Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Family folklore goes that when I was born, Maureen the hospital nurse would rock me and listen to the Detroit Tigers on the radio. Ernie Harwell and the sounds of wooden bats slamming leather balls, the crowd cheers and whistles, and the occasional call of "hot dogs!" would calm me.
I remember my head resting against the window of our family's full size metallic orange Ford van, watching the moon follow us home (I might be five or nine or twelve - this happened a lot). Feeling drowsy from the days adventures and the long ride, but excited as Ernie called yet another double play by Tram and Sweet Lou.
I was nine during the magical '84 season. When they won, dad drove us in the van downtown and when we got there opened the sliding door to exchange the exhilarated energy with others cruising in a celebration parade.
Willa was born in early April this year. They were undefeated when she was born, and continued to have a terrific season. She went to a game in September, and I'm glad she won't remember how hot she was or that they lost. She'll see photos of that day with her grandparents celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary with their whole family (except cousin MaKenna - hard to keep a 2 year old occupied at a baseball game - though there's talk of Photoshopping MaKenna into the day).
Tonight Jim, and I will watch game 3 of the World Series while Willa plays on the floor, sometimes paying attention when the announcer raises his voice or the crowd gets into it.
It's another magical season. The city has rallied together around this team, this hope, this unlikely possibility of greatness out of some very grey years of baseball. I love this game, I love the Tigers, I love these Tigers.