Tonight I am giving the keynote speech to the Madonna University baseball team in Livonia and there is a rumor former Tiger Denny McLain is going to show up. It will be interesting to see one of Detroit’s most controversial figures. He also enjoyed a season that nobody in this town will touch. And that includes current Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
McLain won 31 games in 1968 in leading the Tigers to the World Series. He only won once in the World Series where lefty Mickey Lolich (three wins) took over and became the Tigers ace during a thrilling seven-game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. McLain went through a number of legal problems that landed him in jail.
He is also one of Detroit’s great story tellers because he has a lot of stories to tell.
Today, in baseball they tell pitchers to keep the ball low. McLain used to get people out with the high, hard one. He threw the fastball at your chest and dared you to catch up with it. Often that happened because McLain gave up a bunch of home runs. But he also pieced together nights where nobody could touch him.
He was my Justin Verlander as a child.
## What will the speech be about? I cannot tell you that. Let’s keep things a surprise but let’s just say Prince Fielder will be a part of it.
#It feels good to help out and it is fun to have a good time in the process.
That is why it was a pleasure to help The Heating and Warmth Fund (THAW) that is sponsored every year by WWJ-950 AM. I was a celebrity bartender and a bunch of followers from the radio station and Detroit News showed up for a couple of drinks and to help out. Thank you for showing up and thanks for the tips.
There were several fundraisers across the city the past week that all helped in the cause. We’ve had a mild winter but we still must help those who cannot pay their heating bills. That is what THAW does. My only problem is I wish organizers told me earlier so we could promote it and raise more money.
Maybe next year.