The Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America voted Victor Martinez their Tiger of the Year in 2014, the club announced this afternoon. Martinez received 17 of 21 first place votes, with no other player receiving more than one.
Martinez placed himself in the thick of the American League MVP race by hitting .335/.409/.565 in 641 plate appearances this season. He hit a career high 32 home runs and drove in 103 RBI, the fifth time he has topped the century mark in his career. Martinez was worth 4.4 WAR, the highest total for a designated hitter since David Ortiz in 2007.
The Tiger of the Year honor was first awarded in 1965 to Don Wert, who had a .704 OPS and finished 10th in the AL MVP voting. Since then, the award has gone to a who's who of Tigers greats -- many of whom appeared on our Top 50 Tigers countdown last year. Well, except for some lean years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Steve Sparks, Randall Simon, and Dmitri Young certainly represented some lean years in Motown.
It was the first time Martinez has won the award, and he was the first Tiger not named Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander to win the award since 2007.