PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The West Michigan Whitecaps welcomed Detroit Tigers alum Chet Lemon this week for their annual Tiger Wednesdays promotion.
He signed autographs and took pictures with fans at Fifth Third Ballpark at the game versus the Quad Cities River Bandits, which the Whitecaps won 9-5.
Lemon patrolled the vast centerfield at the old Tiger Stadium from 1982 to 1990. A three-time All-Star, he was known as one of the best defensive outfielders of the decade and was an integral part of the 1984 World Series championship team.
He came to Detroit from Chicago in a 1981 trade.
“(Then-manager) Sparky (Anderson) was really excited and i remember the first call that I got from him, he said, ‘You’re exactly what we need,'” Lemon recalled Wednesday. “And that really made me feel great. Detroit was where I wanted to be and the fans always treated me like this was my home.”
>>App users: Lemon shares more memories from the Tigers
He had a flare about him, especially when he would snag a fly ball with just the glove hand. The move never worried his teammates.
“There was times, no exaggeration, there were times when we were playing and the ball was hit and those guys were already in the dugout before I caught it,” Lemon remembered. “I remember Skip saying, “What happens if he drops the baseball? He doesn’t have anyone to throw it to.’ I said, ‘No, I don’t have anyone to throw it to, because they’re gone.'”