All-Time Indians: Pat Tabler

Name: Patrick Sean Tabler     Position: First Base      
Nick Name: Mr. Clutch           Number: 10        
Tribe Time: 1983-1988         DOB: 02/02/1958      
Accolades: 1987 All-Star        
Stats G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG AVG OPS
Best Season (1987) 151 533 66 170 34 3 11 86 51 84 5 2 .369 .456 .319 .825
Career 707 2476 312 728 130 17 39 343 233 366 14 14 .356 .408 .294 .764

Pat Tabler had an odd way of getting to Cleveland, but once he did, he became one of the greatest first basemen in Indians history. Tabler played his first two Major League seasons with the Chicago Cubs, then was traded to the other side of Chicago in winter of 1983. Just prior to the start of the 1983 season, he was traded again, this time from the White Sox to the Indians in exchange for Jerry Dybzinski. The Indians already had Mike Hargrove and Andre Thornton at DH, but Tabler managed to get into 124 games between left field and third base. Despite the utility role, Tabler knocked in 57 runs, fifth best on the team.

He stayed in a similar situation in his second year, taking more at bats away from Hargrove at first and Toby Harrah at third. Tabler put up similar numbers that season as well, hitting another 20 doubles and batting .290 again while knocking in 68. In 1985, Tabler's offensive prowess finally earned him a more consistant role as he took over as the Indians regular first baseman, a job he would keep through 1987. 

Tabler never really blossomed into the elite hitter he looked like he could become early on, instead, dropping to a .275 hitter in 1985. He did flip things around in 1986 with a career high .326 average, but dropped to a career low 48 RBI. The following season, things finally came together. Tabler played more than 150 games for the first and only time in his career and knocked in a career high 86. His 11 home runs that year were also a career high and more than he would hit in his final five seasons combined. This lead to his first and only All-Star selection, where he was the fifth string first baseman and was used as a pinch-hitter.

As often happens, Tabler fell off the following season, batting a career low .224 in 41 games. Not willing to be patient despite his great 1987 season, the Indians traded Tabler to the Royals for Bud Black in what ended up being a great deal for the Tribe. Black only played one full season with the Indians, but his 32 starts with a 3.36 ERA was far greater than Tabler's dismal end of career returns. Tabler finished his career bouncing from the Royals to the Mets, then the Blue Jays, but never played more than half the games in a season again and never hit above .275 again. It turns out the Indians got extremely lucky with Tabler, getting him as soon as he was able to play in the Majors and letting him go when he was all used up.

Tabler retired from baseball in 1992 and decided to stay with the Blue Jays for the 1993 season as a studio analyst. He was promoted to full time TV color analyst on TSN in 2001, where he stayed exclusively until 2005, when he joined the Blue Jays other TV network, Rogers Sportsnet, where he continues to work to this day.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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