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Detroit Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch Dies at 87

Detroit Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch Dies at 87 Image via AP Photo/Carlos Osorio


Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch dies at 87 years old

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has died at age 87. Ilitch purchased the Tigers in 1992 and moved the team to their current home ballpark, Comerica Park in 2000. Five years later, Comerica would be home to the MLB All-Star Game, and one year later, would see the Tigers make the postseason for the first time since 1987. That year, the Tigers made it all the way to the World Series before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In addition to returning the Tigers to the postseason, Ilitch was instrumental in bringing big name free agents Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander to Detroit.

Since Ilitch’s purchase in 1992, the Tigers have made the postseason five times after making the postseason only 11 times from 1907-1987.

In addition to his ownership of the Tigers, Ilitch was also the owner and founder of the Little Caesars pizza chain. Little Caesars has transformed into one of America’s biggest chains since 1959 when Ilitch and his wife began the chain.

Even before founding the chain, Ilitch played professional baseball. Over the course of four years, Ilitch played for the Tigers, New York Yankees, and Washington Senators. Four years after a knee injury forced him from the sport, Ilitch founded Little Caesars and the rest is history.

Mike Ilitch had a passion for the game of baseball that he showed through his management of the Detroit Tigers. He took a team that was floundering, and turned them into a postseason contender year in and year out. With big names like Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, and Victor Martinez on the roster, Ilitch leaves the Tigers in great hands.

Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian had been married since 1955 and had seven kids.

Ilitch will be missed, not only in the baseball community, but all around sports and the city of Detroit.