3B-2B-SS Tigers , Yankees
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.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» August 20, 1980:
Tom Brookens, the Tigers' number-8 hitter, goes 5-for-5 with a triple and a home run and also starts a triple play in an 8–6 win over Milwaukee. |
» June 6, 1985: Jimmy Key holds the Tigers hitless for eight innings before Tom Brookens leads off the 9th with a single, but gets no decision in Toronto's eventual 2–0, 12-inning win. Key and Tigers starter Dan Petry each pitch 10 shutout innings.
» September 11, 1987:
Detroit's Tom Brookens homers in the 5th off Ted Higuera, snapping the Brewer pitchers' scoreless streak of 32 innings. Higuera's mark tops Ray Searage's team record of 30 innings (August 26, 1984 - April 19, 1985). The Brewers rally for four runs in the 8th to top the Tigers.
» January 22, 1988: As a result of the Players' Association's 1985 collusion suit against the owners, arbitrator Thomas Roberts declares seven players no-risk free agents until March 1st, giving them a chance to sign with other clubs despite already having contracts. The seven are Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, Donnie Moore, Joe Niekro, Butch Wynegar, Tom Brookens, and Juan Beniquez.