The Detroit Tiger You Never Heard Of: 1921
Most everyone who grew up in Michigan ahs their favorite set of Detroit Tigers: Al Kaline, Rocky Colavito, Willie Horton, Ty Cobb, Alan Trammell, Justin Verlander.....too many to list. However, one would be hard-pressed to find someone whose favorite Tiger was Slicker Parks. Heck, just try to find someone who has even heard the name before!
Okay - for some of you Tiger mavens and aficionados, you may have heard of Slicker. But as for the masses, probably not.
Slicker was born in November 1895 as Vernon Henry Parks in the Clinton County, Michigan town of Fowler. His parents and grandparents were farm families living and working in Dallas Township.
After high school, Slicker attended the University of Michigan playing baseball for the Wolverines from 1919 to 1920. The following year, he joined the ranks of the Major Leaguers when he became a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. While Slicker played under the leadership of Ty Cobb, he made appearances in ten games – winning three and losing two as pitcher. His batting, though was something to be desired. His batting average was .111 after nine times at bat, hitting one single and walking to first. BUT...he did have a perfect fielding percentage of 1.000.
His Tiger career was short-lived, however. He started on July 11, 1921 and ended on September 4 that same year...and that was it. His 56 days as a Tiger were over...and so was his Major League career.
Slicker went into the Minor Leagues where he remained throughout the rest of his baseball days. He played for the Seattle Indians, Syracuse Stars, Jersey City Skeeters, and many others from 1922 until he quit in 1932 at age 36.
Slicker Parks died in Royal Oak, Michigan on February 21, 1978 at the age of 82. Although born in Fowler, he was buried in Greenhill Cemetery in Kingsville, Ontario, Canada.
The Detroit Tiger You Never Heard Of: Slicker Parks
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