Game 1 Pregame


The gates just opened, and there was a loud ROAR right before 4:30 when they did. There is a World Series here in Detroit tonight for the first time since 1984. Here is a picture I took of Kaden Dailide, 3, who was born when the Tigers were putting together 119 losses. Sports Illustrated ran a photo of him recently in this gear (he’s going as Superman for Halloween), and a local TV station found out and he was on his way after this photo was taken to meet Magglio Ordonez before the game.


Meet Len and Pam Kantola of Petersburg, Mich. In 1984, Pam had her wisdom teeth removed and Len left her to go to Game 4 of the World Series and watch Kirk Gibson homer. "He left me suffering!" she said after this photo below was taken. "I even had to go to the emergency room that night." Now married 27 years, Len says, "The good news is the Tigers won. It was a good day. By the time I went home, she was under medication so it was OK." Len is "making up for it" tonight. He paid $2,600 for four tickets for both of them as well as his son Kyle and son-in-law Ken Drollete. "I’m thinking we’re winning in four," Len says. "The Tigers are well-rested. St. Louis is tired."


No one expected the Detroit Tigers to be in the playoffs, no one expected them to demolish the Yankees in the ALDS, no one expected them to sweep Oakland, and no one expected them to be here. So that explains Christine Wofford of Canton, Mich. An administrative analyst for the Wayne County Road Commission, she "heard on the radio they were talking about this series being a Cinderella story, and now we’re the best. This happens so infrequently here." She is making the most of it, and her daughter is being her official videographer on the scene.


At about 4 p.m., this guy ran right past me while I was cruising Comerica with the Canon. It reminded me of high school ball, running the stairs. His name is Todd Jones. He could be closing out a World Series victory hours later. Jones is a bigtime Auburn football fan, and this also is a reminder about that.


Whenever you see a closeup of Tony La Russa or a Cardinal player in the dugout this weekend, here’s the culprit. It’s a remote-control camera just inside the opening to the visitors’ dugout. Tony wears sunglasses, so it still won’t tell you what he’s looking at.


There was a little leftover water on top of the visitors’ dugout at 4, but it could not be a more perfect night for ball. Some rain could fall later, maybe 10 or 11. Thought you would like to see a closeup view of the top of the dugout, because most people will think they painted the big block "WORLD SERIES" letters in white on top of each dugout. It’s a Velcro pad, a really long one.




    What a wonderful scenario. You, know I am very happy to the Tigers and the Detroit fans. What a good story. Great to see the Birds and Cats here instead of Yanks and Amazins.

    One thing though. How many horrible games is Encarnacion to have before Tony and Walt wize up. Why in the world is Speizio on the bench and Enc. in the lineup/


    I imagine this isn’t the exact type of comment your blog is intended for, but….. As I watched the pregame ceremony this evening, I could not help being very upset. It has been a tradition as long as I remember to begin every baseball game I attended, from Little League to MLB, with the National Anthem. I was extremely disappointed this evening that someone at MLB made the choice to ignore this tradition (or at least approve someone’s recommendation to do so) – I assume for the sake of entertainment. Not only did this deviate from tradition, but it managed to exhibit on National Television that not one of the players lined up along the baseline behind Bob Seger knew that you ONLY remove your hat and place your hand over your heart for our National Anthem – not America the beautiful, or God Bless America, or God Bless the USA. Don’t get me wrong, those are beautiful songs….but they are not THE song that is THE official anthem of our country…they are not the National Anthem. I recently retired from the Navy after serving 27 years in defense of our country, our National Anthem, our Flag, and yes, MLB’s right to replace the traditional “Take me out to the Ballgame” at the 7th inning stretch with “God Bless America” and to cease the tradition of begnning ballgames with the National Anthem. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it when the executives that now manage our “National Pastime” fail to understand that the proper etiquette displayed when saluting our flag and honoring our official National Anthem is not supposed to be used to “honor” any other song or flag. There are many young men and women serving in our Armed Forces, many giving their lives this day, to ensure the flag and the National Anthem remain as honored as they have been for the past 200+ years. I simply would like to see individuals in positions which allow them to present “entertainment” to hundreds of millions of Americans watching their telecasts recognize that there is a difference between entertainment and proper respect and honor due our official national symbols.


    I found the neglect of the National Anthem to be shameful.

    Once upon a time the last words of the National Anthem were “Play Ball”, but not anymore.

  4. Zack

    Love the pic of Todd Jones jogging past you. THAT’S the kind of stuff I love to see. And wow…the gates opened over three and a half hours before the first pitch?! (Note to self…)

    -The Baseball Collector

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