June 29, 2022

Touring the Bases With…Milt Wilcox

July 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Milt Wilcox, a righthanded hurler from Hawaii, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round of the 1968 amateur draft, a draft that included Tim Foli, Thurman Munson, Bobby Valentine, Greg Luzinski, Gary Matthews, and Bill Buckner.  Coming straight out of high school, Wilcox began his career in the Rookie League before moving up to Class-A and combined to go 6-5 with an impressive 1.24 ERA in 14 starts.  He worked his way through the Reds’ system and reached Triple-A in 1970, going 12-10 with a 2.84 ERA before making his major league debut on September 5, 1970, less than five months after his 20th birthday.

Wilcox went 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA down the stretch for the “Big Red Machine” and earned a win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in that year’s NLCS.  He went 0-1 in two appearances against the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, and it would be another 14 years before he’d get another chance to redeem himself in the Fall Classic.

Wilcox bounced around from Cleveland to the Chicago Cubs to Detroit with stops at Triple-A Wichita and Evansville in between before he finally settled in with the Tigers in 1977.  From 1978-1984, the big righty recorded double-digit win totals every year and posted a 3.91 ERA in 206 games.  In 1984, the 34-year-old veteran won a career-best 17 games and formed a formidable trio of hurlers, along with Jack Morris and Dan Petry, who went 54-27 with a 3.59 ERA in 103 starts to lead the Tigers to their first World Series title since 1968.  Wilcox was brilliant in the postseason, going 2-0 while allowing only one earned run in 14 innings.

After one last season in Detroit in 1985 and a partial season with Seattle in ’86, Wilcox hung up his major league spikes for good.

Click here to see a video of an interview we did with Milt Wilcox.

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