The Game of Baseball

As the minutes ticked down before what could be the last game of the 2006 baseball season — and with no offense intended for Tiger fans — it hit me as it does at this time each year … how truly long and wonderful that long stretch of calendar is when the national pastime is in it. It all started this time with pitchers and catchers reporting, then the World Baseball Classic, then Opening Day.

Here are some Canon Powershot pics I just took around a playable Busch Stadium in hopes of conveying some of those little things that all add up to such a great sport and the feeling that goes with it. Maybe we will be flying back to Detroit this weekend. Maybe there will be pandemonium in this city tonight. In the meantime, enjoy this little glimpse into the good stuff.

Game 5 has just started. Justin Verlander vs. Jeff Weaver. Cold and windy night. And a special salute to you Red Sox fans, who did something unimaginable exactly two years ago tonight right here in St. Louis. My view of this game is from an almost identical location to that one — Busch Stadium, only the facility has changed. That truly proved that anything can happen at the World Series. Kind of amazing that the Cardinals are in the clinch situation on this anniversary. Let’s see what happens …



    Well, hats off to the Cards, who just wrapped up their series win! Hats off to their pitching staff for stopping a potent Tiger offense!

    You’ve got to feel happy for Jeff Weaver – a World Series ring after spending some rough early years with the Tigers – and only with the Cards due to a mid-season trade from the Angels.

    Uncharacteristically, the Tigers committed LOTS of errors in this series, and it was their undoing. Too bad – it’s a rough way to end an excellent season.

    Hats off to Kenny Rogers, who didn’t give up an earned run in three starts – and only 9 hits! WOW! Not to be an armchair manager, but I think I would have pitched him tonight on 4 days rest, with the hope that he could have helped them move the series back to Detroit.

    Hats off to the Tigers – they had the most wins (including the post-season) in all of baseball, with a record of 103-72!

    The Cards ended up with a record of 94-83, but they won the most important games at the right time – and that’s why they’re World Series Champs!

    1968 was the first year I followed Major League Baseball. I was a 12 year old kid living in Nothern Michigan. That was the year the Tigers’ Denny McLain won 31 games and the Tigers made it to the World Series against St. Louis and Bob Gibson. McLain had a rough Series, but Mickey Lolich came through big, as the Tigers came back from a 3-1 hole to win in 7 games. That season got me hooked on baseball.

    I moved to a town on the Minnesota/North Dakota border back in 1989, and I couldn’t follow the Tigers like I used to (no cable,etc.), and they lost and lost and lost! But this year, thanks to the Internet, I was able to follow them on MLB Gameday! They won and won and won!

    I was hoping they could pull a repeat of their comeback in the ’68 World Series, but it wasn’t to be!

    Even so, it’s been a fun year!

    Thanks Tigers! Thanks MLB Gameday!

    Next year should be fun too! Until then, see ya all, and have a great winter!

  2. Mark/

    keenekarl, thanks for the great comment. Despite the outcome, you can’t ever forget the scene around Comerica Park through this postseason and that first weekend of World Series baseball in Detroit in 22 years. My lasting memory of this Tigers postseason will always be the conga line of fans high-fiving each other throughout the concourses after the ALDS clincher, the way players do on the field after a win. Strangers were friends…baseball does that.

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