Brookens first became Detroit's third baseman in 1980, and, as the decade progressed,
alternately fended off challengers for his job and served in a utility role. A mediocre
fielder, he led the AL in errors at 3B in 1980 and 1985, and tied an AL 3B record
on September 6, 1980 with four errors in an inning. Though short on power and struggling
to hit over .240, his clutch, heads-up play and team-first attitude kept him on Detroit
clubs that saw post-season action in 1984 and 1987. Tom's twin brother, Tim, played
in the Tigers organization, and their cousin, Ed "Ike" Brookens, pitched briefly
with Detroit in 1975.