William Grover Slayback was born on February 21, 1948, in Hollywood, California.
As a Tigers fan growing up in the early 1970s, I remember going to Tiger Stadium with my Uncle Bob to see Slayback pitch his rookie year of 1972.
Bill was terrific his rookie year, nearly tossing a no-hitter in his big league debut on June 26, 1972.
I ddon't know if I was at Slayback's debut, or one of his games after that, but I remember him pitching a terrific game and being so excited afterwards to go home and watch the sports report on TV for the highlights.
Bill didn't know he was throwing a no-hitter that night until Al Kaline told him after Kaline tried throwing out the Yankees Johnny Callison on a single to right in the 8th inning.
Here's a nice piece on Bill from SABR.
As a Tigers fan, and a baseball fan, I also knew that Bill, along with Tigers Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell co-wrote, and Bill sang "Move over Babe, Here comes Henry!" as future Atlanta Braves OF Henry Aaron was about to surpass Yankees great Babe Ruth as big league baseball's all-time home run champion.
Bill Slayback pitched in just 42 games for the Tigers from 1972-74, as arm injuries led to his early departure from baseball after a meteoric rise.
In some ways Bill Slayback's short tenure with would re-appear again just two short years later in a young fireballing right handed pitcher named Mark Fidrych.
Rest in Peace Bill Slayback.