Detroit Historical Society celebrates city’s birthday with Tigers great Mickey Lolich

Detroit Free Press
Chase Wade |  Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Historical Museum is gearing up for its annual birthday celebration Saturday as the city turns 320. A widely known capsule of history, education and art, the museum’s latest event will highlight Mickey Lolich, a star of the 1968 World Series-winning Detroit Tigers.

The museum also will reveal Lolich’s engraved handprints in Legends Plaza — joining the signatures of techno artist Eddie Fowlks, retired WXYZ-TV anchor Diana Lewis, retired Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders and other famous names associated with the city.

The celebration will take place Saturday in front of the Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave., at Legends Plaza from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with indoor facilities available in case of rain.

Admission is free but online registration is required at https://1066.blackbaudhosting.com/1066/Detroits-Birthday.

More: 50 years ago, Tiger Stadium hosted one of the greatest All-Star games in baseball history

More: Mickey Lolich’s epic World Series wins still turn heads, 50 years later

The historical museum, like many Detroit buildings and homes, was impacted by recent flooding throughout Michigan.

“We were fortunate, we did have some damage, but we feel quite lucky that we were able to catch and identify the challenge so early on,” said Malika Pryor, senior director of education and programs at the museum.

Along with a meet and greet and Q&A session with Lolich, participants can take part in Tigers trivia games and will be able to meet Tigers mascot Paws from 1 to 2 p.m.

Most of all, organizers at the museum hope the celebration becomes a chance for Detroiters to connect with each other.

“Beginning to emerge from the pandemic after difficulty, Detroit found a way to come together,” Pryor said. “That was no different with the ’68 Tigers. It was a World Series that was hard fought and won after Detroit had been through one of the most historically tumultuous moments of its existence. That was the 1967 uprising that both intensified but also revealed deep divisions, yet the ’68 Tigers and that fantastic series helped to bring the city and that entire region together.”

Togetherness is a strong theme for Detroiters, she said.

“In spite of our differences, what we know about Detroiters — city proper and suburban — is that when it comes to it, we do know how to come together and that’s a value and characteristic of Detroit that I think is undercelebrated and underrecognized, and we have a chance to uplift that tomorrow.”

Chase Wade is a Detroit Free Press Summer Apprentice.

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