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Willie Horton: 23: Detroit's Own Willie the Wonder, the Tigers' First Black Great

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A compelling autobiography from one of Detroit's favorite sons

At 15, Willie Horton received his first contract offer to become a professional baseball player. At 20, he smacked his first major-league home run. At 24, Horton stood in full uniform on the hood of his car, in the midst of burning homes and overturned vehicles, and pleaded for an end to the violence of the 1967 Detroit riots.

In this new autobiography, Horton shares the fascinating story of his life and career, from growing up in Detroit's Jeffries Projects as the youngest of 21 children to winning a World Series with his hometown Tigers in 1968. Horton also candidly discusses the opposition he faced as a Black player, his fond memories of Al Kaline, the joy he felt in returning to the Tigers as a front office executive, and the many ways he still tries to give back to Detroit and his community.

By turns heartrending and hilarious, this timely chronicle is an essential contribution to baseball's written history.

ISBN-13: 9781629379784

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: Triumph Books

Publication Date: 07-12-2022

Pages: 256

Product Dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Willie Horton played 15 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, winning a World Series in 1968. His number was retired in 2000, and since 2003 Horton has worked with the Tigers' front office. Kevin Allen is a Michigan-based writer who spent 34 seasons as USA Today's hockey beat writer. He has written several books and co-authored memoirs by sports figures including Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick, Darren McCarty, Stu Grimson, and Mike Emrick.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jake Wood v

Foreword Mickey Stanley ix

Introduction xiii

Chapter 1 Pride and Prejudice 1

Chapter 2 Jake the Snake 11

Chapter 3 The Coward's Call 27

Chapter 4 Poppa's Rules 31

Chapter 5 Death on I-94 49

Chapter 6 Professor Gator 59

Chapter 7 Extra Cash, Nightly Poker, Light on the Mayo 71

Chapter 8 1967 89

Chapter 9 Sock It to 'Em 95

Chapter 10 Bob Gibson and the Start of the '68 World Series 105

Chapter 11 We Knew Lou Wouldn't Slide 109

Chapter 12 Time to Take a Stand 119

Chapter 13 Beanballs and Billy 127

Chapter 14 Goodbye, Motown 139

Chapter 15 My Other World Series 149

Chapter 16 Mull Digger Becomes the Ancient Mariner 159

Chapter 17 You Can Go Home Again 171

Chapter 18 Family 185

Chapter 19 Bird Left Our Nest 197

Chapter 20 Greenberg and Me 203

Chapter 21 The Capuchin Boycott 211

Chapter 22 Empty Seats 215