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#pounditFriday, March 31, 2023

Ex-Tigers manager Jim Leyland ‘crushed’ by Ilitich’s death

Jim Leyland

The words of former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland show just how many Detroit sports fans feel about the death of Mike Ilitch.

Ilitch, the Little Caesars Pizza co-founder and owner of the Red Wings and Tigers, died on Friday at the age of 87. The Wings were a power under his watch, winning four Stanley Cups, while his spending helped turn the Tigers into a contender from a laughingstock.

Leyland was the manager of the Tigers from 2006-2013 during the franchise’s best years with Ilitch as owner. Ilitch notably spent big money on the team because his dream was for the team to win a World Series before his death. Leyland says he is “crushed” over Ilitch’s death.

The Tigers went from being losers in 12 of Ilitch’s first 13 seasons as owner to only having one losing season under Leyland. They reached the World Series twice during Leyland’s tenure as manager, including in his first season in 2006. Unfortunately they lost in the Fall Classic twice and the ALCS twice and were unable to deliver Ilitch his coveted World Series.


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