MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2 - 19

TALKING TO

JIM PRICE
I sat down with current Tigers broadcaster and
member of the 1968 team Jim Price recently to talk
about that amazing Summer into Fall of 1968.

Leach: Can you belive it's been 50 years!
Price: No I can't - feel too good (laughing).
Leach: What do you feel winning the title meant
to the city-to bring it together aftern it literally
burned down?
Price: No question it was a special thing that we had.
The city was going through such tough times and we as
a team felt that. We were just like the average person
that saw the devastation of the riots and were living
amongst that. Lots of people said that we helped keep
them and the city together. It meant a lot to us to be
able to do that. What happened with this team really
was special-you did not want to get into a battle with
us.
Leach: What was the clubhouse like?
Price: We really had a tremendous clubhouse. We had
a ton of fun that summer and we also knew when we
had to prepare for battle. We had a bunch of guys that
just knew how to play the game and we would always
as a team battle you till the end."
Leach: Tell me about Willie Horton and his
influence on the team.
Price: Willie was a heck of a guy. I remember him
saying about our team, one game we will beat you by
one run, one game we will beat you by 10 runs, and if
you want to have a fight you're in BIG trouble. We took
no prisoners.

T

COURTESY OF THE DETROIT NEWS

he year was 1968, 23 years after
the Tigers beat the Cubs in the '45
World Series, and one year after
the city of Detroit was ripped apart with
race riots. As would be the Astros after the
floods in Houston in 2017, and the Red Sox
after the bombings in Boston is 2013, The
Tigers healed a bleeding city in 1968, by
winning a World Series for the town. The
city and its people would never forget how
much it meant to a healing city all these
years later.
It was a different time in 1968. The Tigers played at "The Corner" in the majestic
Tiger Stadium, kids went to bed with their
transistor radios under the pillow listening to Ernie Harwell call the game, the Tigers names weren't on their uniforms in
'68, the hotdog vendors put the mustard
on the dogs with a stick for you, and a box
of Cracker Jacks had a real toy inside. Most

ballplayers held other jobs in the off-season if not during the season; Al Kaline was
a sporting goods salesman, Norm Cash was
a rancher, and Denny McLain was a musician and singer. But that year brought the
city together, and that day-October 10,
1968, the day the Tigers won Game 7 is frozen in time for many Detroiters.
I recently spoke with some of the '68
Tigers and will share their thoughts and
memories of that great season and World
Championship, as we celebrate the 50th
Anniversary of that championship! I was
but a mere twinkle in my dad's eye in 1968,
but I have many good friends who say that
the '68 series was the greatest series of all
time and my amazing father was there in
person to take it all in.
Statistically, there were some great
achievements during the season and in the
series. The Tigers led the American League

Leach: What about the momentum from the
previous seaons where the Tigers just missed out
on the playoffs?
Price: We had lost the pennant in the last game of the
1967 season and we went into spring training knowing
that we were going to win the World Series. We were
on a mission. We lost the first game then we won nine
in a row. We were cocky, we were confident on the field
and off of it.
Leach: Tell me about the 1968 World Seires and
the incredibly talented St. Louis Cardinals, as led by
Bob Gibson.
Price: We were the underdogs. There were 30 games
that year we won after being tied in the seventh inning
or later. The Cardinals were kind of cocky. Trying to
take batting practice before the first game, they were
chirping at us. They had great players and were a very
tough team to beat, but after Game 7 they sure weren't
chirping anymore."
Leach: Tell me about the last play to win the Series
and what it felt like.
Price: We were all sky high, it was the greatest thing
in the world. We knew we were good enough to win it
and knew we should win it all. We were true brothers in
combat and always stuck up for each other and when
you have that type of a team, nothing can stop you.
Leach: What is the legacy of the '68 team?
Price: I think we were truly part of the community.
We were in the community, we were everyday people
like those blue-collar people that lived and worked in
the city. A true blue-collar team. I remember getting
letters from soldiers during the Vietnam War and they
all thanked us for taking their mind off of the war.
Being that for so many and being a true part of the
community meant everything to us and I think that is
the legacy that will last forever with our team." -DL

SPRING/SUMMER 2018 19



MSA Pure Spirits 2018 Q2

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