DETROIT (WXYZ) - Most Tigers fans would say that James Van Horn was instrumental in getting them fired up before every game at Comerica Park.
Van Horn's enthusiasm and friendly personality made him popular in the Motor City.
His motto is what baseball fans were used to hearing before ball games for years: "Eat 'Em Up Tigers, Eat 'Em Up."
Van Horn carved out his niche to add to the game day experience.
"I've been doing it for about six years. I was born in Detroit. Most of my family is in Detroit," Van Horn said in June 2013. "I'm a [former] All-American wrestler at 138 pounds [during my competing days] in 1964. I went to school [in Indianapolis] with people like Oscar Robertson, George McGinnis; people of that nature," said Van Horn. "You know, I do have my own t-shirts."
"I'm a season ticket holder and we got to know James by coming to all of the games, parking in the same spot; going into the entrance the same way every time," Mike Riley, who helped create the t-shirts, said. "I took a picture of him with my cell phone and sent it to a buddy of mine in Los Angeles, who's a designer, and we printed off like 144 shirts and sold them all in 10 seconds."
Van Horn will certainly be missed but never forgotten.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.