The first major league baseball game I ever saw - up close and personal - was at Tiger Stadium in the summer of 1968. So, I have a soft spot for those amazing '68 Tigers who, later that fall, became the World Series Champions.
I love me some Al Kaline. Some Bill Freehan. Some Willie Horton.
Some Stormin' Norman Cash. Some Mickey Lolich. Some Gates Brown.
In fact, my love for the 1968 Detroit Tigers is close to par with my love for the 2004 Boston Red Sox!
Which is why this is a sombre day at the HBWHOF - former Tigers' outfielder Jim Northrup died on Wednesday.
Northrup passed away after having a seizure at an assisted living facility in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He had been at the facility for about a month suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He was 71.
In Game 7 of the 1968 World Series the game was deadlocked in a scoreless tie until the 7th inning when Jim Northrup hit a triple off
St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Bob Gibson and scored Norm Cash and Willie Horton. Detroit went on to win 4-1.
In that magic season of '68, Northrup hit 21 homers. Four of them were Grand Slams.
He also hit a Slam in Game 6 of the World Series to help the Tigers beat the Cards 13-1.
Jim Northrup's nickname was the 'Gray Fox' because of his premature gray hair.
Born in Breckenridge, Michigan, Northrup signed with Detroit in 1960 and played for the Tigers from 1964-74, finishing his career with the Montreal Expos (1974) and Baltimore Orioles (1974-75).