Toledo Talk

Eat 'Em Up Tigers Guy

For all the Tigers fans, James Van Horn a.k.a. the Eat 'Em Up Tigers guy was killed in a hit and run accident this morning. In the same accident, another Comerica Park staple "Dreadlock Mike" was also killed. RIP. My game experience just won't be the same."":

created by TrilbyGuy on Jul 27, 2013 at 02:26:20 pm     Comments: 14

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Very sad. That guy could be seen at Wings and Lions games, too.

posted by historymike on Jul 27, 2013 at 05:53:03 pm     #  

In an equally disheartening story, the BS Press is reporting that "Plumber Pete" has died. Plumber Pete was given that name affectionately because his butt crack was always visible. While Plumber Pete often begged for change, over $10 in change was found lodged inside his butt crack after his death. This will be donated to the local homeless shelter in his name.

 photo bumcrack_zps21e43874.jpg

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 27, 2013 at 05:53:31 pm     #  

Was there really a need to take a cheap shot at these deceased guys, hockeyfan? Sure, they were homeless, but finding humor in a fatal hit-and-run is flat-out bad karma, brother.

posted by historymike on Jul 27, 2013 at 09:28:44 pm     #   11 people liked this

posted by historymike on Jul 27, 2013 at 09:50:46 pm     #   1 person liked this

I don't even know where to begin to respond to you about this.

I did not "take a cheap shot" at "these" homeless guys.

I found a stupid picture of someone showing their butt crack and made up a story.

So, are you saying that it's o.k. to use that guy as a form of entertainment while going to a Tigers game, but making a fabricated story with an unknown picture, name, and situation isn't? Thousands of people laughed at this guy every game and did little more than look and laugh at him. Maybe some threw some change his way. "Aw, look at the silly homeless guy with the toy hulk hand and chanting that Tiger cheer. Throw him some money and get away from him, we got a game to go watch that we probably paid more for tickets than this guy lives on for a month." While some might have felt some real compassion for this guy, to most he was just something to laugh at. If he wouldn't have had a toy hulk hand and chanted favorably for the Tigers, he probably would have been arrested or beaten by a mob of annoyed fans.

Bad karma? Please. If there is such a thing, it's way behind on paying people back for their wrongs. Even so, I doubt I'm even on that list, but if so, I'm way far down below everyone that who either walked right by him, or laughed at him like a sideshow and did nothing to help him even though they knew of him. I never met him, never knew of him, never had a chance to either help or hurt him. I may have posted on the same thread, but I did nothing to that man, never mentioned his name, situation, or death in my post. I did nothing to harm his memory, or his family. Go lecture those who actually knew of him and had a chance to help him, but didn't.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:01:53 pm     #  

Your posted video proves exactly what I was trying to say. People took pictures and videos of him and treated him as a joke. He was nothing more than a sideshow to them.

Want to stand up as the protector of all that is right and wave the karma flag around? Go seek those people out and shame them. Get off my back.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:07:47 pm     #  

Another victim of compassion. Wonder how much he was enabled early on before he went right over the edge?

posted by Star56 on Jul 27, 2013 at 10:59:50 pm     #  

OK, then.

posted by historymike on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:03:38 pm     #  

The only sense the guy was a "victim" was in being run over by a hit-and-run driver, Star56: read the article. As a supposed fan of the free market, one would think you would applaud the guy for being a entrepreneurial street performer instead of sitting in a public housing unit sucking up your tax dollars, as evidenced in comments you have made about "welfare queens and East Side Caucasian lowlife."

posted by historymike on Jul 27, 2013 at 11:13:34 pm     #  

A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.

That's a stretch.
Street Performer? No.

BTW, have you been to the East Side lately? I think Star56's description is pretty close.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 28, 2013 at 02:26:04 am     #  


  • Yes, I regularly travel around Detroit. I lived there (in the city, not the 'burbs) for 25 years and I still have friends who live in the city. I taught at Wayne State, regularly attend sporting and cultural events in the city, visit the museums, eat at Greektown, Mexican Village, and Slow's BBQ several times a year, hit Eastern Market on occasion, and I will always be a Detroiter at heart.
  • Star56 said nothing about conditions on the East Side, nor really Detroit for that matter. He merely attempted to turn the thread into a political direction by implicitly arguing that James Van Horn (the Eat 'Em Up Tigers guy) was a victim of the welfare system.
  • The Eat 'Em Up Tigers guy was a legend around town. You see a bum begging for change, but most people saw a dude who cheered on the Tigers (and Lions, and Red Wings) every game. Sure, he pocketed spare change from passersby, but does that make him somehow less of a fan? Now, was he as talented a street performer as someone with a saxophone or a guitar? Probably not, but he entertained passersby for many, many years, and his enthusiasm was infectious. One of the local radio stations even sampled him for a Tigers-themed ditty (not my kind of music, but it shows how well known the guy was):

posted by historymike on Jul 28, 2013 at 09:01:07 am     #  

Before anyone else piles on to use this story to further their agenda; James worked and supported himself most of his life without living on the streets. He fell on hard times about 15 years ago. Apologies to those who find facts inconvenient.

posted by nick44 on Jul 28, 2013 at 10:47:37 am     #   3 people liked this

Instead of debating the lifestyle of someone we know very little about, shouldn't we be focusing on another hit and run coward.

Considering he hit and killed two people (a rare achievement) in one swipe, I would think a discussion of punishment for cowards of this stripe would be more productive. Certainly more so than whether the characters outside Comerica (or the old Tiger Stadium for that matter) are ________ (fill in the blank).

Why is "Sully's" hit and run accident worthy of more reverent discussion than these two people? Same type of coward hit all three. That's the focus (and I don't know this Sully guy at all).

nick44: very sad fall from "normal" to homeless.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 28, 2013 at 11:22:22 am     #   2 people liked this

Still get giddy going to a game till this day. Just like my first game when I was 5. James was a part of that. I think it was 2007 when I first noticed him. I usually get to at least 1 game a year. I always gave him change, asked how he was (answer was always some form of "Great my man) and thanked him. Hearing his chant and his cup jingle, let me know I was getting close to walking into my favorite sporting event and the butterflies in my stomach flitter even more. Just like when I was 5.

posted by TrilbyGuy on Jul 28, 2013 at 09:54:00 pm     #   3 people liked this