William Ashley Freehan (born November 29, 1941) is a former catcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire 15-year career with the Detroit Tigers. The premier catcher in the American League for several years from the 1960s into the early 1970s, he was named an All-Star in each of the eleven seasons in which he caught at least 75 games, and was the MVP runnerup with the 1968 champions for his handling of a pitching staff that included Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain, who became the first 30-game winner in the majors since 1934. A five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Freehan held the major league record for highest career fielding percentage (.9933) until 2002, and also the records for career putouts (9,941) and total chances (10,734) from 1975 until the late 1980s; he ranked ninth in major league history in games caught (1,581) at the end of his career. His career totals of 200 home runs and 2,502 total bases placed him behind only Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey among AL catchers when he retired.
- ^ Bill Freehan at Baseball Reference
- ^ American League Gold Glove Award winners at Baseball Reference
- ^ Career Fielding Leaders at Encyclopedia of Baseball
By Dean Hanley
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