Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Guest Book Covers

In May, JayHawk Evans, Cuzz Gekas and I trekked to Novi (MI) for the Motor City Comic Con. We also saw the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox in extra innings. Before the game, we got to meet Willie Horton, a former star with the Tigers.
I am always excited about meeting former players, but Cuzz was especially happy. Cuzz has been a lifelong fan of the Tigers. The 1968 World Series is one of his favorite sports moments.
Before the game, Horton was selling and signing his book, Willie Horton:The People's Champion. We could not miss this opportunity.
After reading the book, Cuzz offered to provide Johngy's Beat with his thoughts. I gladly accepted his offer.
Willie Horton was the Detroit Tigers left fielder on their 1968 World Championship team. As a Tigers fan, I can vividly remember following that team as they beat the favored St. Louis Cardinals and Bob Gibson four games to three in the Fall Classic. Horton was a feared slugger who hit 325 career homeruns in a pitcher-friendly era and was a four time All-Star. While I knew much of Horton's on field accomplishments, his autobiography, Willie Horton:The People's Champion, offered great insight into the man both personally and professionally.
Horton was raised in Detroit and starred at Northwestern High School before signing with the Tigers in 1961. As a result, he always had a strong attachment to the city. While a player in 1967, he attempted to quell the race riots that ravaged much of Detroit and made efforts to promote racial harmony in the city. Most impressive are his tireless charitable efforts, much of it for the benefit of youth organizations, community groups and public schools in Detroit. Horton also was the consummate teammate and to this day remains close friends with many former Tigers such as Hall of Famer Al Kaline (who wrote the forward for the book), Mickey Stanley and Gates Brown.
The book is a great read tha
t follows Horton's playing career and his life after baseball in great detail. It is well-written (with respected journalist Kevin Allen) and after reading he book, I became an even bigger fan of Willie Horton.
Willie Horton, Cuzz Gekas and me in Detroit, MI-May 2010.

No comments: