My first trip Major League game was at Tiger Stadium; I don’t remember exactly when, probably 1978 or 1979. I have no idea who the Tigers played, let alone who won. All I remember was arriving at “The Corner”. It was about a 30 minute drive to Detroit, but when you’re 4 years old, 30 minutes may was well be 30 hours.
I remember seeing the Stadium and it looking like a big white battleship or a fortress – that for some reason had enormous lights on it. I woke up and asked no one in particular “Where are we?” My brother had been telling us, ad nausea, that we would be sitting in the upper deck; so my sister pointed to lights and asked “Are we going to be up THERE?” (Sorry Sis, even as little as I was, I thought it was hilarious.)
Needless to say, I’ve been hooked ever since.
One of my greatest childhood memories was playing baseball with the other kids of Alma Drive. Summers meant no school and baseball, everyday (weather permitting of course) in the backyard, in the front yard, and in the street. When we got older, we took it to the school playground where there was more room and a “real” field.
My father got me into collecting baseball cards, back when the hobby first started to grow in the early 80s. Every now and then, I’ll try to build a set, but my collection is nothing compared to his.
I’ve been very fortunate in the last 10 years or so. My brother and my father got a 21 game ticket package to Tiger Stadium in 97, and have renewed it every season since. I saw the last game at Tiger Stadium, the first game at Comerica Park, the 2005 All Star Game, and my first playoff and World Series games in 2006. All in all, I’ve visited and/or watched games in nine major league and three minor league ballparks.
Last month, my wife and I had our first child and you better believe I’m going to share with him this great game that I has been such a huge part of my life.
Check back at this blog often. In the meantime, keep watching, playing, coaching, collecting and writing about, this, the greatest game ever invented. And always…