Sunday, May 11, 2014

Reality star, Rich Pyle, throws out first pitch at Tigers game

Baseball is a time-honored tradition in many families, but ties to the sport run even deeper among Rich Pyle’s relatives.

The Woodhaven resident, who gained fame on TruTV’s reality show “Hardcore Pawn” and now appears on National Geographic’s urban treasure hunter series “Meltdown,” is part of a Detroit Tigers legacy.

His grandfather, Raymond Pyle, played for the Tigers in the 1930s, and his father, Rich, was just 16 years old and still in high school when he was on Detroit’s minor league team.

Pyle had the honor of throwing out the first pitch Wednesday at the Detroit Tigers baseball game.

“I’ve been like a kid in candy store since I got the invite,” Pyle said. “This goes back a lot farther for me.

“I played all the way through high school, but I’m thinking the professional part skipped a generation.”

His son, Nicholas, 12, is carrying on the Pyle baseball tradition by playing for his middle school team and the Down River Hawks travel team. He’s been invited to play in Cooperstown, N.Y. for the 12-year-old national championship tournament this summer.

Throwing out the first pitch allowed Pyle to continue the family tradition with the Tigers, even if it was just for one pitch.

“I played baseball from T-ball, Little League and through high school with the likes of Steve Avery, who went on to be a professional pitcher for the Atlanta Braves when they won the pennant,” he said.

“The year the Braves won the championship Steve came back home and called my dad and asked him to meet him at the baseball field. When he got to the field he said he wanted to thank my dad for teaching him how to pitch the correct way all those years ago. I can still see my dad’s head swelling every time he tells that story.”

His wife, son and daughter attended the game with him — and his father came along to relive his memories as well.

Currently Pyle is consulting and is fielding offers for a new TV show while playing in his band Superlast, working on launching his clothing line called RPM Gear, finalizing an endorsement deal and enjoying time with his family.

He’ll also judge a DJ contest sponsored by Cabresto Tequila May 17 at Pier 500 in Wyandotte.

Keep up with his latest work online at facebook.com/RichPyleRPM.

*This story originally appeared in the May 11, 2014 edition of The News-Herald Newspapers. Reprinted with permission.

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