WMU News

Limited tickets available for Detroit Tigers luncheon

Jan. 14, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Area baseball enthusiasts will be able to hang out with some of their favorite Detroit Tigers during a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Fetzer Center on Western Michigan University's main campus in Kalamazoo.

Members of the public as well as WMU faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the event, at which several Tigers players, coaches and executives will discuss the upcoming season and mingle with fans. Seating is limited so those wishing to attend are encouraged to purchase their tickets without delay while supplies last.

The visit is being sponsored by the WMU Alumni Association as part of the Tigers organization's annual Winter Caravan, which gives fans in Michigan; Ohio; and Ontario, Canada; a chance to interact with some of the biggest names in Tigers baseball. Several children from the Kalamazoo Boys and Girls Club also will be in attendance as guests of the alumni association.

The event is being held at the Fetzer Center, which is named in honor of John Fetzer, owner of the Detroit Tigers from 1956 to 1983. Fetzer was a broadcast pioneer and founder of the Michigan-based Fetzer Broadcasting Co, which he built into a multistate broadcasting empire. The WMU facility named for him features an exhibit that focuses on Fetzer's life and contains such baseball memorabilia as the Tigers' 1984 World Series Trophy and chairs from Navin Field, which was constructed in 1912 and served as the foundation for what would later become Tiger Stadium.

Current plans call for the main luncheon speaker to be Lance Parrish, who caught for Detroit from 1977 to 1986 and has been the club's bullpen coach since 2003. Parrish also was the bullpen coach in 2000 and the third base coach in 1999 and 2001. The eight-time all-star was the cleanup hitter for the 1984 World Champion Tigers.

During his career, he played for 19 seasons on seven major league teams, retiring in 1995. Parrish earned three Gold Gloves; won six Silver Slugger awards; and in 1982, set what was then an American League mark for homers by a catcher with 32. Among major league catchers, he ranks fourth (tie) with 324 home runs, seventh with 1,818 games caught, seventh with a .991 career fielding mark and ninth with 1,070 runs batted in.

Although subject to change, several other Tigers personnel are scheduled to participate in the luncheon. Those on deck include:

David Dombrowski, president, chief executive officer and general manager. Dombrowski, who will make brief remarks during the program, also has been president and general manger of the Florida Marlins, general manager of the Montreal Expos, and a vice president for the Chicago White Sox. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree from WMU in 1979 and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the WMU Alumni Association in 1998.

Three right-handed starting pitchers: Jeremy Bonderman, Jason Johnson and Gary Knotts.

Two outfielders, left fielder Craig Monroe and center fielder Alex Sanchez.

Kirk Gibson, who played 17 years in the majors, 12 of them in Detroit, and now is in his third year as bench coach. The outfielder and designated hitter belted two game-winning home runs during the Tigers' successful World Series effort in 1984 and won the National League MVP award as a member of the 1988 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bob Cluck, who is in his third season as pitching coach.

Dan Dickerson, who provides play-by-play for the broadcast team.

Individual Tigers will be seated at several tables during the luncheon. No formal autograph session has been scheduled, but those attending the event may bring an item for the Tiger at their table to sign.

Tickets cost $5 for WMU students, $10 for WMU Alumni Association members and $15 for all other attendees. To order tickets, call the WMU alumni Association at (269) 387-8779 or visit the alumni association Web site at <www.wmich.edu/alumni> and click on "Events."

The Tigers trip to WMU will take place after the ball club's annual TigerFest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Tickets for that event, which includes autograph sessions, photo booths and instructional clinics, are available through all Ticketmaster outlets by calling 248-25-TIGER or by visiting the Joe Louis Arena box office.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400