Thursday, September 19, 2013

Recalling a Childhood Trip to Tiger Stadium

The other day as I was browsing Ebay, I came across this piece for sale:

What makes it significant to me? I was at that game. It was one of several trips that my mother took my brother and I to see the Detroit Tigers in person.  For this particular game, it was a Hank Greenberg/Charlie Gehringer poster giveaway day.  More importantly, this was the day that the Tigers officially retired Greenberg's number 5 jersey and Gehringer's #2.  The ceremony was held between games of the doubleheader., back when they had scheduled doubleheaders.  Oh, how the game has changed.

I was still a pretty young kid, so I don't remember too much of the game in terms of particular plays or players.  Thanks to the world wide web, I found the boxscores.
For the first game of the doubleheader, Milt Wilcox outdueled future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven as the Tigers won 4-1.  The offensive stars of the game was Lou Whitaker who had two hits and knocked in two runs from the leadoff spot and Alan Trammell also got two base hits.  For Cleveland, the only batter to hit safely twice was Toby Harrah, the Tigers current assistant hitting coach.

In the second game, Tigers won yet again behind Jack Morris against Len Barker, 3-1.  Offensively, Chet Lemon and Johnny Grubb had solo homers for Detroit.  Cleveland was led by Julio Franco with two hits and Mike Hargrove aka The Human Rain Delay knocked in the only run for the Tribe as he did in the first game of the doubleheader.
What is also significant about the day's games is that each of the four starters pitched complete games.  Imagine going to see a game and no relief pitchers enter the game.  Ah, the good old days. 

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