While the Detroit Tigers of today may not be as relevant as they once were, my gut says the team will be a prominent player in Major League Baseball in the next 2-3 years.
This time of year always makes me think of simpler times, when finding a ticket to Opening Day and determining a place to tailgate were at the top of our list of priorities.
And while Comerica Park is a great place to watch a ballgame, it’s not Tiger Stadium.
Yes, I’m dating myself here, but the corner of Michigan and Trumbull was like no other. It had atmosphere, ambience, sights, sounds, and smells, and the flagpole and bleachers in center field. Fans were all diehards, not fair weather fans we maybe tend to see today.
I loved going down to “The Corner” with family and friends. Some of my fondest memories as a kid are going downtown and just being in awe of the spectacle that was the stadium and Tiger baseball.
Truth be told, I knew Detroit as “Tiger Town” long before the city was coined “Hockeytown” some 25 or so years ago.
When I was growing up, everyone had a Tiger hat. Everyone. I’ve had one for pretty much all of my almost-43 years on this planet. The Olde English D is so iconic, and it symbolizes more than just a baseball team.
I can remember growing up in Ferndale and listening to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey call the games on WJR and watching George Kell and Al Kaline with the call on Channel 4.
Yes, the good ol’ days.
Back then, we weren’t concerned with salaries or newfangled stats like WAR, WHIP, launch angle or exit velocity. It was wins, losses, home runs, batting average and maybe runs batted in.
And the Tigers were pretty good.
Riding home with my grandparents from their home in Royal Oak back to Ferndale the night the Tigers won the 1984 World Series is a memory that will always be etched in my brain.
As are the smell of the Ball Park Franks, Bud Light, and the trough-style restrooms at Tiger Stadium.
The stadium was last used in 1999 and no longer stands, but the memories will live forever.
— Matt Mackinder