© Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

Canfield Street At John C. Lodge Freeway To Be Renamed In Honor Of Willie Horton

Willie Horton Drive will be unveiled next week.

May 15, 2019 - 12:20 am

DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) -- A Detroit Tigers legend will be getting a street named in his honor.

On Tuesday Detroit City Council approved the intersection of Canfield Street and the John C. Lodge Service Drive to be assigned the secondary name of Willie Horton Drive. 

Secondary street signs will be placed above the original street signs to signify the dedication. Willie Horton lived at three locations along Canfield, including the Jefferies Projects. He also played baseball at Poe Elementary School field, now called William Clay Ford Field, located at 1200 West Canfield St., west of John C. Lodge Service Drive.

A ceremony to honor Horton will take place at noon on May 22.

The youngest of 21 children, Horton was born on October 18, 1942 in Arno, Virginia. At the age of nine, Horton’s family moved to Detroit, where he attended Detroit Northwestern High School and made a name for himself with local baseball scouts. In 1961 Horton joined his hometown team, signing his first professional contract with the Tigers.

Horton spent 14 of his 18 MLB seasons with the Tigers and he played a big role in the team's 1968 World Series championship. A lifetime .273 hitter, Horton collected 1,993 hits, 325 home runs and 1,163 RBI over 2,208 games.

Horton currently serves as a Special Assistant to Tigers GM Al Avila. Horton's number 23 was retired and the Tigers built a statue of him in 2000.

Northwestern High School named their baseball and softball fields as the Willie Horton Baseball and Softball Diamonds. A monument in his honor was installed at the fields in 2005. In 2004, former Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill No. 5200, which permanently declared October 18 of each year to be known as “Willie Horton Day.” He also sponsors a $5,000 scholarship that is awarded annually to a Northwestern High School senior.

In 2006, the U.S. Army honored Horton with one of the highest military awards given to a civilian -- the Order of Saint Maurice. Horton was the first professional athlete to earn the honor.