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Former Detroit Tiger Bill Freehan passed away Thursday (Aug. 19). He was 79.

Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and all-star catcher at the Tigers’ high-profile 1968 World Series win. He spent his entire career in Major League Baseball with the Tigers.

He’s also a Royal Oak native and played at the University of Michigan.

The Tigers shared the news on socials media, stating, “It’s with a heavy heart that all of us with the Detroit Tigers extend our condolences to the friends and family of Bill Freehan. An all-time great Tiger, the Olde English ‘D’ was the only logo he wore over his 15-year Major League career, during which he was named to 11 All-Star teams, won five straight Gold Glove awards and played a key role on the 1968 World Series Championship team.”

They added, “Off the diamond, Freehan made a positive impact in the southeast Michigan community, including as a player and then coach at the University of Michigan, where he changed the lives of many for the better. Our thoughts are with Bill’s wife, Pat, and the entire Freehan family.”

Freehan was battling Alzheimer’s disease and spent his last years at a home in northern Michigan.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com and tweet at her @AnneErickson!