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Thursday, June 26, 2008

There were tigers on my writing marathon

My son, Aaron, and I were an extension of the RCWP Writing Marathon today. While it's true we actually went to see the Tigers play the St. Louis Cardinals, I began my day with every intention of joining a group in East Lansing for the actual Writing Marathon.

Even before Mitch began the marathon with a couple prompts, he mentioned in an off-hand way that he had Tiger tickets for today's game in his pocket --- and they were going to go unused. I may have pretended to write the prompts, but all I could think about was whether or not I should pounce on those tickets like a team of tigers. So, at 10:45, I called Aaron and we decided to go. We scurried to Detroit for the 1:00 game. He even drove part of the way so I could do some writing. While it's true we missed the first half of the first inning, as we walked into the stadium, Curtis Granderson, #28, was introduced as the first Tiger batter; this was somewhat kismetty (is that a word?) since I wear #28 on the church softball team --- I took it as an omen of good things to come.

I skipped one fun moment. As we approached the stadium, we passed a saxophone player tooting out the rhythm to the Addams Family TV show. Just then, a bus with about 40 kids in it pulled up to the stop light in front of the sax player. Without skipping a beat, as if they had planned it all day, the kids joined in on the song. They clapped in the right spot over and over again...da-da-da-Da, clap-clap, da-da-da-Da, clap-clap, da-da-da-Da, da-da-da-Da, da-da-da-Da, clap-clap! They were all smiles and it made us get into the mood too.

The game zoomed into the 5th inning. No runs, lots of hits, and fortunately plenty of shade & breeze (see the photo, above)...thank you, Mitch. The chili cheese fries --- a tradition with Aaron and me --- smelled like baseball, tasted like heaven, and disappeared entirely too fast. By the bottom of the ninth inning, we were down 2 to 1 and it looked like the afternoon would end about the same time the sun was catching up with our seats. Then, Gary Sheffield clobbered a home run out to left field, only 20 yards away from us. Our defense & pitching held in the 10th inning and Curtis Granderson started the rally in our half of the inning (that's the sort of thing that goes unnoticed by the media, but us #28s stick together). A couple intentional walks later and Clete Thomas earned a walk with the bases loaded --- giving us the victory.

Forty one thousand twenty two fans were overjoyed! Actually, I bet there were about 200 Cardinal fans in the ballpark who were on the grumpy, pissed off side of the street.

Assorted observations: people do many other things while the game is being played including reading the Detroit News and texting each other like fiends; this one little kid didn't seem to care that his dad spilled beer on his cap; I bet 300 people stood and watched the whole game leaning on one rail or another; not only is people-watching fun, but watching people people-watch can be very entertaining; sometimes it seems like players want to get thrown out of the game (Polanco reminded me of Rasheed Wallace today...firing up the team with his unnecessary, but entertaining, antics).

Part of the fun for me is avoiding the traffic jams leaving the game. Adding to the challenge was that the game ended right before rush-hour traffic began. Suffice it to say that with Aaron as my navigator, we used the side streets well and skirted around most of the long lines. In essence, we won, again.

The chili cheese fries were long gone by this time and we were happier because of it.

P.S. Curtis scored the winning run and extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Go #28!