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BREAKING: Legendary Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch Passes Away

12up logo 12up 2/10/2017 Mark Powell

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is seen during a news conference in Detroit. © AP Photo/Carlos Osorio Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is seen during a news conference in Detroit.

Tragic news out of Detroit, as the owner of the Tigers and Red Wings--Mike Ilitch--has passed away at the elderly age of 87.

Ilitch bought the Red Wings in 1982, and the Tigers ten years later. The legendary owner gained his fortune via the Little Caesars Pizza chain.

Under his ownership, the Red Wings put together the most successful streak in NHL history--making the playoffs every year since 1993. Meanwhile, the Tigers managed to claw their way back from mediocrity and have won the American League twice since 2006.

Later in his life, Ilitch became the ideal owner for both teams, as he was literally willing to put his money where his mouth is. The Tigers payroll grew to astronomical heights, while the Red Wings continued their sustained success by re-signing many of the legends that had led them to prolonged success. Eventually, Ilitch was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for his achievements. 

Ilitch may not receive national recognition, but he'll always be a legend in Detroit. He recently paved the way for a new stadium to be built in the Motor City, which will feature the Pistons and Red Wings.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Ilitch. The Motor City will miss you.

PHOTOS:  NOTABLE SPORTS DEATHS OF 2017

Notable sports deaths of 2017
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