[85] and the Ontario (Canada) Sports Hall of Fame (inducted 2017).[86]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "John Hiller". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Larry Hilliard and Rob Hilliard. "John Hiller". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Sports Chatter". The Windsor Star. October 2, 1968. p. 34 – via
  4. ^ Jim Hawkins (July 27, 1980). "Hiller's anonymous now, and he loves every minute". Detroit Free Press. p. B1 – via
  5. ^ a b "'Tiger Wives Run the Show'". Detroit Free Press. March 27, 1977. p. 4C – via
  6. ^ "Tigers Sign, Farm Hiller". The Baltimore Sun. June 20, 1962. p. B14 – via
  7. ^ Ernie Harwell (March 3, 1991). "untitled". The Detroit News. p. 7E – via
  8. ^ a b c d e "John Hiller Minor League Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "Pitcher John Hiller Has Best Chance of Sticking with Tigers". The Battle Creek Enquirer and News. March 9, 1966. p. III-3 – via
  10. ^ "Tigers Buy Pitcher". Detroit Free Press. September 6, 1965. p. 3D – via
  11. ^ "Pneumonia hits Tigers' Hiller". The Windsor Star. April 22, 1966. p. 22 – via
  12. ^ "Tigers Send Hiller, Sullivan To Minors". The Montgomery Advertiser. May 12, 1966. p. 49 – via
  13. ^ "Tigers Land Jim Landis". Detroit Free Press. June 30, 1967. p. 2D – via
  14. ^ "Hiller Fans Six in Row For Record". Lansing State Journal. August 7, 1968. p. F1 – via
  15. ^ "John Hiller Hurls One-Hit Contest". The Holland Evening Sentinel. August 21, 1968. p. II-1 – via
  16. ^ Brian Bragg (August 17, 1978). "The Champions". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D – via
  17. ^ Neary, Kevin (March 5, 2013). Closer: Major League Players Reveal the Inside Pitch on Saving the Game. Running Press Book Publishers. p. 25. ISBN 9780762447169. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  18. ^ "Hiller Finishes Season In A Hurry". The Port Huron Times Herald. October 2, 1970. p. B1 – via
  19. ^ a b "Tigers' Hiller Reveals Heart Attack". Detroit Free Press. February 19, 1971. pp. 1D, 2D – via
  20. ^ Jim Hawkins (March 26, 1971). "Hiller May Be Ready To Pitch by Midseason". Detroit Free Press. p. 2D – via
  21. ^ a b "Hiller Makes Self A Promise". Lansing State Journal. April 8, 1971. p. E1 – via
  22. ^ Earl McRae. "John Hiller Had a Heart Attack: Now he's back pitching for the Tigers". The Ottawa Citizen. pp. The Canadian Magazine, pp. 10–12 – via
  23. ^ "Hiller Through For Year". The Port Huron Times Herald. May 6, 1971. p. C3 – via
  24. ^ "Comeback?". Lansing State Journal. August 16, 1971. p. C1 – via
  25. ^ "Hiller Back In Baseball As Coach". Lansing State Journal. February 27, 1972. p. E7 – via
  26. ^ a b Rich Zitrin (June 22, 1972). "Hiller Says 'I'm Ready to Pitch Again'". Detroit Free Press. p. 7D – via
  27. ^ a b "Tiger hurler beat big odds". The Journal Herald. March 18, 1974. p. 8 – via
  28. ^ Jim Hawkins (July 9, 1972). "'This Is What I Want' – Hiller". Detroit Free Press. p. D1 – via
  29. ^ "Tigers Go Into First Alone, 8–3". Detroit Free Press. July 11, 1972. pp. 1C, 2C – via
  30. ^ Jim Hawkins (October 2, 1972). "It's Best-of-3 for All the Marbles!". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1D, 6D – via
  31. ^ Jim Hawkins (October 2, 1972). "Hiller Beat Heart Attack . . . Nothing Can Rile Him Now". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1D, 6D – via
  32. ^ "Miracles Do Happen, Tigers!". Detroit Free Press. October 12, 1972. pp. 1D, 9D – via
  33. ^ Bill James (2010). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon and Schuster. p. 867. ISBN 1439106932.
  34. ^ "Quisenberry ties record, and Hiller's not surprised". Detroit Free Press. September 13, 1983. p. 4D – via
  35. ^ "John Hiller wins ERA title". Battle Creek Enquirer and News. October 7, 1973. p. C3 – via
  36. ^ "Single-Season Leaders & Records for Adjusted ERA+". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  37. ^ "1973 AL Pitching Leaders". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  38. ^ "The first goodbye: Old Yankee Stadium said farewell in 1973". New York Daily News. September 20, 2008.
  39. ^ a b c "Sports Mini-Profile: Death Was in the Batter's Box And the Count Was 3 and 2". Hattiesburg American. April 14, 1974.
