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Bill Freehan Newsbeat

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Detroit Tigers great Bill Freehan dies at age 79 after long battle with Alzheimer’s disease

Former Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan, a perennial All-Star and the quiet leader of 1968 world champions, has died at age 79 the team announced on Thursday. Freehan had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years, spending the last few years in under hospice care in his northern Michigan home.

Freehan is best remembered for the 1968 championship season when he caught 155 regular-season games, nearly all of Denny McLain’s 31 victories, before handling World Series MVP Mickey Lolich’s three complete-game victories. As the runner-up to McLain for the American League MVP award that year, Freehan posted career highs in home runs (25), RBIs (84) and runs scored (73).

“Longtime Tiger, arguably the best catcher in the history of the organization and deep Michigan roots,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said before Thursday’s game against the Angels at Comerica Park. “Condolences to his family and all the Tiger fans. (Pitching coach) Chris Fetter actually coached his grandson at the University of Michigan. Anybody that’s been around the organization for a long time, Al (Avila, general manager) and the group upstairs, (third base coach) Ramon Santiago, we were just talking about it inside, has a heavy heart today. A true Tiger.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: bill freehan, obituaries, tigers

 

 

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