I played baseball in high school with his sons Jeff and BJ and saw the legacy of their father in those men who were great ball players. My sympathies to the family.
I'm very grateful for what Mr. Lajoie did for Detroit and the Tigers organization. God bless him.
Bill , You were my first great love. what a brother, growing up together. Then ONe day you signed a baseball contract and I followed you by news. Your life was baseball and your players. I walked proud of you at each success you had. My love for you has never left me.
Your sister, Mary Ann
To the Lajoie Family, my deepest sympathies.
Mr. Lajoie actually coached me at Emerson Elementary and Jr. High in Detroit, MI. When i was about 11 years old, so around 1971. At the time he was coaching us kids basketball. It just so happened that i was shoved into the wall and ended up with a compound fracture to my wrist. Mr. Lajoie picked me up and rest my arm on his clip board and off to the office we went.I remember he waited with me until my mom came to pick me up. I will always remember him for that kind moment.
Dear BJ, Jeff and Julie,
I have been traveling and did not hear about your father until today. Your Dad and I kept touch over the years and I never will forget the most treasured birthday gift he gave me years ago...his autographed copy of the '68 Tigers yearbook. Your parents were both very special people and I treasured their friendship. Your Dad's influence in MLB will surely be missed. With kindest personal regards, Deborah Bayer (Joseff)
B.J., Jeff, and Julie,
We were very saddened to learn of Bill's passing. He was a good friend and neighbor.
The Makinen family, Norman, Joan, Terry, Tammy, and John
Bill to me was the ultimate mentor and true friend.he cared about me and wasn't afraid to be sincere in his thoughts.my relationship with bill was very similar to my grandfather for who I idolized and revered.my time over the years with bill was something I will never forget.thank you bill for being there and good bye.
Julie, Jeff and BJ - I am sorry for your loss. I agree with Steven Casker - "Thanks for all the great baseball and the '84 WS winners you picked." It seems fitting that Bill never retired from the sport. What a legend! Julie, I love thinking about what fun I had at Spring Training. Thanks to you and your dad. I think about how influential he's been to so many, even those that never met him.
Our condolences to the Lajoie family. My parents had a cabin close to his at Island Lake and he was always kind when we talked to him. Greg Stout (Tennessee)
Julie, so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a great man. Sorry we haven't kept in touch.
Julie, so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a great man. Sorry we have not kept in touch. Gwen Wedel
Bill was a good friend during our high school days at Detroit Denby High. I will always remember him encouraging me in my sport endeavors. Always a smile and a friendly pat on the back.
To the Lajoie family, Bill was a good friend during our fun high school days at Denby High. Not only a good athlete but also a truly all around guy! I never did have the chance to run into him after these years but I sure did follow his wonderful career.
My condolences to the family in your time of sorrow and may God continue to give you peace and comfort in these times. Psalms34:15
In 1971 the Detroit Tigers drafted an 18-year-old boy from Flint, MI in the sixth round, mostly on the recommendation of a great baseball man, a scout for the Tigers. The scout went out of his way, accompanied the boy on his trip to the rookie league team in Bristol, VA, and even stayed a few extra days to make sure the boy felt comfortable in his new surroundings. The boy, unfortunately, never fulfilled the potential the scout saw in him, and the Tigers released him in 1976. The scout went on to accomplish great things in baseball as a general manager and consultant. They never saw one another again after 1976, but the boy was forever grateful to this great man for giving him the opportunity to chase his dream. That boy was me. My name is Jeff Natchez, and I will never forget that great man- his name is Bill Lajoie.
Met Mr. LaJoie at a Tigers game at old Tiger stadium. I knew him from the Tiger yearbook, I shook his hand and got an autograph
My sincere condolences to the entire family. Scott, Tom and I got together Monday and talked about Bill. I ordered his book first thing Tuesday morning and was very surprised to hear of his passing just a few hours later. A great man leaving behind many great memories. I'll never forget the trips up to the cottage.
To BJ, Jeff and Julie and the entire LaJoie family, my condolences to you all. I enjoyed growing up with you, missed you when you moved from Westland. Best wishes - John Eyerman
I played in the Cincinnati Reds farm system in 1967 and 1968 and Bill Lajoie was the manager of my minor league team (Sarasota Reds) in the Gulf Coast Rookie League in 1968. He was just starting his managing career and I remember that a part of his coaching technique was that he would work out with us in our position drills. You could easily tell he was a [player] by the way he handled himself on the field.
I appreciate everything Bill did for me that one year I played for him and he will always be a part of a time in my life that has provided a 'ton' of good memories.
(Cincinnati Reds, Minor League Pitcher/ 1967 and 1968)
To the LaJoie Family- I am sorry to hear of Bills passing. He was a wonderful man. He was my teacher in Detroit many years ago. We wrote back and forth a few times through out the years and he would always give me good advice. He had sent me World Series Tickets in 1984! I will never forget it. I never asked for them and I was so grateful. Thanks for your baseball talent Bill and for being a good friend.
To the Lajoie family - I'm sorry to hear of your dad's passing. While looking at pictures for my dad's service in June, we came across pictures of the Griffin and Lajoie families at Camp Dearborn. Great memories. May other happy memories support you during this time of sorrow. Debbie (Griffin) Steggles
MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE LAJOIE FAMILY. I WAS A FRIEND OF BILL'S AT WESTERN AND REMEMBER HIS THROWS FROM CENTER FIELD AS WELL AS HIS FRIENDSHIP.
BILL BERGIN INDIO,CA.
Hi Lajoie children
This is Bev Griffin and am so sorry for your loss.
My Bob passed away in June. Hopefully they will talk baseball for ever now
Thank you Bill for building those great teams in the 80's especially the '74 champs. Bless you Bill
Bill was a man that made my life long dream come true by signing me to a Tigers contract in june of 1974.....was always very kind and helpful...best baseball man I ever knew...Sympathies to B.J....Jeff and Julie......Sincerely....Brian Kelly.
Arguably the best baseball man in any front office, anywhere -- perhaps Bill's greatest talent was his ability to build teams. Selecting players is one thing. Choosing players who will complement each other and strengthen a team in the clubhouse as well as on the field is quite another, and Bill did that better than anybody. It didn't hurt that he also was a darn good guy. He'll be missed, and, more important, he'll be remembered for a long time -- in Detroit, in Atlanta, in Boston, in all the baseball towns he served so well.
We wish to offer our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the immediate family, all other relatives, many associates and lifelong friends of BILL LAJOIE upon his departure from the scene ...
He was a very fine man and one of the most knowledgeable on the subject of baseball anyone could ever meet ...
He will be rememered forever by all those of us who knew and worked with him over time.
Mrs. L. I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. L's passing. I was just thinking of him the other day, and wondering if he was going to come see me at RAVE. I heard about it on the New England sports channel Tues. nite. I always looked forward to hear what he thought about the Red Sox moves, I will miss him.
Thanks for all the great baseball and the 84 WS winners you picked.