Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Down to the wire - Bless you boys!

Can you feel that 84 fever? It's in the air. I remember October 14, 1984. I was almost 10 years old. It was a Sunday evening and I had spent the weekend up north on a family trip. We were on our way home and tuning in as much of the game as possible. Through the static it was hard to hear exactly what was going on at times, but you could feel the excitement. My Dad was telling us about the last time the Tigers had won the World Series back in '68 and had come back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the defending World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. It had only been a year since the riots of '67, and this Tigers team united the community like nothing else could. Smiles abound, people shaking hands and dancing in the streets, as the celebration erupted in the city that was in dire need of change.

We had just passed Birch Run when we started hearing the honking of horns and screams of enthusiasm out of passerbyers windows. Traffic slowed down and before long finally came to a stand still as people left their vehicles and started celebrating along I-75. Dancing on the highway, on top of cars, people running up and down stretches of the highway with cries of joy. It's a moment that I will never forget and after so many losing seasons I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see the Tigers enter another successful playoff season in my life.

Here we are now in 2006, and with a lot of help from Manager Jim Leyland, who not only defines the game of baseball, but helped bond this group of players and build pure camaraderie between them, teaching them to remain modest, while showing their true, natural abilities, and putting Detroit baseball back on the map.

I am hoping that over this final week this team will continue to fight for the thing that they have held onto for the last four months...the AL Central Division title. Sure we don't want to wear the boys out before the playoffs even begin, but I think that claiming this prize will prove to everyone that we are real and we are ready to reclaim our glory.

I'll be at the final game on Sunday afternoon, watching from above, childhood memories surrounding me while I create new memories for the next generation Tigers fan.

Go get 'em Tigers! and best wishes to eveyone out there.


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