I have been waiting for today all through this long winter. On some of those numerous bitter cold days with the snow flying and the wind biting, the new season of Tigers baseball was the one thought that could lift my spirits. Baseball, just like spring, is a sure sign of the end of another long winter.
Sure, the days might not yet be warm enough to get by without wearing at least a sweatshirt and, yes, there might be a day where some snow may fly. However, baseball is back and just as sure as that, spring must be back as well.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The Pure Michigan campaign is rolling out the new ads for the summer of 2013. Featured places this summer are Tecumseh, Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek, Manistee, Mount Bohemia, Frankenmuth, and Detroit.
Here are the ads for Manistee and Tecumseh -
Bonus - Detroit Tigers Pure Michigan:
This fun little spot showcases members of the Detroit Tigers organization explaining what Pure Michigan means to them.
This is my personal Top Five list of Detroit Tigers home runs. They might not all be famous, but they were chosen due to their significance to me and my lifelong love of the Tigers.
Kirk Gibson, Game 5 of the 1984 World Series
Growing up my favorite Tiger was Kirk Gibson. I thought he was awesome and that the Tigers would always be a good (if not great) team. Gibson left via free agency after the 1987 season (and go on to hit one of, if not, THE most definitive World Series home runs in 1988) and it would be nearly 20 years before Detroit would return to the postseason.
This happens to be my favorite moment of both Sparky Anderson and Kirk Gibson. "He don't wanna walk ya!"
The pivotal moment of Game Five in the 1984 World Series. Two on, one out, and the Tigers clinging to a 5-4 lead and trying to clinch their 4th championship.
Magglio Ordonez, Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS
October 14, 2006 - 22 years to the day that the Tigers won the World Series in 1984, Magglio Ordonez stepped up to the plate in a 3-3 tie with a chance to send the Tigers to the World Series.
Bottom of the 9th, two on, two outs, and Magglio Ordonez took a 1-0 pitch into the stands in left field sending Tigers fans everywhere into boundless joy. I was a kid the last time the Tigers won the World Series and I felt like a kid (actually jumping and hollering as the ball was in flight) when Ordonez sent them back.
I still get chills watching this :).
September 27, 1999 - the last hit at Tiger Stadium
Rob Fick gave the grand old ballpark a fitting farewell when he smacked a grand slam home run onto the right field roof.
Carlos Guillen exacts his revenge on Jered Weaver for being a jerk to his pal Magglio
July 31, 2011 - this is extra special to me because my family was actually at this game. Justin Verlander was working a perfect game going into the 8th inning and I had butterflies in my stomach as we watched potential history being made.
Oh, and there was all kinds of other drama. In the fourth inning, Magglio Ordonez hit a two run home run that just went fair. He didn't leave the batter's box right away because he was watching to see if it would be fair or foul. Well, the Angels' pitcher, Jered Weaver, thought that Ordonez was showboating and screamed at him as Magglio trotted around the bases.
Carlos Guillen was really good friends with Ordonez and took exception to Jered treating his buddy like that so in the 7th inning when Guillen hit a no doubt home run to right field, he purposely showboated by flipping his bat and staring down Weaver. Alex Avila was the next batter and Weaver threw at his head in retaliation. He was quickly tossed from the game and then just lost it in one of the better on-field temper tantrums I have seen by a player.
The next inning, Verlander lost his perfect game and no-hitter, but I will always remember this game for all of the additional drama.
September 3, 2011 - Miguel Cabrera walk-off home run
I can't have a list like this without including something from Miguel Cabrera. September 3, 2011 - the Tigers were down by 7 runs to the White Sox after the top of the 5th inning. They were still down 8-6 going into the 9th inning when Ryan Raburn hit a two run home run to tie it.
With two outs and the game still tied, the foolish White Sox chose to pitch to Cabrera with first base open. They would immediately regret the decision as Miggy took the first pitch he saw and parked it into the left field stands to end the game. Walk-off win!
April 20, 1912. A mere five days after the sinking of the Titanic, two iconic ballparks opened. Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Fenway Park in Boston. Today, only Fenway Park remains, but the memory of Tiger Stadium lives on.
The final game took place on September 27, 1999 and the last pieces of Tiger Stadium were torn down nearly 10 years to the day of the last game on September 21, 2009.
Celebrate the historic corner of Michigan and Trumbull with our new Tiger Stadium Crate. The ends are made to look like home plate and the sides are street signs - "Michigan" on one side and "Trumbull" on the other. The two streets representing the great ballpark on "The Corner" so aptly named by the great Tigers radio broadcaster, Ernie Harwell.
Not much is being said in the media this week leading up to what would have been the 100th anniversary of Tiger Stadium (Navin Field when it opened in 1912) so I thought I would at least post some videos and links to relevant Tiger Stadium information.
Tiger Stadium Links
Supposedly coming Summer 2012 is a documentary chronicling the endeavors by a group of folks partial to the history of "The Corner" to keep the former site of Detroit Tigers baseball clean and playable.
See the Navin Field Grounds Crew facebook page for more information.
Here is a sneak peak at our ode to Tiger Stadium affectionately known as "The Corner" (coming soon!) -