Pro Perspective: Jim Price
Photo credit: Detroit Tigers
I'm sad to report that Mr. Price passed away on August 7, 2023. The below post was written in 2018. RIP Mr. Price
From Pennsylvania to Detroit
Jim Price was born on October 13, 1941 in Harrisburg, PA. He was a good athlete and was offered multiple Football scholarships coming out of Hershey High School (in Hershey, PA). However, Jim turned them down to play Baseball.
He was signed in 1960 by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and labored in the minor leagues for a number of years. Jim's contract was eventually purchased by the Detroit Tigers.
Price made his big league debut for the Tigers on opening day 1967, in a game against the California Angels. He would go on to serve as the primary back-up catcher to perennial all star Bill Freehan.
In 1968, Price was a member of a Tigers team that won the World Series in seven games over the St. Louis Cardinals. Jim appeared in 68 games for the Tigers that year, and got 2 at bats in the World Series.
He spent his entire MLB career with the Tigers, ending his tenure with them (as a player) after the 1971 season. Jim's best season came in 1969, where he hit .234 in 192 at bats with a career high 9 home runs (0.2 WAR).
For his career, he appeared in 180 MLB games behind the plate, threw out 31 attempted base stealers, and collected 129 hits and 18 home runs.
When his playing career ended, Jim got into broadcasting. In the late 90's he became the color commentator for the Detroit Tigers Radio Network, where he still works today. He is now known by many for his voice and anecdotes on the air.
Q&A with Jim
Jim is a former big league catcher with over 1,300 innings of MLB playing time under his belt. He has played with many MLB all stars - names like Al Kaline, Bill Freehan, and Willie Horton.
I wrote Jim a few months back hoping to get his perspective on my three key questions for catchers. He kindly answered my questions, as you can read below.
Like the others in the Pro Perspective series, I wanted to share these responses with the readers of Catchers Home with the hope that Price's input will help catchers eager to improve their game.
Here are his responses to my questions, as you will also notice in the image below.
Question 1: What is your favorite memory from playing in the major leagues?
Answer: Winning the WS (World Series) 1968
Question 2: What do you think is the most important skill that a catcher should have?
Answer: Handle the pitches
Question 3: If you could give one piece of advice to young catchers hoping to play at the next level, what would it be?
Answer: Work on your foot and glove work
Jim provides some practical advice for catchers to work on their foot and glove work. Working on things like setting up, blocking, receiving, framing, etc. Combine skills in this area with the leadership intangibles that many other former pro's have advocated for and you'll be in good shape.
Thanks for Reading
We have more Pro Perspectives ready to share with you and they'll continue to be released in the following weeks and months. Be on the lookout for them!