Saturday, February 11, 2017

NHL/MLB news: Tigers, Wings owner Ilitch passes away

Ilitch (middle) with Stanley Cup.
  Today we mourn the death of Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. Ilitch was born on July 20th, 1929. In 1952, he became an infielder for the Jamestown Falcons, a Tigers affiliate. While playing for Single A Charlotte (an affiliate for the then Washington Senators), Ilitch injured his knee, ending his career. In 1959, he founded Little Caesars Pizza, making him a billionaire. In 1982, Ilitch acquired the Wings, and did the same with the Tigers 10 years later in 1992. The Wings currently have a 25 year streak of making the playoffs, lifting the Stanley Cup four times. The Tigers made the playoffs 5 times with Ilitch as owner, but no matter how hard he tried, Ilitch failed to bring a 5th World Series to the city of Detroit. "I worked for Mr. I as both a player and as a manager. I can honestly say it was an honor to work for a man who made winning the priority," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Baseball is a business, but Mr. I was a baseball player who became a businessman. He loved baseball, and my memories will always be centered around the passion with which he talked about." Many Red Wings and Tigers players tweeted out their condolences to the Ilitch family. The Red Wings are going to play in a new arena next season - Little Caesars arena. Ilitch was 87 years old.

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