Play Ball! (Please)

We recently lost a Detroit sports legend, Al Kaline. He was one of the greatest Tigers of all time. With over 3,000 hits and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, he’s right up there with Ty Cobb in the history of Detroit sports. Of course, the Detroit Tigers put together a tribute video honoring Mr. Tiger. He was a sports icon in this town, and he will be sorely missed.

During this period of Coronavirus quarantine, Fox Sports Detroit has been replaying many of the most famous games in Detroit sports history. The other night, they aired the final game played at The Corner of Michigan & Trumbull (Tiger Stadium). My wife and I were at that game in 1999, and witnessed an 8th inning moon shot that went off the roof! That grand slam was delivered by a lowly backup catcher named Robert Fick. It was the hardest-hit ball I have ever seen, and I was happy to be there with my wife to enjoy it. The place went ballistic!

As I have mentioned before in previous articles, my rabid sports fan nature has diminished over time. It has been replaced by a casual “whatever” attitude when it comes to our local sports teams. It’s easy not to give a crap when every team in town is setting new standards for sucking. That said, here in Detroit the postponement of the 2020 MLB season, brings with it some massive collateral damage. After being cooped up all winter, Opening Day in Detroit is a citywide holiday. Half of the city is either at Comerica Park or packed into one of the nearby bars and restaurants. The folks unlucky enough to be stuck at work, listen to the game on radio or stream it online.

March 30, 2020, would have been one of the earliest home openers we’ve ever seen in Detroit. It turned out to be a balmy 47 degrees, with no rain. Oh well. After baseball finally gets it’s butt in gear, it just won’t be the same. Post-Coronavirus, how many people are going to feel comfortable sitting in a packed ballpark with a bunch of strangers? Not many, I’ll bet. So here’s hoping this disease runs its course quickly, so we can all hear that glorious sound of “Play Ball”, echoing from Comerica Park. The first bag of peanuts is on me!

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