Art ‘Pinky’ Deras, Hamtramck hero and greatest Little-Leaguer ever, dies at 75

The man widely considered “The Greatest Little-Leaguer Who Ever Lived” has died.


Art “Pinky” Deras, who led Hamtramck to the Little League World Series championship in 1959, died at a local hospital early Sunday morning following a brief illness. He was 75.

Deras’ death was confirmed by the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted Deras in 2011. Deras’ son Kevin confirmed his death to The News on Sunday night. The cause of death wasn’t officially announced, though Deras has had health issues in recent years.

Pinky Deras, right, is hoisted on his teammates' shoulders following the Little League World Series championship game in 1959.

Deras resided in Sterling Heights, following a 30-year career in law enforcement. He retired in 2001 as a detective with the City of Warren Police Department.

The News last spoke to Deras in late August 2021, for his reaction on the Taylor North team winning the Little League World Series, joining Deras’ team as the only two from Michigan to win the championship.

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