Veryzer, former Tigers first-round pick, dies at 61

DETROIT -- Former Tigers shortstop and first-round pick Tom Veryzer passed away on Tuesday at the age of 61.

A native of Islip, N.Y., Veryzer was the 11th overall pick in the 1971 Draft and became the Tigers' regular shortstop in 1975 at the age of 22. A year later, Detroit used its second-round pick on Alan Trammell, who took over shortstop duties by the end of '77.

Soon after, the Tigers traded Veryzer to Cleveland, where he spent four seasons as the Indians shortstop. He kept on playing as a utility infielder until 1984, when his Major League career ended with the Cubs.

Veryzer batted .231 with 112 RBIs in 390 career games as a Tiger and .241 with 84 doubles, 14 home runs, 231 RBIs and a .577 OPS over 12 seasons in the Majors.

Veryzer is survived by his wife, Vivian, and three children -- Thomas, William and Jennifer. A viewing will be held Thursday at Overton Funeral Home in Islip, from 2-4:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m ET. A mass will be held on Friday at 9:45 a.m. at St. Macy's Roman Catholic Church.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.