D’Addona: John Hiller’s first win came during the 1967 Detroit riots

From SABR member Dan D’Addona at the Detroit Athletic Co. on August 3, 2017:

John Hiller was one of the most beloved Tigers.

That happens when you do your job, do it well — and even come back from a heart attack in the middle of a career.

Much has been written about Hiller’s comeback from the Jan. 11, 1971 heart attack, which was astonishing.

But it is his debut which isn’t often written about. Actually it is written about a ton, but not through Hiller’s eyes.

Hiller’s first major league victory was July 23, 1967 — the first huge night of the Detroit riots. It was the game Willie Horton left from in uniform to try to stop some of the violence.

Hiller pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief, also knocking in Norm Cash and Mickey Stanley with a single of his own.

Last week was the 50th anniversary of the riots, and also Hiller’s first win. He was on hand with the West Michigan Whitecaps as part of their Tiger Fridays series to mark the occasion.

Read the full article here: https://www.detroitathletic.com/blog/2017/08/03/john-hillers-first-win-came-detroit-riots-1967/

Originally published: August 10, 2017. Last Updated: August 10, 2017.