Jack Tighe

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John Thomas Tighe
Detroit Tigers
Born: August 9, 1913 (1913-08-09)
Kearny, New Jersey
Died: August 1, 2002 (2002-08-01)
Pompano Beach, Florida
Middle Atlantic League debut
1936, for the Charleston Senators

John Thomas Tighe (August 9, 1913 (1913-08-09) — August 1, 2002 (2002-08-01)), pronounced "tie", was an American coach, manager and scout for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.


Born in Kearny, New Jersey, Tighe joined the professional ranks in 1936 as a catcher with the Charleston Senators,[1] a Detroit farm club in the Class C Middle Atlantic League. A right-handed batter, he rose no further as a player than Class A1, two levels below the major leagues, with the Beaumont Exporters of the Texas League in 1938–39.

The following season, Tighe became a manager in the minor leagues. In 1940 & 1941, Tighe was player-manager of the Muskegon Clippers, a Michigan State League Tiger farm club.[1] He was a Detroit coach for the latter half of the 1942 American League season, then resumed his minor league managerial career from 1944–53.[2] In 1948, Tighe was assigned to be the first manager of the Flint Arrows in the Central League.[3]

He was again named to the Tigers' coaching staff in 1955–56, and replaced his boss, Bucky Harris, as Detroit's manager following the 1956 season. Tighe led the Tigers to a 78–76, fourth-place finish in 1957, but when Detroit faltered (21–28) early during the 1958 campaign, he was released in favor of Bill Norman.[1] Tighe's career managing record: 99 wins, 104 defeats (.488).

He later managed and scouted in the Milwaukee Braves organization before returning to the Tigers' farm system, winning the 1967 Governors' Cup championship[4] and the 1968 International League regular season championship at the helm of the Toledo Mud Hens.[1] He served full-time with the Detroit Tigers system until 1982 then under various capacities until 1990.[1]

Jack Tighe died at age 88 on August 1, 2002 (2002-08-01), eight days short of his 89th birthday in Pompano Beach, Florida.[1]

Lie Detector

Umpire Max Felerski ejected Buffalo manager Jack Tighe on Aug. 8, 1953. The umpire said the manager spit on him. The manager said he didn't. However, the league chose to take Max Felerski side and suspended him indefinitely.

In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence Tighe and three Buffalo players consulted to take a polygraph test at a Buffalo police station.

"Did you deliberately spit on Max Felerski?" The polygraph testor asked.

"I did curse and I may have sputtered, but I didn't spit. I wouldn't spit on a dog" Tighe answered.

The entire polygraph process took two hours and Tighe answer was found to be truthful. As a result, his indefinite suspension was rescinded:

"Three Buffalo players who had been involved in the argument also submitted to the tests", the 1954 Sporting News Baseball Guide reported. "Tighe and his three players all denied the manager deliberately spit at the arbiter, and the polygraph showed all questions were answered truthfully. League president Frank Shaughnessy lifted Tighe's indefinite suspension."


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Former Tigers' Manager Jack Tighe Dead at 88". The Bryan Times. AP. August 3, 2002. p. 10. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  2. Spink, J.G. Taylor, Rickart, Paul A., and Abramovich, Joe, Official 1956 Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1956, page 287
  3. Adams, Dominic (May 1, 2015). "1 comment Flint joins Baltimore on list of pro baseball games with single-digit attendance". The Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  4. Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3. 

External links