  40. ^ "Fireman of the Year Award / Reliever of the Year Award by The Sporting News". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on March 17, 2015.
  41. ^ "Hiller Wins Hutch Award". Detroit Free Press. November 15, 1973. p. 4D – via
  42. ^ Jim Hawkins (November 11, 1973). "Hiller (Who Else?) Tiger of the Year". Detroit Free Press. p. 2E – via
  43. ^ "Hiller, Young Win Awards". Lansing State Journal. October 26, 1972. p. C6 – via
  44. ^ "Hiller wins major 1974 heart award". The Port Huron Times Herald. May 16, 1974. p. 1C – via
  45. ^ "'I Finally Made It' – Palmer". Lansing State Journal. November 7, 1973. p. C1 – via
  46. ^ "Jackson unanimous MVP choice in AL". The Sun (San Bernardino). November 14, 1973. p. D1 – via
  47. ^ "Heart Attack Victims Can Look To Hiller". The Philadelphia Inquirer. January 13, 1976. p. D1 – via
  48. ^ Jim Hawkins (July 3, 1974). "Hiller Piling Up Relief Wins At Record Pace". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D – via
  49. ^ Jim Hawkins (July 18, 1974). "Hiller Picked For AL Stars". Detroit Free Press. p. 2D – via
  50. ^ Jim Hawkins (September 13, 1974). "Hiller Busts Record With 17th Relief Win". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D – via
  51. ^ "Hiller Does It Again! Tiger Reliefer [sic] Off To Fast Start". The Ludington Daily News. May 9, 1975. p. 6.
  52. ^ a b Jim Hawkins (July 25, 1975). "Fire's Out! Hiller Rescues Coleman, 5–2". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D – via
  53. ^ Jim Hawkins (July 27, 1975). "Hiller Lost to Tigers for 21 Days". Detroit Free Press. p. 1E – via
  54. ^ "Hiller's Arm Still In Doubt". Detroit Free Press. August 23, 1975. p. 4C – via
  55. ^ "Hiller's Chomping at the Bit; Houk Won't Use Lefty, Yet". Detroit Free Press. September 3, 1975. p. 3D – via
  56. ^ "1975 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  57. ^ Jim Hawkins (February 29, 1976). "Where There's a Will . . . 'Manager' Hiller, Locked-Out Tigers Train on Own". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D – via
  58. ^ Larry Paladino (March 30, 1976). "Hairy situation: John Hiller of Tigers shaves head daily". Battle Creek Enquirer and News (AP story). p. B3.
  59. ^ "Think John Hiller's Worried? You Bet He Is". Detroit Free Press. May 23, 1976. p. 5E – via
  60. ^ Richard L. Shook (May 21, 1976). "What's Wrong With Hiller? The Answer Is . . . Nothing". The Ludington Daily News (UPI story). p. 6 – via
  61. ^ "1976 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  62. ^ "Hiller Tosses Four-Hitter In 1st Start Since '72". The Ludington Daily News. October 2, 1976. p. 8 – via
  63. ^ "Texas Deal Probably Best for Me – Horton". Detroit Free Press. April 13, 1977. p. 1D – via
  64. ^ "Houk's No. 1 stopper now: It's Foucault". Detroit Free Press. May 17, 1977. p. 1D.
  65. ^ "1977 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  66. ^ Jim Hawkins (September 28, 1977). "Hiller Has Liver Ailment". Detroit Free Press. p. 3D – via
  67. ^ "1978 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  68. ^ "Tigers' Hiller gets his day in the sun". Detroit Free Press. June 25, 1978. p. 1E – via
  69. ^ "1978 Detroit Tigers Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  70. ^ Brian Bragg (August 28, 1979). "Hiller through for the year". Detroit Free Press. p. 4E – via
  71. ^ Brian Bragg (August 30, 1979). "What a relief! Hiller plans Tiger return". Detroit Free Press. pp. 1D, 7D – via
  72. ^ Jack Dulmage (April 30, 1980). "Tigers waiting to get off the ground". The Windsor Star. p. 17 – via
  73. ^ "Tiger pitching leaders of the 1970s". Detroit Free Press. April 13, 1980. p. 33 – via
  74. ^ a b Brian Bragg (May 31, 1980). "Hiller calls it quits as Tiger hurler". Detroit Free Press. p. 1 – via
  75. ^ "Hiller: His story was distinctive, and so too his place in Detroit". Detroit Free Press. June 3, 1980. p. 8A – via
  76. ^ a b Anne Tobik (September 8, 1985). "Hiller to coach Tigers' farm arms". Detroit Free Press. p. 3D – via
  77. ^ "Farm club: Ex-Tiger Hiller settles in the UP as Felch's ace pitcher". Detroit Free Press. May 13, 1982. p. 1F – via
  78. ^ "Hiller finds paradise in small-town lifestyle". Detroit Free Press. August 6, 1983. p. 2D – via
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