Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Baseball memories

I don't remember my first Tigers game. Red Wings and Pistons, I do. But baseball? It's too far back.
I remember the Sunday after my tenth birthday we went to a baseball game. I was wearing my sundress with the yellow flowers on it; Mom had said it needed a petticoat. We went right from 10 o'clock Mass and had lunch at the Red Devil restaurant right across from the stadium.
I remember going to a Family Night game on a Monday that stretched to 19 innings. It was tied 3-3 at the end of the ninth; somewhere around the twelfth it went to 4-4. We were questioning if the time rule would go into effect; we knew they wouldn't start an inning after 1 AM. When the other team (Yankees?) broke it open in the top of the nineteenth, we packed it in. It was the first time my dad left a baseball game before it was over.
I grew up on stories of my mom taking the streetcar with her little brother to go to games. My dad told of going to Opening Day dressed for summer and realizing April sure could be cold, despite it being baseball season. I remember Dad explaining the difference between reserved and box seats (the poles impeding the view) and telling about when bleachers cost a dime.
George Kell and Al Kaline were the sound of Saturday afternoons, and Ernie Harwell sang me to sleep from my mother's radio more times than I can count.
I remember being a Bleacher Creature in 1984, swinging my shirt over my head at a Yankees game before they had towels (I was wearing a tank top--don't panic). 35-5, first loss to Kansas City. Once they had it, they kept their 7 game lead. Lou, Tram, Gibby, Lance Parrish, Darrell Evans, Tom Brookens, Chet Lemon, Larry Herndon... Dave Rozema, Aurelio Lopez, Milt Wilcox, Tanana, Willie Hernandez... Our next door neighbor had PASS for the first time that summer and we didn't even have cable. We were over there a lot of evenings.
I remember when the "Bo Knows" campaign got hijacked to "Bo don't know baseball," referring to Bo Schembechler instead of Bo Jackson. I was sad not to be at the Hug for Tiger Stadium and wouldn't touch Domino's Pizza for years.
Once in looking for our seats we went past the door to the players' locker room, and some of them were talking to the press just outside it. I was so surprised at how big Alan Trammel was. I'd only seen him on our 19-inch television before that.
My junior year of high school my mother pulled us out of school for Opening Day. The attendance monitor at school was suspicious when all three of us showed up in his office with our identical notes at 11 AM, stating we were to be excused for "personal business." He had the temerity to ask what that was. We were pretty brazen: "We're going to the ball game."
"Do you already have tickets?" he smirked.
"Oh, really? Where?"
"Upper deck reserved. Can we go now, as we're planning on having lunch before the game."
Mom was out in the parking lot, after all.

I remember being disappointed that I couldn't get the Tigers game on the radio when I went off to college. After I graduated, my mother called one Sunday morning from church: "Someone's giving away two tickets to the ball game today. Can you be ready to go by the time I get home? I'll just pull up!" They weren't just box seats, they were Tiger Den tickets. We didn't realize it until we were trying to find them at the park.
In August 1995, I remember being at a game with Dale discussing an upcoming wedding. "If you want a date, Dale, I'll go with you," I told him. I had taken care with what I wore that evening and even wore makeup.
I remember being at one of the last games at Tiger Stadium, a few months before we got married. We only made one game at Comerica Park since. Kids get the better of schedules and money.

Until last night. Now I can remember the only baseball game to which I wore long underwear and drank hot chocolate. Instead of a sunburn, I ended up with windburn. But they won. And we were there.


At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Daisy said...

Awesome. Both that they won (I dislike the Cardinals intently), and that you guys got to see it. I didn't grow up close enough to go to a lot of games at Kauffman (Kansas City, MO), but I watched every minute of the 85 WS at home on our new color television. My hope is that our Royals will get there someday. Hey, no one could have predicted this in 2003, right? I can have hope, right...?

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Diane said...

This post made me very happy. I've never been to a post-season game but I'm happy to know someone who has! The season ended early and miserably for us this year so I have to live the WS vicariously through you. It's just so hard to decide what to root for: a Tigers win, or a resounding Cardinals defeat? Either way, a sweet outcome.


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