Friday, October 17, 2014

Celebrate Willie Horton Day with the Navin Field Grounds Crew

Willie Horton, Tiger Stadium, 1969 (photo via Detroit Athletic Company)

Former Tiger Willie Horton is a legend in this town — and for good reason.

Raised on the city's west side the youngest of 21 children, Horton signed with his hometown Detroit Tigers as a teenager out of Northwestern High and wore the Old English D for 15 seasons.

The stocky left fielder hit 325 career home runs, and helped lead the Tigers to victory in the 1968 World Series.

In 2004, Governor Jennifer Granholm declared October 18 Willie Horton Day throughout the state of Michigan, in honor of Horton's outstanding career, both on and off the playing field.

This year, on his 72nd birthday, the Navin Field Grounds Crew will celebrate the 11th annual Willie Horton Day with a baseball game at Horton's old stomping grounds, Navin Field (site of old Tiger Stadium), on Saturday, October 18, at 2 p.m. 

Nate Moore and the Men's Senior Baseball League will play nine innings of hardball, and afterward, the MSBL and the Navin Field Grounds Crew will celebrate Horton's life and legacy with a birthday cake in left field.

Left field is where Horton made his famous throw in Game 5 of the 1968 World Series to cut down St. Louis's Lou Brock in the pivotal play of the game. That momentous play changed not only the course of the game, but the face of the Series itself, as the Tigers rallied from behind to beat the Cardinals in seven games.

Last fall, the NFGC honored Horton by re-creating his famous throw at Navin Field, which Lindsay Berra wrote about for

Please join us in Corktown Saturday afternoon as we celebrate the birth of one of America's greatest living ballplayers, Detroit's own Willie Horton.