In the annals of professional baseball, there’s really only one Mickey. Except, perhaps, in Detroit.
While the vast majority of baseball fans immediately think of New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle—and rightly so, since that Mickey clubbed 536 home runs and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974—Detroiters would be hard pressed to pick any other Mickey but their own: Mickey Lolich.
Dodge rewarded Lolich and his young family (wife Joyce and three-year-old daughter Kim) with a “10-day camping tour of the country.” A photographer tagged along, and Dodge turned the vacation into an advertising brochure for its 1969 Dodge Trailblazer Sweepstakes. Lolich and family appeared to enjoy themselves, but the trip wasn’t exactly as it seemed ... Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
"Detroiters would be hard pressed to pick any other Mickey but their own: Mickey Lolich."
My late mother, a native Detroiter who grew up in the 1920s and '30s, would more likely have picked catcher Mickey Cochrane, who, as player-manager, won pennants for the Tigers in 1934 and 1935, winning the World Series in 1935.
BTW, I'd say that the real competition between Tigers and Yankees fans was not who had the best Mickey, but rather who was the better outfielder and slugger, Mickey Mantle or the recently departed Al Kaline. Mantle probably had more talent, but he wasted it. Kaline was more of a class act.
Speaking of classy acts, the Yankees stunk in 1968 and Mantle was retiring after the season, but the Tigers had respect for him. In a meaningless September game against the Yankees after the Tigers had already wrapped up the American League pennant, Denny McLain was on the mound. Mantle came up to bat, perhaps for the last time at Tiger Stadium. Backup catcher Jim Price was behind the plate and he gave Mantle a heads up that the next pitch was coming right down the middle. McLain grooved the pitch and grinned as Mantle put it in the seats. I'm an inveterate Yankee hater, but I still love that story.
GREAT cross-country, cross-marketing story. Advertisers need to return to showing folks enjoying their products. Would love to see that sort of collaboration happen again, exploring adventures in our beautiful and diverse countries (Canada and the US.) So much to see, and DO!
I'm tickled someone remembers Mickey Lolich. I was 12 years old, living in Grand Rapids, MI and delivering 70 copies the Detroit Free Press before dawn every morning. Completely hooked on the Tigers then, I got to read the latest each morning before heading out to throw the papers. Mickey Lolich was simply incredible, Denny McLain's 31-6 record got the Tigers to the Series, but Mickey Lolich brought it home with the incredible 3 complete series wins. Heady stuff for a 12 year old kid in GR.