One of the great things about really brutal conditions at a World Series is that you never will forget it if you were there. Ask any White Sox fan who watched Game 2 of the last World Series in Chicago, when Scott Podsednik hit the walk-off homer that literally brought more rain on a blustery night. Ask any Red Sox fan who toughed out the opener of the 2004 Fall Classic. Ask any Tiger fan who watched Kenny Rogers deal against St. Louis to even up the 2006 World Series at a game apiece.
As predicted, the rains finally let up for gametime Sunday night and then it was just a matter of dealing with some serious wind chill. But this is the Upper Midwest. It’s going to be time to shovel some snow here soon. More than 50,000 Tiger fans at Comerica Park dressed in layers, snagged a bunch of those giveaway blankets at the credit card-signup kiosk, and mostly ignored the elements because of one theme that I heard over and over:
"Any night the Tigers are winning a World Series game is a good night. Who cares about the weather? We’ve waited long enough for this."
And that was from a Tigers fan from Johnson City, Tenn. Philip Poremsky was here with his wife Diane (both pictured here), and they were huddled together in the standing area behind the lower-level seats on the third-base side when I met them in the eighth inning. There would be plenty of time to thaw out. They saw Detroit play a World Series game.
"On our way to the park, we thought it was going to rain, and that was our biggest fear," Diane said. "We all have airline tickets to leave town in the morning, and we didn’t want to have to deal with changing those. Everything has worked out."
That was the recurrent theme with each Tiger fan you talked to here. Many, many years from now, they will remember that they were here for the first World Series victory by a Tigers team since the 1984 clincher. They will remember the wind chill. They will remember chanting "KEN-NY! KEN-NY! all night and watching C-Mo’s long ball. And maybe they will see them again next weekend.
Back to St. Louis, where Busch Stadium weather will be nicer on Tuesday and the color of the day will be lots of red. Incredible amounts of red. And this guy whose picture I took outside of Comerica before Game 1 will not seem quite so out of place.