The Good, Bad and Ugly of Sports Personalities in Detroit Folklore
Today on the mind of the Mad Dog I have chosen a great topic. Who were the bad boys and good boys in the history of Detroit professional sports?
Let’s start with the good boys. First, my leadoff hitter would be Hank Greenberg. He played first baseman for the Tigers in the 1930s and 1940s. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956. He also lost four seasons to World War 2.
Next up is one of my all-time favorites Al Kaline. He played his entire career right out of high school with the Tigers. He is a Hall of Famer and was just a perfect ballplayer. Then we have Alan Trammell. Just another perfect ballplayer who also is in the Hall of Fame. All of these men represented the Tiger organization so well.
Now let’s talk about hockey and the Detroit Red Wings. I have to say both of these men. First and foremost, let’s talk about one of the greatest NHL players ever. That would be Gordie Howe. He was rough and tough and sheer excellence. Then I have to say the second greatest Red Wing ever would be Steve Yzerman. He represented himself with outstanding fashion. Both are Hall of Famers and represented the NHL Wings Organization perfectly. Both played in different eras too.
In the basketball area, I’d have to put Dave Bing who played for the Pistons. He was a Hall of Famer and the former Mayor of Detroit. All of these great players that I have listed have never been in trouble either.
Now for the guys that were great players but got into trouble. First, from the Detroit Tigers, this man will go down in infamy as one of the greatest hitters and MLB players ever. His name was Tyrus Raymond Cobb. This man once pistol-whipped a local butcher in Detroit after he sent a bad piece of meat home with his wife. He had a bad reputation, but he sure could play ball.
Next up is a man who is on the Mad Dog Show a lot; his name is Denny McClain. Denny won 31 games in 1968. The Tigers won the World Series and he was the 1968 Cy Young winner and also was the 1968 AL MVP. Denny was in a lot of trouble after and during his career. Just read his book and you will find some things out.
Next up, this man played for the Detroit Red Wings. I'm talking about the late Bob Probert. Probert will go down as one of the toughest men that ever played in the NHL. He played hard and partied harder. I would have listed Dennis Rodman, but he didn’t blossom into an intense cat until he got to San Antonio and Chicago.
These are my good, bad and ugly personalities in Detroit sports history. Now of course you might have a difference of opinion. If you do, let us know.