Why are the Detroit Tigers spearing pizza in the dugout after home runs?

Pizza! Pizza!


The Detroit Tigers are lot of fun this year. Just as importantly, the Detroit Tigers are having a lot of fun this year, too. If you watched the Bally Sports Detroit broadcast of the opening series, you undoubtedly noticed a little extra fun in the dugout following Tigers players belting a home run.

When a Tigers player hits a home run, he celebrates in the dugout by grabbing pizzas stabbed through by a spear.

That probably looks pretty familiar to anyone familiar with how the family that owns the Detroit Tigers initially made its money.

In this photo illustration the American third-largest pizza...
In this photo illustration the American third-largest pizza... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Why do the Detroit Tigers celebrate HRs with speared pizza in the dugout?

Celebrations aren't new to this young Detroit club. Last year, they put on gloves and a hockey helmet, and passed around a stick in honor of the Detroit Red Wings.

Spencer Torkelson told reports (including the Free Press' Evan Petzold) that the team wanted to change things up this year.

"We loved the Red Wings celly last year," Torkelson said. "It's not dead; it can still come back. But our owner owns Little Caesars Pizza. So we're going to give them some love, too. It's great pizza."

Late Tigers owner Mike Ilitch and his wife, Marian Ilich, founded Little Caesars Pizza in Garden City, Mich., in 1959. Thirty-three years later in 1992, Mike Ilitch bought the Detroit Tigers franchise from fellow pizza mogul Tom Monaghan. Though Mike unfortunately passed away in 2017, his son, Christopher Ilitch, and family continue to own the Tigers franchise as well as a large chunk of downtown Detroit.

Tigers outfielder Mark Canha became the first player to hoist the pizza spear when he homerd in the team's second game of the season. He told the media (again via the Freep):

"I didn't know what to do with the stick," Canha said. "I just slammed it on the ground. It was fun. I love Little Caesars Pizza, so that works for me."

A little free advertising for the boss never hurt anyone's career. Tigers fans and the Ilitch family alike have to hope they see this celebration a lot more often all 2024 season long.

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