Friday, December 19, 2008

Treanor Brings The Most Famous Tiger Wife Since '88 To Motown

The list of famous wives of Detroit Tigers players isn't very long, I will grant you that. It's also not something that normally springs to mind when thinking about the team.

But the Tigers have added, by one, to that tiny list with the signing of backup catcher Matt Treanor yesterday. Treanor is the considerably less famous spouse of Olympic Gold Medalist and pro beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor.

Misty now joins Nancy Lopez as famous Tigers wives. After those two ladies, the pickings are pretty slim as far as spouses go. And this isn't to belittle the community and charitable efforts of Tigers wives throughout the years; I only mean famous in terms of name recognition.

Lopez, the retired pro golfer, is still married to Ray Knight, who played for the Tigers in 1988. And it's another example of the better half nudging out the man for media attention. Knight even served, for a time, as his wife's caddie on the LPGA Tour.

Knight, these days, works as a TV analyst for Washington Nationals games. Not sure what transgression he committed to get that gig, but there you have it.

Knight came to the Tigers a couple years after his biggest moment in baseball: the '86 New York Mets' improbable comeback in Game 6 of the World Series against Boston. It was Knight, who had singled in the ninth inning, who can be seen giddily racing home with the game-winning run after Mookie Wilson's dribbler somehow eluded first baseman Bill Buckner. It's easy to read Knight's feelings as he's being mobbed at home plate: namely, "I can't believe we just pulled this off!"

Knight then went to the Orioles in 1987, and was signed by the Tigers as a free agent in time for the '88 season. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson knew Knight from managing him in Cincinnati. Knight's swan song in Detroit wasn't anything to write home about, but for a year the Tigers had a player who was arguably less famous than his wife.

Now, just imagine this photo with Misty in a Tigers jersey

Treanor comes to the Tigers from Florida with a good attitude and some knowledge of the current roster. Treanor played with Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson while with the Marlins. He says he's excited to be with a team that he feels is capable of winning. And for the record, Treanor says he is very proud of his wife and her volleyball partner Kerri Walsh.

"I get emotional talking about it, because I know how hard she (Misty) worked for it," Treanor told the Free Press. "Those women are very inspirational to me."

Nicely said. And what's also nice is that the Tigers have settled their catching situation in the past week, inking Treanor after trading for starter Gerald Laird. So at least that's under control.

Oh, and if you're a Red Sox fan, don't look, but here's the Buckner/Wilson/Knight play from 1986:


Blogger Brian said...

You're killing me!!! I can't believe I can't even escape the Mookie-ball video on this website.

I'm not sure how you feel about this type of person, but I root for two American League teams. The Tigers are #1 - BY FAR!!! October 14, 1984 was the greatest night of my life (of course, since I'm married and have two kids, I'm supposed to say it was the 4th best night of my life, but we know the reality).

My second favorite team is the Red Sox. I'm not exactly how this happened. I know I became a fan after Fisk's homerun (yet another "Game 6" for the Sox) when I was 11 because I hated the Reds. But I'm not really sure how that turned into "live and die with" rooting. Although, if the Tigers EVER play the Red Sox, even if the Tigers are in last place the Sox can clinch a playoff spot, I will ALWAYS root for Detroit.

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to talk to my wife (my new girlfriend at the time), she will tell you how miserable I was to be with for about 4 or 5 days after the ball went through Buckner's legs. I couldn't eat. I was an a-hole to everyone. The only thing I can compare it to was how I felt after Bird stole the ball from Isiah.

But watching Knight in that video is the reason he is on my list of two (Juan Gonzalez is the other) "Tigers I could never like."

And yes, 2004 and 2007 have eased the pain a little bit, but I just can't watch that video - even 22 years later. Of course, I still haven't seen one second of celebration at the end of the 2006 Series, video or otherwise.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Greg Eno said...


Too funny!

The night Bird stole the ball, we were at a bar in Westland. The crowd cheered when the ball was awarded to the Pistons after it went off Danny Ainge. So I'm standing up, literally waving my arms up and down, yelling, "It's not over! It's not over!" And while I'm doing that, I hear something and I look at the big screen TV, and all I see is Dennis Johnson laying the ball in. I didn't even know what happened until they showed the replay!

I LITERALLY didn't say one word the rest of the night, and on the way home. I may have mumbled goodbye to my ride as he dropped me off, but that was it.

Jack McCloskey said later, "I think on my deathbed my final words will be, 'We shouldn't have made that pass.' "

1:00 PM  

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