Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper by Ancestryprint logo
Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 11
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • Page 11

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

A- -a i. VH Kcsday, Acgust 23, 1978 SPORTS PEOPLE FOR THE RECORD TIGER AVERAGES Andretti wins Dutch Piix America's Mario Andretti drove his Lotus to victory in the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday, leading from start to finish, and virtually locked up the 1978 Formula 1 world title. Only teammate Ronnie Peterson has a chance to catch him. Page 7 Ucns 2C3 fscts Lions' coach Monte Clark is facing some unpleasant facts as he prepares his team for the opening of the regular season next Sunday. Page 5 IS 1 DETROIT FREE PRESS GOLF ROUNDUP HORSE RACING ...9.

-Q J3 1 4 i 4 wy ttSUi wr iitf 11 i i l- )S 1 bri'lmnIM llHWlf milMWwSilillMlMllMIWil.l film I MIIMIllMrtHiBBTTTTrTTT--n A vw i-v -l 9 Nfc. fcflfe 1Wf. Fret Press Photos by CRAIG PORTER The 1968 Detroit Tigers, who brought the World Championship home where it belongs, get together again Sunday to be presented with commemorative plates inscribed with their names. Thanks for the memories guy Like fine wine, fantasv 11 Beatles? Tigers of '68 were Motown' big hit By JOE LAPOINTE Free Press Sports Writer Strange year 1968, the year the Tigers won the championship they commemorated Sunday. "Members of the Class of 68, in their double-knit slacks, their white belts and their white shoes, lined up across the infield at Tiger Stadium on a sweltering afternoon.

Announcer Ernie Harwell introduced them with corny poetry while 43,478 cheering nostalgia buffs said thanks for the memories. Missing, of course, were Denny McLain and Mickey Lolich, their two hero pitchers. A boycott was an appropriate way for Sunday's two no-shows to remember '68, a year everybody did his own thing and baseball seemed to be the only touchstone of stability. It was a year Broadway featured "Hair," a musical starring the nude bodies of what were then called hippies. Martin Luther King was murdered during spring training, Robert F.

Kennedy was murdered the night Mickey Lolich beat Cleveland and Chicago police clubbed demonstrators at the Democratic convention while Dick McAuliffe sat out a suspension for attacking a pitcher. In October, the Olympics were held in Mexico City. Back then, Cassius Clay (who called himself Muhammad Ali) promised to regain the heavyweight title that had been stripped from him because the fighter wouldn't fight for his country. It was the month the Beatles sang "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" on the Smothers Brothers television show. It was the month Tigers won the World Series for the first (and last) time since 1945.

Wtvm- I Talking over old times at Sunday's reunion are members of the Tigers' 1968 championship team (from left) Eddie Mathews, Gates Brown, Norm Cash, Pat Dobson and Bill Freehan. True to form, OV Denny is a 'no-show' TO CELEBRATE, downtown office workers in their white shirts, wide ties and mini skirts clogged the streets with kisses and confetti for two big parties: One for the pennant, another for the Series. Ron LeFlore didn't have time to attend either the games or the victory bashes. He was busy, on the East Side. "In 1968," said LeFlore, "I was a thief." Kip Young was a teenage farm boy in Ohio.

"I was 13 years old." he said. "I followed baseball, but Please turn to Page 6D Hiller, Tigers get reunion fever, 4-2 By JIM HAWKINS Free Press Sports Writer More than anything else Sunday, John Hiller wanted to show off in front of his 1968 teammates, to prove to his pals seated in the stands that he could still pitch. And when he got the chance, the veteran lefthander certainly made the most of it. Summoned in the seventh inning when Jim Slaton began to struggle, Hiller shut Milwaukee out the rest of the way to of '68 Tigers need aging If they had brought back Gehringer, Greenberg, Rogell and guys like that just the few who survive from 1935 then they really would have had a grabber. The harsh truth, though, is that I do not get all that turned on not yet, anyway, about 1968, which the Tigers celebrated in reunion Sunday.

Try me in another 15 years. I mean, golden anniversaries are treasures and silver is very nice, but 10 is tin. The best of times, the best memories, need years to mature, you see, and 1968 is like last New Year's Eve too recent to become legendary or even fable, or worthy of more than casual recall. "I think we're beginning to sound a lot better than we were," Al Kaline confided to a microphone. So you see 1968 is getting there.

By 1993 the 25th anniversary of the world champion Tigers the players will have grown to historic stature. Those of us still around will be able to romanticize and eulogize the least of them without challenge. I think Joe Falls had the ideal approach a year or so ago, when he suggested the Tigers create an "old-timer's one embracing all of their alumni great. Did Gehringer ever err? For whatever reason, the Tigers settled on a 10th anniversary celebration of their last championship. But you suspect, do you not, that the 1968 gang Cash, Kaline and the rest would be in the shadows of Gehringer, Greenberg and even Rogell, men from the dim and thus gloried past.

To show you, I don't recall in truth Charlie Gehringer ever making an error or Greenberg striking out when a big hit was need. You see how fantasy evolves over the years. By the year 2000, we will have Ray Oyler as the most dangerous .200 sticker in baseball history. The 1968 Tigers have not had benefit yet of maturing, fading memory. They were yesterday's heroes, but the truly cherished belong to yesteryear.

They need some aging, and I am willing to wait. Not that I would shut off the bar for anybody's party. Actually, it was okay and in fact a very nice day Sunday at the ballyard. They set a string of 31 chairs acrosss the pitching path, facing home plate, and announcer Ernie Harwell made the introductions with occasional rhymes. The big crowd appreciated it all, showing its most enthusiastic response to the introductions of exiled and homesick Willie Horton, the retired Bill Freehan and Kaline, and still active Mickey Stanley.

