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Jim Northrup, Tigers' 1968 World Series Hero, Dies Wednesday At 71

Jim Northrup, forever a Detroit Tigers hero for his game-winning triple in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series, died on Wednesday after suffering a seizure. He was 71 years old.

Northrup played 11 seasons with the Tigers. His best year was 1968, when he hit .264/.324/.447 with 21 homers and 90 RBIs in 154 games. He also hit four grand slam home runs that season. Two of those came on consecutive at-bats, eventually leading to three in a week.

And then, of course, there was that triple in Game 7. Facing Bob Gibson with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Northrup hit a triple to center field over Curt Flood which gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. That was enough for Detroit to win in an eventual 4-1 victory and World Series championship.

Nicknamed "The Gray Fox," Northrup played in Detroit from 1964 to 1974. During his Tigers career, he batted .267/.332/.430 with 145 home runs and 570 RBIs. With the exception of 34 games played at first base toward the end of his tenure, Northrup played almost entirely as an outfielder.

He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.

Northrup may have been more well known to Tigers fans for his analysis from 1985 to 1994 on the team's broadcasts on PASS (Pro-Am Sports System, the precursor to FOX Sports Detroit). His strong opinions were often refreshing to hear on the air, and he was not afraid to criticize a player when it was deserved.

According to MLive.com, Northrup's health had deteriorated over the past few years as he developed rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's Disease. Those ailments required him to be moved into an assisted care facility.

You can read more on Northrup at Bless You Boys.