From spring, through summer, into fall: Tiger Love

I have to come clean.
I need to purge my soul. Get things straight with The man upstairs. Uhmm . . . I have been immersed in a summer-long affair. Yep, it’s true. But, what you don’t know is that dear wife Jennie — always a gamer — was involved, too.
I know, I know . . . to some this relationship sounds kind of tantalizing. To others, kind of freaky. But, hey — this is the new, ‘anything goes? age, ain’t it? Before you cast judgement, you should also throw this into the mix: Our two sons, Shamus 8 and Sean, 6, have taken part in this torrid love, too.
We’ve been watching the Detroit Tigers all season and are loving it!
(Hey, what did you think — some harlot of a woman had slithered into my life? Come on, get real.)
It has been a treat to watch the Tigers with the family. Each night they’re on, we’re in the living room gathered around the family TV. It’s also been fun listening to the boys when a Tiger comes to bat.
Who’s Your Tiger?
‘Oh, he’s my favorite. Didn’t he hit a grand slam that one game, Dad? What’s his name??
‘Yes, Sean, he did. His name is Craig Monroe.?
‘He strikes out a lot, doesn’t he Dad? What’s his name??
‘Sean, that’s Pudge Rodriguez. He’s our catcher.?
The Tigers have been all around great fun. We all have our favorites. Jen is ga-ga over Magglio Ordonez and, according to her, 41-year-old southpaw Kenny Rogers is the new hottie in female circles.
Shamus likes the entire team. Sean also likes Sean Casey (same first name). I like Curtis Granderson.
Tripping Down Memory Lane
I was a little younger than Shamus and Sean when the Tigers played the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series title in 1968. I don’t remember seeing any games in person or on TV, nor do I recall listening to them on the radio. Heck, I don’t even remember being cognizant of the fact they were in the big series — but, I do remember the players. I do remember my friends pushing me on one of their bikes, telling me to peddle faster, sit up straight, and when I should have been thinking about learning how to ride a two-wheeler, instead I was thinking that Denny McClain was ‘the best pitcher.? I crashed the bike.
Stormin? Norman Cash was/is my favorite all-time Detroit Tiger. I felt sad when he died after walking out onto a dock in his cowboy boots, slipping and drowning in Lake Superior in the mid 1980s.
I remember when Cash was announcing Tiger games on ON-TV. He was recalling a time he and his son went fishing in a row boat. Said he, ‘I told my son, ‘Stroke, stroke!? He said, ‘I am, Dad. I am.? And I said, ‘No, I’m having a heart attack!?
Hopefully, Shamus and Sean will have a favorite Tiger from their youth to share with their children.
I recently went downstairs and retrieved the old LP (that’s long playing) record, released by the National Bank of Detroit after the ?68 season. It’s narrated by Ernie Harwell, recounting their season, including a song by Artie Fields, ‘Go Get ‘Em Tigers.?
Even though the boys can’t hear it (we don’t have a record player anymore, just compact disc player), it is proudly displayed on Shamus? bedroom shelves.
Bringing the family together
We all stayed up and watched the Tigers beat the New York Yankees in round one of the playoffs and the celebration at Comerica Park afterwards. The boys got to stay up way past their bedtime, so I think they are grateful for the Tigers in a way only youngsters can truly be thankful.
We’re a pretty close family to begin with, but during the World Series, we’re even closer. We all wear our baseball caps with the Old English D, sit on the couch, eat chips and drink Vernors.
Shamus even found Granddad Rush’s umpire pitch counter and has been keeping track of the balls, strikes and outs. When Granddad Rush got too old to play sports (and bear listening to Grandma Rush harass him when he limped home), he stayed in the action by umpiring. Granddad Rush died in 1967, so the pitch counter is at least 40 years old.
The thing is, I don’t care. I am glad — and I’m sure Granddad Rush is glad — that his great grandsons are using it, keeping track of balls and strikes while the Tigers play World Series ball.
Ain’t it funny how a stupid game can make people feel. One more thing: Go Get ‘Em TIGERS!

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