Horton to represent Tigers at Draft
Former player to attend event as member of Detroit contingent
DETROIT -- Tigers legend and lifelong Detroiter Willie Horton will help introduce the organization's newest player when he joins the club's contingent at Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft next week in Orlando.
The honor is part of the movement to televise the annual event, making it an in-person ceremony rather than exclusively a conference call. MLB.com will broadcast every selection in the draft, with coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET on June 7. ESPN2 will also televise the first round and compensation picks from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, where each team will have a group of representatives in attendance. At least one member from each club will be a prominent former player or longtime club executive, who will help deliver the name of the selection to the podium.
One natural option for the Tigers was Horton, one of the most famous faces in the franchise and currently a special assistant to team president Dave Dombrowski.
The draft wasn't yet around when Horton was a standout athlete at Detroit's Northwestern High School. The Tigers signed him at age 18, soon after his high school graduation. Two years later, he broke into the Major Leagues, embarking on an 18-year career that included 15 seasons with the Tigers. He drove in 104 runs at age 22 in 1965, his first full big-league season, and collected a spot in the starting lineup at the All-Star Game along the way.
Three years later, Horton led the 1968 World Series championship Tigers team with 36 home runs. He made his mark in the Fall Classic that October by throwing out speedy Lou Brock at the plate to help the Tigers win Game 5.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
A seven-time All-Star, Horton rejoined the organization in an advisory role in 2002. Beyond his involvement in the front office and the community, he has become a mentor for some of the Tigers' young players.
Joining Horton at the draft will be team vice president/assistant general manager Al Avila and assistant director for international and professional scouting, Tom Moore. The rest of the Tigers' draft team will be based down the road at the team's Spring Training offices in Lakeland, Fla.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.