Comerica Park, Detroit, MI — July 23, 2019
In the middle to late 1800s, the game of baseball was still in its infancy. But, it’s popularity was growing expeditiously. Referred to as the “national pastime” or “national game” the sport grew even more rapidly after the turn of the century as rules solidified and organized leagues formed. Even thru WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII, the game thrived. It was truly America’s Game.
The rise of the NFL and the popularity of Collegiate and Professional Football leagues eventually surpassed the “Grand Old Game” as the Country’s passion. Still, as a pastime, there are few things greater than spending an afternoon or evening at the ballpark, relaxing, munching on a bag of peanuts, and taking in the spectacle of a baseball game.
My nephew called and asked if I would like to go see the Tiger’s play the Phillies at Comerica Park. He had been given four tickets, was taking his two boys, and had an extra seat. Count me in.
Comerica Park is an awesome venue to enjoy an evening out. Clean, well-lit, comfortable seating, and great sightlines. Yes, the Tigers are in a rebuilding phase and their record places them at the bottom of the league. That’s one of the remarkable things about baseball, regardless of your teams ranking you can see a great game on any given night.
My nephew’s boys were excited about the opportunity to see the Philadelphia Phillies Superstar Right Fielder, Bryce Harper. I was excited to see them attend their first Major League Baseball game.
Arriving early for batting practice, our seats were in Section 136. Upon entering the ballpark the first activity on the field was the grounds crew rolling out the tarp over the infield. The skies opened and a rainstorm soaked downtown Detroit. We grabbed some seats under cover and waited out the passing shower. Batting practice was canceled, so hot dogs were consumed instead of chasing foul balls and autographs.
The skies cleared, the sun even came out, the grounds crew cleared the field, and the opening pitch was delivered just about 45 minutes later than planned. As we were ushered down to our seats, we just kept walking all the way to the front row. Way to go, Nephew Chis had scored some prime seats just across from third base and adjacent to the Tiger’s dugout.
Not that you have to sit that close to have fun, it was certainly a different perspective than the press box. And attending without a specific coverage assignment took the pressure off of focusing on every pitch.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd started on the mound for the Tigers and pitched a good game. After working out of a jam in the first inning, the Tigers scored in the bottom of the first. Harold Castro reached second base on an error by Phillie shortstop Scott Kingrey. Castro moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch from Aaron Nola, the Phillies starter.
Philadelphia scored in the top of the second on a two-run homer by center fielder Roman Quinn. Detroit tied it up in the bottom of the sixth inning. Castro again got things started with a double to deep centerfield, right fielder Nicholas Castellanos followed with a double deep in the corner to left, scoring Castro.
The game continued 2-2 into extra innings. The Tigers had a chance to win it in the bottom of the 14th, stringing a couple of hits together. Castellanos tried to score from second on a Brandon Dixon single to left but was thrown out at the plate.
In the top of the 15th Kingrey led off with a triple and a Rhys Hoskins single drove him home for what was the winning run. The Tigers went out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, finally sending everyone home for the evening.
My nephew’s boys left with a couple of baseballs, courtesy of the advantageous seating. Despite the loss, the game was a good effort by the Tigers. The evening was cool and comfortable. Plus six innings of free baseball, only enhanced the value of our tickets.
Take the family to a baseball game this summer, down to Comerica Park or to a minor league stadium. Several are within short driving distances of the metro area (Midland, Lansing, Toledo). You could even stop and watch a few innings of a youth game at a local diamond. Enjoy passing some time while enjoying the grand game of baseball.