Speaking for his teammates, Kaline said: "I want to thank the fans for remembering." You notice in baseball, they always make sure to thank the fans. Other sports neglect to do that. Club owner John Fetzer presented each of the players with a gold-plated dish commemorating the anniversary of their championship more properly, of course, it should have been a tin plate and he, too, thanked the fans, promising a new winner eventually. 'Big 3' were sorely missed Everybody seemed to enjoy it, which is all that counts, I suppose. Especially the old teammates seemed to enjoy it.

Most had arrived in town last Friday, and their weekend was filled with a round of parties where they recounted and relived their one most memorable year. Missing, though, were the three men most impotant to the 1968 team manager Mayo Smith, who died last winter, and pitchers Mickey Lolich and Denny McLain. So it was like a dance without the band. McLain won 31 games for the Tigers in their pennant run and Lolich, the paunchy lefthander, took them the rest of the way with three victories over the Carrdinals in the World Serries. Lolich now is with the San Diego Padrres.

He pitched Saturday night on the coast, and had not been expected at the reunion. McLain was something else, as usual. He simply didn't show. Nobody knew why, "We talked to him last Monday," said Dan Ewald, Who was handling arrrangements for it all. "He said he would come up from Lakeland (where he is in business)." Actually, it was a bit surprising Denny agreed to come at all, because while he had many happy times and high achievement herre, he also experienced his most distressing moments.

Remember that in 1969, apparently with fortune in hand Please turn to Page 6D By JIM HAWKINS Free Press Sports Writer The last 10 years may have taken their toll on some of the 1968 Tigers, but they certainly haven't changed Denny McLain. Denny is still Denny as unpredictable as ever. Although he had promised as recently as 10 days ago that he would return to Detroit for the 10-year reunion of the Tigers' 1968 World Championship team, McLain was conspicu 111 More pictures on back page Denny McLain ii. iim limn wimm.nn i mmw yap mi ously absent at Tiger Stadium Sunday afternoon. In fact, he and Mickey Lolich were the only two players missing as 43,478 Tiger fans paid tribute to the men who brought this town its last world title.

Cosmos hang onto crown preserve the Tigers 4-2 victory over the Brewers and send 43,478 sentimental spectators home satisfied. "After that performance," laughed the 35-year-old relief ace, who has now saved 11 games, "we may have seven pitchers of that '68 club come down here and try out for the team. They'll figure if I can get away with it, they can still pitch, too." HOWEVER, Lolich had a valid excuse. He pitched, and won, Saturday night in San Diego for his present employers, the San Diego Padres. And there was no way The Mick could have made it to Detroit for Sunday's ceremonies and celebration, even if the Padres had given him permission to take the day off.

But no one knew for certain where McLain was Sunday not even his wife, Sharon, who had planned to fly to Detroit from Florida Saturday to join him at the reunion. McLain, who has been commuting between Denver, Salt Lake City and Phoenix on business lately, had assured the committee in charge of arranging the reunion that he would fly to Detroit from Denver on Saturday. He said he planned to return to Denver following the ceremonies Sunday. Ironically, the committee spent more time and money Please turn to Page 3D EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Dennis Tueart scored two goals and Giorgio Chinaglia scored one Sunday, carrying the Cosmos to a 3-1 triumph over the Tampa Bay Rowdies for their second consecutive North American Soccer League championship.

The Rowdies played without leading scorer Rodney Marsh, scratched from the game when spike wounds in his right leg suffered Wednesday in the American Conference championship against Fort Lauderdale became infected. Tampa Bay managed to contain the Cosmos' potent offense until 30:42, when Tueart 1 0 yards to the right of the goal converted a cross-field pass from Steve Hunt for his fifth goal of the playoffs and a 1-0 lead before 74,901 frenzied fans at Giants Stadium. Chinaglia, the, league's leading scorer with 34 goals in Please turn to Page 8D ACTUALLY, the Tigers' triumph Sunday, which brought a fitting climax to the weekend reunion of their 1968 team, was made possible by a couple of kids who were still in grade school when the '68 Tigers came from behind to upend the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Second baseman Sweet Lou Whitaker, the American League's leading candidate for Rookie of Year, personally accounted for three runs with a couple of clutch singles while his sidekick, first-year shortstop Alan Trammell, knocked in the Tigers' only other run off Milwaukee's Lary Sorensen, himself a lifelong Tiger fan.

But Hiller was the one who got excited about it. "Maybe I was a little too hyped, really," admitted Hiller, who, ironically, 10 Free Press Photo by CRAIG PORTER Lou Whitaker is out at second, but knocks Brewers' shortstop Robin Yount offstride just enough so that his throw to first base is too late to double up Rusty Staub in the fifth inning Sunday. The Tigers treated their 1 968 champions to a 4-2 victory. a little wild. I just seem to settle down.

couldn't at the Plaza Hotel, Hiller got very little sleep Saturday night. But for a somewhat years ago Sunday, lost a game to the Chicago White Sox in the middle of the Tigers' pursuit of the '68 pennant. "I really wanted to get into that game. Maybe that's why I was different reason. Because of a liver disorder, Please turn to Page 6D LIKE MANY OF the '68 Tigers, who were the guests of the ballclub at a gala party 1 m0tm0Uk.

ii a..

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Detroit Free Press
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About Detroit Free Press Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: