We unearthed thousands of Free Press photo negatives and one sports writer’s score book to tell the tale of baseball’s greats. “Bless you, boys.”
Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers and Fox Sports Detroit announced a new broadcast team Monday night for the 2019 season, replacing Mario Impemba and Rod Allen.

Meet the three familiar names:

Matt Shepard

Shepard, born in Farmington Hills and a graduate of Central Michigan, is the radio voice of Michigan basketball and Eastern Michigan football. He calls play-by-play for the Detroit Lions exhibition games, and was the recipient of the Detroit Sports Media’s 2018 Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting. He has stepped in for Tigers, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings play-by-play for Fox Sports Detroit.

Rod Allen: Incident with Mario Impemba more like a baseball brawl ]

Jack Morris

Morris, 63, is from St. Paul, Minn., and went to BYU. The Tigers made him the second pick in the fifth round of the 1976 MLB draft. He pitched the first 14 seasons of his career in Detroit, making the All-Star team four times, and was the ace of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers. He was an All-Star and the 1991 World Series MVP for the Minnesota Twins, and won World Series titles the next two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Morris was 254-186 with a 3.90 ERA in 18 MLB seasons. He threw 175 complete games in 527 starts (549 games total). Morris was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018, and had his No. 47 retired by the Tigers in August.

I stayed with the 1984 Tigers in Cooperstown. Their stories didn’t disappoint ]

Kirk Gibson

Gibson, 61, was born in Pontiac, attended Waterford Kettering high school, and was a two-sport athlete at Michigan State, playing both football and baseball in 1975-78. He was drafted 12th overall in the 1978 MLB draft by the Tigers, where he played in 1979-87, then again in 1993-95.

He hit .268 with 255 home runs over 17 MLB seasons, winning World Series rings in 1984 (with the Tigers) and 1988 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won NL MVP in 1988. He managed the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010-14, winning the NL West division in 2011. He amassed a 353-375 record.

Tigers deal with Nicholas Castellanos paves way for eventual trade ]

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