Made my annual end-of-season trip to Comerica Park to see the Tigers this week.
They got smacked around by the Kansas City Royals, 11-1. Since I'm a neutral observer, this was fine with me. And it was a spectacular night to see a ballgame.
It's taken almost 10 years, but Comerica is starting to grow on me. It's far from perfect, but it's becoming a little more affordable.
So I took a comp day from work and picked a Tuesday night game. After walking down to the Hard Rock Cafe to snag a pin for my son, I popped into a memorabilia shop that's a block from the stadium. It's kind of discounted place, and had table with $1 items, including pins and ticket holder lanyards from the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh and the 2006 World Series. T-shirts from that All-Star Game were four for $10, but I've got a lot of T-shirts.
Expecting a small crowd, my plan was to buy a cheap upper deck seat and wander around, snapping photos from all vantage points.
Scalpers were out in force. I rarely buy from these guys. But one offered a seat for $10, which is cheaper than what I'd pay at the ticket window, so off we went.
Lady Liberty made the trip from New York after last year's All-Star game. This version is better than some of the others I've seen, but I have some issues with depicting the statue as an object instead of as a person. How much better would this have looked had she been wearing a jersey instead of looking like a graffiti-tagged object?
I like the carousel, which has all tigers and no horses. It's a little pricey for such a short ride, but it's a nice decoration for the center of a food court.
There's another food court with nice tables and decorations. There's an outside television studio on one side, and the Ferris wheel at the end of section.
The Ferris wheel is kind of cool. There's not much of a view, since it's pretty small. But how often do you get to ride a Ferris wheel at a baseball game?
General Motors wanted to take its name off the center field fountains in a cost-cutting move. But the Tigers gave them the ad for free, and added Ford and Chrysler, too, to show support for the three automakers.
I have some issues with the placement of the statues. Their backs face the concourse, making it a tight squeeze if you want to shoot the front. But at least they have statues.
Ty Cobb, forever sliding in with spikes high.
This is what the warning track had to see whenever Al Kaline made a leaping catch at Tiger Stadium.
Lots of Gary Sheffield t-shirts and bobbleheads available on clearance racks. Dontrelle Willis' stuff was on sale, too, which sure indicates his status with the team.
The Tigers also hade a game-used memorabilia section, with all kinds of things ranging from affordable to silly. But I snagged Lloyd McClendon's spring training locker nameplate for $10, and a game-used cap from when the Indians and Tigers wore Negro Leagues uniforms. I have Indians first base coach Luis Rivera's cap -- he's an ex-Met!
The team did a nice job with little details. These tigers are at the end of every row -- and seem a lot better than the stickers the Mets slapped on their seats.
Dusk settled in. In the middle of summer, it stays light in Michigan until after 10 p.m. since we're on the far end of the time zone. But this was a beautiful mid-September night.
This guy ran on the field near the end of the game. He started tugging his shorts like he was going to be a streaker. Fans were cheering, I think, that security got there in time.
Curtis Granderson's a good guy who does a lot for the community and made the All-Star team this year. If there was any player I'd consider "My Tiger," it would be him.
This fan seems to think so, too. But it looks like her son favors Magglio Ordonez.
Here's a cameraman's view of Victor Marte closing the door on the Tigers. By the end of the rout, I managed to wander down to the section right behind the Tigers' dugout.
The tigers atop the scoreboard roar when a Tiger hits a home run, but they were silent this night.
The Tigers are atop a weak AL Central, but they're slumping at the wrong time and the Twins are inching closer. Not that we'd know anything about that.
It's been a good season as far as attending Major League games. I caught the Mets twice in spring training, and then the glorious day at Citi Field. August had the Executive Game at U.S. Cellular and wrapping things up at Comerica, which has become a tradition.