Two-time 20-game winner Lary dies at 87

Right-hander, nemesis to Yankees, was All-Star in 1960, '61

December 15th, 2017

Frank Lary, a two-time 20-game winner who was victorious 123 times during parts of 11 seasons with the Tigers, died Wednesday in his hometown of Northport, Ala. He was 87.

Lary spent 12 years in the Major Leagues and was named to the American League All-Star team in 1960 (both games) and '61. He led the AL with 21 wins in 1956, was 23-9 with a Major League-leading 22 complete games in '61 and went 117-83 from 1955-61.

He placed third in Major League Cy Young Award voting, behind the Yankees' Whitey Ford and the Braves' Warren Spahn, in '61. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-hander was best known for his performances against the Yankees. He went 28-13 with a 3.32 ERA in 56 career appearances (49 starts) against New York.

Lary attended Tuscaloosa County High School before pitching for the University of Alabama, helping the Crimson Tide reach the College World Series in 1950.

"The Detroit Tigers are saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Lary," the Tigers said in a statement. "A three-time All-Star and a Gold Glove winner in 1961, Frank spent 11 years of his 12-year Major League career in Detroit. The Tigers organization extends our deepest sympathies to Frank's wife, Mary Lary , and their family."

Lary's big league career was delayed a bit as he served in the U.S. military during the Korean War. He debuted for the Tigers in 1954 at age 24 and went on to go 128-116 with a 3.49 ERA across 2,162 1/3 career innings.

His performances waned after the '61 season and he had stints with the Mets, Milwaukee Braves and White Sox over the final two years of his career.