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  Canfield Street at Lodge Expressway to be renamed Willie Horton Drive

DETROIT – The Detroit City Council today approved the intersection of Canfield Street and the John C. Lodge Service Drive to be assigned the secondary name of Willie Horton Drive. Secondary street signs will be placed above the original street name to signify the dedication.

Willie Horton lived at three locations along Canfield, including the Jefferies Projects. He also played baseball at Poe Elementary School field, now called William Clay Ford Field, located at 1200 West Canfield St., west of John C. Lodge Service Drive.

To honor Detroit Tigers legend and “Hometown Hero,” Willie Horton, a ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at noon.

The youngest of 21 children, Horton was born on October 18, 1942 in Arno, Virginia. At the age of nine, Horton’s family moved to Detroit. By 13, he was turning the heads of area baseball scouts and on August 6, 1961, he became a member of his hometown team when he signed his first professional contract with the Tigers after an outstanding career at Detroit’s Northwestern High School.

His 18-year big league career included 14 seasons with the Tigers and he was an integral part of the 1968 World Championship team. A lifetime .273 hitter, Horton collected 1,993 hits, 325 home runs and 1,163 RBI over 2,208 games. Horton currently serves as a Special Assistant to Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Al Avila.

Among the many honors he has received in his lifetime, Horton’s uniform number 23 was retired and a statue in his likeness was unveiled by the Tigers on July 15, 2000 and stands among the Tigers Hall of Famers. On August 6, 2004, Detroit Northwestern High School named their newly constructed baseball and softball fields as the Willie Horton Baseball and Softball Diamonds. A monument in Horton’s honor was installed at the fields in 2005. Also, in 2004, former Governor Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill No. 5200, which permanently declared October 18 of each year to be known as “Willie Horton Day.” On June 14, 2006, the Army honored Willie with one of the highest military awards given to a civilian, the Order of Saint Maurice. He was the first professional athlete to earn the honor and his loyal support and distinguished contributions have been ongoing for many years to our military.

Additionally, Horton sponsors a $5,000 scholarship that is awarded annually to a high school senior from his alma mater, Detroit Northwestern High School.


 

 

 

   
 

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