June 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Milt Wilcox says he wasn't invited to '84 celebration, Tigers say he was

Members of the 1984 Tigers answer questions from fans at Comerica Park before Tuesday's game, but Milt Wilcox wasn't there. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)

Detroit — The Tigers’ 30-year anniversary celebration of the 1984 World Series title included many of the big names from the championship team.

World Series MVP Alan Trammell, along with Tom Brookens, Darrell Evans and Dave Rozema all were in attendance for the pregame festivities Monday night at Comerica Park. But some of the big names were missing, including Jack Morris, Lance Parrish and Kirk Gibson, who had baseball-related prior engagements.

But there was no Milt Wilcox, either.

Wilcox, a starting pitcher in ’84, said he wasn’t invited to the celebration because of a worker’s compensation suit he has against the team.

“I didn’t get a call from anybody from the Tigers organization,” Wilcox told The Detroit News on Monday night. “I’ve got a workman’s comp case that I’ve filed against Major League Baseball and the Tigers.”

Wilcox, 64, said he suffered the injury working at a Tigers fantasy camp two years ago.

“I tore two meniscus in my left knee. I was coaching third base and a guy hits a line drive down there and I tried to back out of the way, but when I turned to get out of the way, I tweaked my left knee,” said Wilcox, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla.

“I went in and talked to the fantasy camp trainers, who are some of the minor-league trainers who come over to help out. The knee was still bothering me, so I got back to Jacksonville to see the orthopedic surgeon and he told me I had two tears in my left meniscus.”

Wilcox, who had his best season in ’84 with a 17-8 record, said that he tried to get the Tigers to help pay some of his insurance costs, which were between $8,000 and $10,000.

“I called the Tigers and talked to all the bigwigs up there and nobody wanted to help me and said I was on my own. I went on and had the operation and then they got mad because I had a workman’s comp case going back against them going back to the years I played ball.

“They tried to get me to drop that and I said, ‘Who’s going to take care of me?’”

A Tigers representative said Wilcox was not excluded from Monday’s festivities.

“Mr. Wilcox was invited to the ceremony and the events for tonight’s celebration,” said Ron Colangelo, Tigers vice president of communications. “It was his decision to not attend.”

Wilcox said he also wasn’t contacted about the fantasy camp last year, although he had been part of it for each of the last 20 years or so.

“I think those are lingering issues with the Tigers but I don’t have anybody to confirm that; nobody will say anything to me, so I’m not sure,” he said. “I was a little disappointed I didn’t get a call from anybody from the Tigers to make a trip back to Detroit. I’m not doing anything.”

Wilcox said that he was part of the previous celebrations of the ’84 team, when he was living in Detroit. After Monday’s festivities, Wilcox said that some friends sent him Facebook pictures of the events at Comerica Park.

“I was available; if things could have worked out, I would have been back there,” he said. “But it’s hard to come back if you’re not invited.”

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com
Twitter.com/detnewsRodBeard