A helicopter pizza run was Jack Morris' 1984 World Series celebration
Jack Morris will throw the ceremonial first pitch Thursday night at Comerica Park for moments much more significant than this one. But for what it's worth, when you say "World Series win" to the tall right-hander, he conjures up images of ...
Picture it: Oct. 14, 1984. The Tigers close out the World Series with an 8-4 win over the Padres. Pandemonium sweeps over the city of Detroit, to the point where it's dangerous for anyone working at the ballpark to actually leave.
So the Tigers were stuck. In the clubhouse. And they were hungry.
Lucky for them, the man who ran their franchise, Tom Monaghan, didn't just own a baseball team. He owned Domino's Pizza, too. And, more notably, he also owned a helicopter.
Enter Morris. He was observing the chaos outside of the ballpark -- the crowds, the overturned cop cars, the unmoving taxis -- and thought, "we're never getting out of here." So, wearing his jersey, baseball pants and tennis shoes, he hopped in Monaghan's 'copter and, just like that, they were on their way.
"We flew to Ann Arbor, picked up 50 pizzas and flew back in," Morris recalled. "It was pretty cool."
Morris remembered the surprised reaction from the folks working at the pizza joint.
"Everyone was like, 'I can't believe you're here, what are you doing here?'' he said."And I said, 'I need some pizzas.'"
Meanwhile, back in the press box, the Tigers also delivered a stash of pizzas to the media. Charley Steiner, now a Dodgers announcer, was working radio during that series, and he, too, was getting hungry. But he had a harder time getting his hands on a slice than Morris.
"That was a time when writers and broadcasters didn't get along very well," Steiner recalled. "The pizzas were delivered to the Baseball Writers Association of America. There is war going on around us -- flames, cabs, this, that. The pizzas come up to the press box because we're going to be there a while. The old baseball writers' president says, 'No pizzas for the broadcasters.'"
Even in such a desperate time of need?
"There's war around us," Steiner said. "And I can't get a slice of pepperoni pizza."