Thinking about what baseball means to me and why I love it so much.
And why we REALLY love it in Detroit. Why we love our Tigers. Even during the dark years of the Tigers being one of the worst teams in history (1988-2006), we loved them.
Most folks I know around here grew up playing baseball for sure, but our love for the game goes beyond a simple nostalgic feeling toward a game you played as a kid. No, for Detroiters, baseball is bigger than that.
If you don’t believe me, check this out. Rumor has it that most of the Tiger’s season is already sold out. HUH? A baseball season sold out and it’s only April 1st? Only in Detroit, my friends.
I’m not sure why our National Pastime is such a big deal here. Maybe cause we don’t really have a lot to celebrate most of the time? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love a lot of things about Detroit and I’m looking forward to Quicken Loans moving downtown, but still. It’s tough to keep a positive attitude.
After all, it seems like Detroit is constantly in an uphill battle to get better. We take a step forward and something knocks us two steps back down the ladder.
So I guess it makes sense that we cling on to something positive and make it bigger than life.
Maybe it’s true? I don’t know. I’ve always thought it’s a bit cheesy how folks here like to make a correlation between the 1967 Detroit riots that literally burned a nice chunk of the city down (part of which is still in a state of destruction) and the following year’s World Series Championship for the Tigers. Supposedly the Tigers "healed wounds" and gave Detroiters something to celebrate. I didn’t really buy that argument. After all, even back in 1968, I doubt any of the Tigers actually lived in Detroit and certainly none of them lived in the areas affected by the riots.
But then again, maybe there is something to it. Maybe victorious sports teams really do give us something to be proud of (even if most of the players have little connection to the city they play for).
Maybe any reason to feel good and be proud of your hometown is a good thing. That’s why I love baseball and the Detroit Tigers. That’s why Kelly joined over a 100,000 fans yesterday downtown to celebrate opening day.
That’s why the Tigers are almost sold out for the entire season.
Good luck Tigers. Thanks for giving us something to be proud of.