Legend and World Series champion with Tigers, Bill Freehan, dies

Bill Freehan, the 11-time MLB All-Star catcher and a mainstay of the Detroit Tigers team that won the 1968 World Series, has died. He was 79 years old.

“With great regret that all of us at the Detroit Tigers extend our condolences to the friends and family of Bill Freehan,” the team said Thursday. The cause of death was not disclosed. But family members had said in recent years that Freehan suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

Freehan spent his entire career with the Tigers, from 1961 to 1976. Apart from his appearances in the All-Star Game – he played all 15 innings of the 1967 classic – he was awarded the Gold Glove five times. “He was the best catcher I ever had. … Nobody beat him, “said Denny McLain, the pitcher who won 31 games for the Tigers in 1968.

In Game 5 of the 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Freehan blocked the plate on a crucial play and threw out Lou Brock. Detroit won the game and the series – a result that was engraved with the famous photo of pitcher Mickey Lolich leaping to hug his jubilant catcher at the end of Game 7.

Freehan’s family suspects that Alzheimer’s disease had something to do with the shocks he suffered in his years as a player. A grandson, Blaise Salter, resigned from the minor leagues in 2018 after two concussions in eight months.

Ed White / Associated Press

Gabriel Delgado

I started as a rookie on Al Bat in early 2018 and am going for my third season covering Major League Baseball as a web reporter. I am a fan of the San Francisco Giants, a number one defender of Barry Bonds and a critic of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña are the future of baseball, Mike Trout is overrated, and the Astros deserved to be taken away from the World Series for cheating. Besides baseball, I also enjoy soccer, football, basketball, and just about any other game that includes a ball or a ball. I am also an amateur musician, penniless gamer and very nerdy. Graduated in journalism from the University of Guadalajara, I graduated in 2017. Born in the shrimp capital of the world, Escuinapa, Sinaloa. I lived in Australia for a while; i survived giant spiders, tasmanian devils and fought a kangaroo and didn’t die trying.

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