A pair of middle-aged men were killed in a hit and run accident early Saturday morning in Detroit, and while that’s not ordinarily the sort of thing that would receive notice in the sporting sphere, the Detroit Free Press’ Lori Higgins reports both victims were quite familiar to Tigers fans in recent years.
People on social media and elsewhere have said one of the men was James Van Horn, known for standing outside Comerica Park — his hand inside a large green Hulk hand that held a cup people could drop money in — and repeatedly calling out his famous “Eat ‘Em Up, Tigers” catchphrase.
The other man identified only as Michael also was frequently seen at Comerica and other sites in the downtown area. He was known as Dreadlock Mike for his distinctive locks and could be seen navigating the streets in his wheelchair.
The company Down with Detroit is now selling T-shirts and other items, emblazoned with the words “Eat ‘Em Up Forever” and “Rest In Peace James and Mike.” The company is donating all proceeds to pay for burial or give to charity, according to its Facebook page.
“You get used to seeing these guys,” said Patrick Duggan, who runs Down with Detroit with business partner Matt Zebari. By around 10 p.m. Sunday, they had raised a little more than $5,000.
Another Facebook page, Find the Hit and Run Killers of Detroit Icons, had amassed more than 15,000 likes Sunday night since it was created around 6 a.m. Saturday.