Published On: Thu, Aug 19th, 2021

Freehan, Catcher on 1968 Champion Detroit Tigers, Dies at 79

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DETROIT—Bill Freehan, an 11-time All-Star catcher with the Detroit Tigers and key player on the 1968 World Series championship team, died Thursday at age 79. The Tigers honored Freehan with a moment of silence and photos and video on the Comerica Park scoreboard before an afternoon game with the Los Angeles Angels. “It’s with a heavy heart that all of us with the Detroit Tigers extend our condolences to the friends and family of Bill Freehan,” the team said. The cause of death was not disclosed, but family members in recent years have publicly said that Freehan had Alzheimer’s disease. He played his entire career with the Tigers, from 1961 through 1976. Besides All-Star appearances, including all 15 innings in the 1967 game, Freehan was awarded five Gold Gloves. “The guy was the best catcher I ever pitched to. … Nobody did it better,” said Denny McLain, who won 31 …

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