Wednesday, October 11, 2006

How 'bout them Tigers!

I can't contain my exuberance and love for the Detroit Tigers. I've followed them since their World Series win in 1984 and all the crappy hang-your-head, when-does-hockey-start? seasons in between.

The list of my favorite players start with Chet Lemon in center, Trammell and Lou Whitaker up the middle, Darrell Evans, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Matt Nokes (love catchers), Lance Parrish (see?), Frank Tanana (just cuz of the funny name), Cecil Fielder, Mickey Tettleton (big ol' nibber in his lip), Travis Fryman (hated seeing him go to Cleveland), Tony Clark, Robert Fick (followed him from his days with Class A Whitecaps near my hometown), Jeff Weaver, Brad Ausmus, and Bobby Higginson.. to name a few of the past guys.

I remember attending my first and only game at old Tiger Stadium with a group from church. We sat along the third base line off left field aways.. and I think they played the Texas Rangers. They won it in either the bottom of the 9th or 10th on a Rob Deer home run. The guy either homered or struck out. I had never seen grass so green. It was also the first time I heard a nun swear.

I remember watching games on the local CBS station with Al Kaline doing the broadcast. The games started with this animated logo..

Ernie Harwell has one of the best radio voices..

.."and tell them Ernie Harwell sent you" was from a commercial for Citizens Insurance. Any Tiger fan should know that.

I cringed at the unveiling of their logo in the 90s of a tiger coming through the old English D; I cheered the signing of Trammell as the coach who brought along fellow mates Parrish and Gibson and hoped they would bring baseball back to motown; I wondered if it could get worse than 119 losses in 2003; and was hopefully optimistic at the signing of Pudge Rodriguez for bookoo bucks after winning the World Series with the Marlins.

A catcher to the rescue!

So it's only fitting that, after years of misery, the Tigers are in the playoffs. I don't care how far they go, either..

(and I say it like that because I don't want to make any bold predictions out loud, such as a World Series appearance or win.. but I'll take one.. or both! Shhh...)

.. and I'm sure they have a few thousand more fans, which includes a few thousand Yankee Haters. The more the merrier!

In the meantime, I'll enjoy their success while I can and continue to be a proud Tigers fan.


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