Former ’84 Tiger Castillo faces more charges, jail time

Utility man Marty Castillo was a small but important part of the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers.

It was the top of the ninth inning on October 5, 1984, and when the ball went into the air every head in Tiger Stadium jerked skyward. Seconds later the sphere was secure in the glove of third baseman Marty Castillo and the Detroit Tigers had won their first pennant in 16 seasons. Castillo joined his teammates in celebration around pitcher Willie Hernandez.

It was the final out of the 1984 American League Playoffs and Castillo was in the right place at the right time. He was at the center of history in an historic season. Ironically, he’d been thinking about the moment for weeks, and he was tempted to do something strange, something he’d been dared to do. Teammate Doug Bair, a relief pitcher with a similarly wacky sense of humor as Castillo’s, had dared Marty that if he was in position to grab the final out of a clinching game he should catch the baseball behind his back.

“It went through my mind,” Castillo joked in the clubhouse.

But the Detroit infielder didn’t mess around, he caught the ball in traditional fashion and the Tigers advanced to the World Series. Once there, they easily dispatched of the San Diego Padres and Marty earned a ring. Castillo was a bit player on that team, but like most of the Tiger bench that season, he had a career year.

A 5th round selection of the Detroit Tigers in the 1978 amateur draft, Castillo began his career as a third baseman but was used at first base and as a catcher in the minor leagues. He debuted with Detroit in 1981 but didn’t really become a fixture on the roster until 1983 when manager Sparky Anderson tagged him for his bench because of his versatility. In ’84, Castillo saw action in 70 games, playing third in 33, catching in 36, and DHing once. He served as the primary backup to starter Lance Parrish, often catching Detroit’s 4th or 5th starters – Juan Berenguar, Glenn Abbott, or Dave Rozema. He proved especially useful to Sparky over a span of nine days in August when the team played three doubleheaders.

Besides being in the right place to catch the final out of the playoffs, Castillo was valuable in the post-season in other ways. The right-handed batter drove in the winning run in the final game of the playoffs against the Kansas City Royals, and in the Fall Classic he hit .333 (3-for-9) with a home run off lefty Tim Lollar in Detroit’s Game Three victory.

In ’85 Castillo was used much the same way, but he had a poor year, hitting .119 with two homers and five RBI in 57 games. The reason the Tigers didn’t repeat wasn’t because the stars slumped – Trammell and Whitaker and Morris were still super- it was the collective collapse of Sparky’s bench. Castillo came back with the Mud Hens in Toledo in ’86 but he never again played in the big leagues.

During his baseball career Castillo seemed to have perfect timing, but after he left the game his life has been less fortunate. One of the most likable members of Detroit’s ’84 Championship team, Castillo has had little to no contact with his former teammates since leaving baseball. He has bounced from job to job after unsuccessfully trying to secure a position in professional baseball. In 1999 he was  convicted of assault and battery against his wife and spent time in jail. Late in 2011 another domestic incident allegedly occurred and he currently faces similar charges. A criminal trial is pending in Florida and Castillo faces prison time if convicted.

7 replies on “Former ’84 Tiger Castillo faces more charges, jail time

  • Joe Semick

    That’s a shame,he was one of my favorites back then,he was always ready to play regardless if he was coming off the bench or in the lineup from the start.I wish him lots of luck and hope he gets the help he needs to get his life back on track.

  • Mike Walkowiak

    Sorry to hear this. He was a good role player on that great ’84 team. It was always humorous when Glenn Abbott pitched and Marty caught. It was the famous battery of “Abbott and Castillo”!

  • Tony Merrit

    The guy is completely MIA…totally checked out of life. He disappeared because he supposedly owed alimony, child support and also had the IRS on his tail for back taxes. And those were just the things that were reported in the media. There have been media reports that he has been seen in remote pacific islands over the years but soon went back underground. His teammates from 84 haven’t heard from him in years. If he ever did show up at a card show I assume the cuffs would be slapped on him immediately. Translation: he will always be the one guy on the 84 team who isn’t dead that you’ll never get. This Charge Definition Is:
    Florida Statute: 784.045.1A1
    Level: Fel (Felony)
    Degree: 2nd


    1. Intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement.

    Castillo’s x-wife suffers nine fractures accourding to public records.

  • Chuck T.

    Marty Castillo is signing autographs at Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor Saturday November 24 from 1-3. Get it now – you never know when he`ll show again. Then again, I hope he does not skip out on this one. From what I hear, the promoters have his plane ticket and a signed contract with him to make this appearance. Like many other collectors, he is the last `84 signature I need for a few signed team baseballs and a team poster.

  • Moises Garcia

    I was living in Florida and had the pleasure of working with Marty and we became very good friends. This man was dealt a bad hand . I think if he ever decides to return to baseball he will be an asset to any team. The man knows his baseball and I hope to on day get him to Michigan to do a baseball camp.

  • Todd

    That’s a shame. I can appreciate how hard it was for him, because a year after winning it all then he was out of baseball for good, and that is a hard adjustment.I really hope he can find inner peace and happiness because I don’t think he is a bad guy but just unhappy in life and did some bad things.

  • Annie S.

    Check all the court records in Anaheim California, and then check all of the court records from here to Florida all the way in the Michigan I feel sorry for everyone I hope Justice is served and I hope that a little bit of what I’m trying to send in this website will help all of us.

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