Sexta-feira, 24 Fevereiro, 2017

Sports fans remember Mike Ilitch

Mike Ilitch, Owner Of The Tigers And Red Wings, Dead At 87 Mike Ilitch, patriarch of pizza and Detroit pro sports, dies at the age of 87
Estanislau Duarte | 12 Fevereiro, 2017, 00:47

Ilitch's family says he died at a local hospital. Today, it is the third largest USA -based pizza chain, only behind Pizza Hut and Dominos. Once a powerhouse with names like Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Terry Sawchuk, the franchise was struggling. "It's been very costly, but I'm not going to change my ways".

In 1982, he purchased the Red Wings and their revival was made complete by erasing a 42 year Stanley Cup drought in 1997. Mr. Ilitch made a lasting impact in business, sports and the community. Upon his military service, he returned to Detroit and became a professional baseball player, playing four years in the minors, beginning with the Tigers in 1952. He moved the team in 2000 from the storied but fading Tiger Stadium to Comerica Park, across from the Fox Theatre.

The Tigers posted a 700-597 record with Leyland at the helm for eight seasons, which included three American League Central Division titles and two trips to the World Series.

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Ace pitcher Justin Verlander, a key member of the Tigers' rise to prominence, paid tribute to Ilitch, calling him "an icon for our city and our nation". When I go to a Wings game here in D.C., the Caps jerseys are 99% in the newest style and probably 40% Ovechkin.

"Coming to Detroit, being drafted by them and being a MI kid, you knew what he represented to the city". He was born in 1929 to immigrants from Macedonia who had come to the United States five years earlier.

"Mr. Ilitch has left an incredible legacy in baseball, hockey and Metropolitan Detroit". Little Caesars has transformed into one of America's biggest chains since 1959 when Ilitch and his wife began the chain.

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Some of Ilitch's critics are little gentler.

The Ilitch organization has embarked on a $1.2 billion District Detroit project, transforming dozens of largely vacant blocks downtown into a neighborhood including office and residential spaces.

Ilitch was a huge force in Detroit business and development. His son Christopher is president and chief executive officer of Ilitch Holdings. Mike Ilitch is survived by his seven adult children, and his wife Marian - a savvy businesswoman who is expected to run the organization.

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