Detroit Tigers pitching legend Denny McLain came to Martinez on Friday and Saturday to help his son open a new flooring business.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and former American League MVP is famous for being the last pitcher to win 30 games in one season.
In 1968, McLain helped lead the Tigers to a World Series victory over the Cardinals. He chalked up a record of 31-6, delivered 280 strikeouts and ended the season with a 1.96 ERA.
It's the kind of season that McLain said he believes will never be repeated.
"When I was playing, we trained to pitch nine innings," McLain said while signing autographs at his son's new business, Affinity Flooring. "Nowadays, pitchers only train to pitch six or seven innings. A lot can happen in two innings of baseball.
"Also, I played in a four-man pitching rotation. Now it's five. There are some great pitchers out there, but those things make it nearly impossible for someone to win 30 games in a season anymore."
Still living in the suburbs of Detroit, McLain offered to help his son, also named Denny, get his new business off to a good start.
"It's great that he's here," said the younger McLain. "Hopefully, he'll bring a lot of people into the store to see what we have to offer."
He held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday and a grand opening Saturday. His father participated in both events by autographing photos of himself for customers.
Affinity Flooring offers hardwood flooring, tiles, linoleum and carpeting brands such as Milliken, Damco, Armstrong and Stainmaster.
The showroom is located at 3837-3 Martinez Blvd., but a large part of McLain's business will come from his mobile showrooms.
"We have a van and a jeep that we'll use to carry flooring samples to a customer's home by appointment," McLain said. "It can be hard to judge how something is going to look in your home by viewing it in a showroom. By bringing it to the house, we make the shopping experience more convenient, and customers can get a better of idea of how something will look in their home."
McLain has been in the flooring industry, locally and in Michigan, for nearly 10 years. He said his business philosophy is helping people find what they need and not try to sell them the most expensive item.
"I took some samples to a 75-year-old woman's house where someone else had already come by and tried to sell her a carpet that is $30 a foot," he said. "I showed her something that she liked and suited her needs for only $10 a foot. I'd much rather be able to sell 10 customers at $10 a foot than only one for $30 a foot."
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