The Four Tops can’t help themselves from wagering — and talking a little trash — about this year’s World Series.
Three of the legendary Motown group’s members — founder Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Ronnie McNair and Lawrence Payton Jr. — hail from Detroit. But lead singer Theo Peoples was born and raised in St. Louis. So this year’s Tigers-Cardinals matchup has things a little Topsy-turvy within the group.
“We’ve been talking trash — but we use another word for it,” Fakir says with a laugh. “We’ve been talking about this for a while. When we sang the national anthem at (the American League Championship Series), we predicted that would be the series, the Cards and Tigers. We were hoping it would work out that way.”
Fakir says the group’s three Detroiters and Peoples are trying to figure out what kind of wagers to lay on the series. “I’m not afraid to bet,” says Peoples, though he acknowledges the Cardinals’ underdog status in the series. “They’re gonna have to spot me a run or two, ’cause the Tigers swept and (the Cardinals) barely won.
“Detroit looks strong, but I have to go with my home team — die with them or fly with them.”
Fakir, meanwhile, is predicting a Tigers sweep of the series, then hedges, saying it will take five games. “I’ve got to give (Peoples) a game in there,” he says.
Performance commitments will keep the Tops from attending any of the World Series games in person, but Peoples — who was not a big baseball fan when the Tigers and Cardinals played in the 1968 World Series — says the Tops will be glued to the TV broadcasts, most likely together in the same room. But he and Fakir promise no outcome will affect the way the quartet gets along.
“Nothing comes between us,” Fakir says. “Whatever happens, we’ll laugh about it. If the Tigers lose, I’ll be extremely hurt. Then the next day we’ll play golf and he’ll razz me about it and I’ll try to get some birdies from him.”