Red Wings, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch dies at 87

Posted: 11/02/2017 in MLB, NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Mike Ilitch, the longtime owner of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, died Friday at the age of 87.

“My father was a once-in-a-generation entrepreneur, visionary, and leader, setting the tone for our organization and our family,” Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., said in a statement.

“He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community, and we will remember him for his unwavering commitment to his employees, his passion for Detroit, his generosity to others and his devotion to his family and friends,” the younger Ilitch added.

“Together my family and the company celebrate the tremendous man he was, and we will continue to work hard to uphold his remarkable legacy. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with him to nurture and grow our businesses, but mostly, I’m grateful to have called him my Dad, and I know my siblings feel the same.”

Mike Ilitch bought the Red Wings in 1982 and purchased the Tigers in 1992.

Under his ownership, the Red Wings won four Stanley Cup championships (1997, ’98, 2002 and ’08), and they currently hold the longest active playoff streak in professional sports at 25 consecutive seasons.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003, and into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame the following year.

The Tigers won two pennants under Ilitch’s watch, in 2006 and 2012, and the MLB club made four straight playoff appearances between 2011-14.

Ilitch was the founder of the Little Caesars Pizza empire, and he was a prominent figure in the redevelopment efforts in Detroit.

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