100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

January 25, 1985 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-01-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

44

Friday; January 25, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

.

MEMBERS ONLY
Ti,e Apparel Mart, Suite A21

19/11 West 10 Mile

Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075
(313) 353.5640

JERRY LEWIS

Pitcher

Height: 5'7"
Hemet°Yen:
Weight: 5,5'ibe.
Southfield, Michigan

SPORTS FANTASIES

Jerry had
Detroit
Ti always dreamed of playin
g for, the
Chain pion gers. So he invited
the
1968 Tigers
Training
to come to World
with him.
Spring
For is
one
actual Detroit Tiger. This
the week he was
an
ultimate fantasy.

etc ordor Forms Po sox

c, rowlock NJ

07866 or pot}

692.8228 0
1984 Sic

Jerry Lewis' personal baseball
card — making the dream
complete.

41f

In real life, Jerry Lewis is 40 years
old, the manufacturer's representative
for Members Only sportwear in Michi-
gan and a sports fan's sports fan, catch-
ing dozens of games on network and
cable television each week. Nice,but
hardly the stuff of dreams, which is
where Jerry Lewis' story really begins.
During the past year, Lewis and
more than 100 Detroit-area sports
fanatics like him, have, through the
efforts of the Southfield resident and
business partner Jim Price, lived out
their athletic fantasies — challenging
former Detroit Tigers with a ",dazzl-
ing" display of baseball skills during a
spring training exhibition game in
Lakeland, Fla. and trading slap shots
with former Red Wing greats in a hoc-
key game at Joe Louis Arena which
thousands of spectators paid (sort of) to
see.
Next month, Lewis will accom-
pany a group of 78 fantasy campers for
an encore appearance in Lakeland,
where they will spend a week prepar-
ing for a second game against Price, Al
Kaline, Willie Horton and other mem-
bers of the Tigers' 1968 world cham-
pionship team.
Lewis hit on the idea for the Tiger
fantasy camp after seeing a story in -
the Sporting News (which he reads
religiously) about a similar camp
staged in Scottsdale, Ariz. by the
Chicago Cubs a couple of years ago.
"I immediately said that's for me,
I have to go. But my second reaction
was: Hey, I don't even like the Cubs. I
love the Detroit Tigers. In fact, I al-
ways wanted to be a Tiger."
In September 1983, Lewis, who
had worked with former Tiger catcher
and Channel 2 sportscaster Price in
the off-season during the 1960s, pro-
posed the camp to his associate as both

the fulfillment of a dream for amateur
ballplayers and a reunion for the
former Tigers.
At first, Price didn't think his
former teammates would go for the
idea. And he was skeptical that any
fan, no matter how dedicated, would
pay $2,295 to take part in the camp.
But Lewis, who seemed to gain
enthusiasm as the project got rolling,"
persuaded Price that the week in
Lakeland would not only be enjoyable,
but a profitable business venture as
well.
So, when two prominently placed
newspaper advertisements netted
only 65 calls, Lewis had visions of his
fantasy collapsing before it got off the
ground. What saved the dream, ac-
cording to Lewis, was an "avalanche"
of free publicity via local newspapers,
radio and TV stations who saw the fan-
tasy camp as a unique human interest
story.
"We sent out about 300 applica-
tions and had more than 100 people for
the week-long session," Lewis said,
adding that there were 78 campers, 14
wives and an entourage of media
people, all of whom paid their way for
the trip. "I think most of them had the
time of their lives."
This year's camp will be essen-
tially the same as last year's, accord-
ing to Lewis. Seventy-five new people
and three repeaters have signed up for
the event and the cast of former Tigers
taking part is pretty much intact, with
the exception of Mickey Lolich. Dick
Tracewski, John Hiller and Hank
Aguirre will be participating for the
first time.
The self-confessed baseball addict
says that the campers come in two
basic types. "We attracted the person
like myself, the guy who has been out

RA DING
11 TA
F R
PR I NG
AINING

Since boyhood, Jerry Lewis
has always wanted to play
with the Detroit Tigers.
Now, he has.

BY TEDD SCHNEIDER

Staff Writer

Paul Schaefer, who at 75 was the oldest fantasy camper in 1984, takes his swings
during the game against the former Tigers.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan