OT - Denny McLain, ex-Tigers ace, has lost 156 pounds

Submitted by Cold War on March 1st, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Denny McLain, the ex-Tigers ace and felon, told WWJ Newsradio 950 he has lost 156 pounds.

“I am down 24 pants sizes,” he said. “I’m down a whole shoe sizes. I had the fattest feet in Michigan. ... I’m seeing things now I forgot I had!”

McLain said he had bariatric surgery to lose the weight so he could help take care of his wife, Sharon, who has Parkinson’s disease.



Wolverine Pride

March 1st, 2014 at 4:16 PM ^

No one cares.  Not even the retirees that are getting pennies on the dollar because that asshole and his cronies looted the packing plant pension.   He should consider himself lucky to be alive.


March 1st, 2014 at 6:09 PM ^

Back in the early 90s, I would take part time bartending gigs at a country club in Rochester to pay for college, in addition to my normal job.  We would do the Lions annual golf event and various golf events which often featured pro athletes, past and current.

My assignment one day was to work the golf cart with two attractive girls. No problem with that... I was packing up the cart and walked up to the clubhouse to grab something and on the way back, there is this very fat late-middle aged guy digging in to the cooler on my golf cart grabbing a hand full of Coke cans, probably 8 cans total.

I recognized him as McClain but did not acknowledge him. "Sir, do you have the drink tickets for those?" I asked, knowing that there was supposed to be a drink ticket given for each beverage...and also knowing he did not have any to give me. 

"I dont need no ticket" said McClain, as he kept rummaging through the cooler for more Cokes.  "The event requires a ticket for each drink sir" I repeated.

"I said...I DONT NEED A TICKET".  Red faced Denny stood up to confront me, before waddling away towards his cart with 10 Cokes cradled in his arms.


rob f

March 2nd, 2014 at 10:01 AM ^

as nobody's been close since.  I believe the best anyone has done in the last 45 seasons is 27 wins (I think it's been done a couple times, but only the name  Bob Welsh comes immediately to mind, and I think that may have been around 1990).

I know he was one helluva pitcher, the records don't lie about that.  The '68 Tigers will always be my favorite Tiger Team (what do you expect, as I was a 12-yr-old playing Little League Baseball); to me, that 1968 World Championship is unmatched by anything since other than the Michigan 1997 Football National Championship.  And I did see McLain pitch that season, doing a bus trip with my Little League team to Detroit to see a doubleheader in mid-summer---one of Mclain's wins that magical season. 

Despite everything negative he's done to screw others, I have to admit he was highly entertaining on the radio talk shows he used to do, too.  Denny had a great delivery on the radio to match his delivery on the mound.

But as to Denny the person?  Everything I've ever heard and read about him indicates total asshole/crook/schemer/dirtbag/(add your negative description here).  He has always been all about himself at the total expense of others around him and rarely if ever has been truly contrite about the wreckage he has left behind.  To me, justice for McLain would have been if he had choked on a Farmer Peet Sausage.  Stealing that pension money and claiming to be innocent? Un-f'n-forgivable.  And I have little doubt he was guilty. 


March 1st, 2014 at 7:02 PM ^

In the summer of 1968, at the height of his popularity, I got to have dinner with Denny and Jim Price with my late father.  My dad was a dentist and Price was one of his patients.  Apparently Price and my dad were kinda friends so he set up the dinner for the four of us (I was 9).  I got an autographed baseball "Best wishes to Donnie (I spelled my name Donny but who cares right) from Denny McClain" that night which was definitely my prized possession for many years.

He may be the world's biggest asshole but he made me a celebrity in fourth grade.

Cold War

March 1st, 2014 at 10:11 PM ^

Nice story.

I was one of the 500,000 people who will tell you they saw Denny win #30. I was ten and a freind was in Scouts. They just happened to plan that date weeks before for a Tiger game, and each could invite a friend. I got very lucky. Of course, I didn't appreciate it completely then.



March 1st, 2014 at 7:22 PM ^

Maybe it's his conscience burning calories from when he raided half my home towns pension plans at Farmer Pete's in Chesaning Michigan. I don't care how many wins he had or how many strike outs he threw,he spent the latter part of his life ripping honest, hard working people off. Google it. Neg the hell out of me if you want. The guy is a criminal.


March 1st, 2014 at 8:47 PM ^

But especially if you're from Chesaning, you should know it is Farmer Peet, not Pete. I am a Peet and even though it was several of my relatives who were stupid enough to trust McLain, the Peets built Chesaning. The name is everywhere.

Still, fuck McLain. Chesaning still hasn't recovered from what he did.


March 1st, 2014 at 8:18 PM ^

I forgive McLain.  His loyalty to his wife Sharyn, the daughter of Hall of Famer Lou Boudreu, and hers to him, are something that is increasingly rare in this era.  Whatever McLain did wrong, he did 1968 right and he did love right.  That has to count for something, even if I wouldn't trust him with as much as a penny.


March 1st, 2014 at 9:12 PM ^

I'm sure that was very hard for you as someone who didn't have their retirement flushed down the drain from him. Some scum bag manages to keep his wedding vowes and that's reason to respect him even though he ruined a ton of people lives... sure. While were at it lets just forgive Bernard Madoff for what he did. I mean he was loyal to his wife as well.


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:47 AM ^

running from the employees he ripped off. Good for him, but I hope they catch him. Denny McLame. A man who can steal from hard working honest people who are playing by the rules and trying to get by can go to H E double hockey sticks, as my son would say.

Cold War

March 2nd, 2014 at 3:28 PM ^

So if a man commits a crime and does his time, can't he at some point get a little forgiveness and be commended for playing it straight afterward? If he'd robbed a bank or been a drug dealer my guess is a lot of folks would celebrate the fact he turned it around.

Just a little too much chest pounding in this thread.

rob f

March 2nd, 2014 at 4:18 PM ^

as I see it.

How about doing a little reading or research on McLain's crime history?  I used to have my doubts, too---as I posted earlier, I was a fan of his when I was a kid.  Didn't at all want to believe any of the bad stuff about him, even later as a young adult..

What was a real eye-opener for me occured back in the 90's when I lived for a couple years in that part of the state and talked to some folks who were directly negatively affected by the actions of McLain and his cohorts in gutting the Farmer Peet Company and pension fund.  This prompted me to do a lot more reading about McLain and his involvement, not to mention his past brushes with authority and the law. 

What I learned by doing a little research then was later pretty much confirmed to me about a dozen years ago by a fellow U of M/Tiger's fan who I have become friends with over the last 15 years or so.  He grew up in Chesaning and still lives there/operated a business there, and had countless friends and relatives who used to work at Peet's Packing plant.  To put it bluntly, McLain caused a lot of grief for a lot of good hard-working people who didn't deserve any of it.

No doubt in my mind, McLain is every bit the bad guy he's being portrayed as here.  I'm happy for him that he's lost 156 lbs, and that his heart is in the right place as far as his devotion to his wife goes (she sure has had to put up with a helluva lot of grief, hasn't she?), so at least he's learned a few personal lessons along the way.  But would I trust the man in any other way?  Not a chance!