Walter O. Briggs, Sr.

As a young man, Briggs was a vociferous Tiger fan; in 1902 he was nearly ejected from the ballpark by umpire Tom Connolly for loudly and vehemently castigating the ump. He made a fortune in the auto-body industry, and in 1920 he bought 25 percent of the Tigers. Later, he bought another 25 percent, and, when Frank Navin died in 1935, Briggs bought the remainder of the club. He took no money out of the club, reinvesting profits (and adding his own money) to improve the team and the ballpark. In 1941 he was TSN Executive of the Year. On two occasions he bought each of his players a new suit and hat after outstanding victories, causing a league rule to be passed prohibiting such rewards for single-game efforts.