All Tiger fans have heard the chat of James Van Horn. “Eat’em up Tigers, eat’em up.
Well sadly reported today was the death of Van Horn, struck by a hit and run driver. However, a man known as “Dreadlock Mike” was also killed in the accident. Two local favorites gone in one accident. It’s amazing how short life is. Here is some of what WXYZ’s Dave Solano wrote on the website today.
“”Most Tigers fans would say that James Van Horn was instrumental in getting them fired up before every game at Comerica Park.
Van Horn’s enthusiasm and friendly personality made him popular in the Motor City.
His motto is what baseball fans were used to hearing before ball games for years: “Eat ‘Em Up Tigers, Eat ‘Em Up.”
Van Horn carved out his niche to add to the game day experience.
“I’ve been doing it for about six years. I was born in Detroit. Most of my family is in Detroit,” Van Horn said in June 2013. “I’m a [former] All-American wrestler at 138 pounds [during my competing days] in 1964. I went to school [in Indianapolis] with people like Oscar Robertson, George McGinnis; people of that nature,” said Van Horn. “You know, I do have my own t-shirts.””
I have seen plenty of people wearing those shirts and now there will be more than ever. I know that I will surely miss seeing him shake the cup of change and hear him chant. I couldn’t even count the number of times that I would just smile and laugh as people would chant with him. Entering Comerica Park will not be the same for a little while. R.I.P. James, Tiger fans will always remember and chant in your honor.
Did you have a memorable run in with Van Horn or “Dreadlock Mike”? If so, comment below, our let us know on our Facebook page, or via Twitter at @DSBloggers. We would love to hear all your stories.