Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Play ball! Tigers open at Comerica Park

I remember an Opening Day story I did years ago.
I talked to a blind woman who was a huge fan of the Tigers. She absolutely adored baseball.
That meant she also loved broadcasters Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey. They were her conduit to the game.
She’d been sightless her entire life, so she had never actually seen a Tigers’ game. She had never walked into the stadium from the drab concrete jungle of Michigan and Trumbull that surrounded it and been immediately bedazzled by the lush greenery confronting her.
But she had seen plenty of baseball in her mind’s eye. She had heard the crack of the bat on her transistor radio and envisioned that feverish activity that ensued. The batter racing to first and the shortstop scooping up the grounder on the second hop.

Opening Day was the beginning of the best time of year for her. She’d sit in her living room and listen to the radio and cringe when Norm Cash struck out and laugh when Willie Horton sent a ball soaring into the left field seats. She marveled when Denny McLain struck another batter out, and jumped up in joy when Kirk Gibson sent another ball into the upper deck seats in right.
It’s been years, and I have no idea where that woman is today. She might not even be alive. She might be listening to Ernie Harwell do games, though. He’s broadcasting for the angels, you know. Not those that reside in Anaheim, either.
Opening Day stories don’t all sit in the box seats at Tiger Stadium or Comerica Park.
Tiger fans don’t always get their seats through the box office or on Stub Hub.


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