Jan 11, 1971: Pitcher has heart attack
Submitted by BTGrimes on Fri, 01/11/2013 - 10:00am
Cardiac doesn't slow Hiller
DULUTH, MINNESOTA - Detroit Tiger pitcher John Hiller suffered a heart attack at his home in Duluth, Minnesota on this date in 1971. He was just 27-years old. Hiller recovered, and amazingly, despite missing the entire 1971 season, had better years after the heart attack than before.
The Canadian native broke in with the Tigers in 1965. The most games he won before his heart attack was nine, the most saves he had (Hiller was mostly a reliever) was four. After returning to baseball Hiller won ten games and had thirty-eight saves in 1973. He won seventeen games in '74 - all in relief, an American League record - and had twelve wins in '76.
Hiller's entire 15-year career was with Detroit. He finished with 87 wins and 76 losses and a sparkling earned run average of 2.83.
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