June 26th, 2011

always a tiger

sparky, always a tiger

i went to comerica park for this afternoon's ballgame.
now that it's 2011, they finally retired sparky anderson's #11.
his is only the 6th number to be retired by the tigers and emblazoned on honor walls in the outfield.
it was a beautiful day, sunny all the way through, and only 73 degrees at first pitches (three simultaneous from sparky's three grown children).
the tigers got a win for sparky, and the final score was 11 runs, 8-3.
i sat, for the first time, behind home plate, on the third base side next to the tigers dugout, in the 10th row, with a perfect view of the number retirement ceremony (nevermind the mesh of the backstop).
gibby and trammell were in town with their current team, the diamondbacks.
a sellout crowd of over 40,000 was on hand to honor sparky.

jimmy leyland stares me down (also pictured are verlander & cabrera & former tiger pitcher bill slayback, who sang the national anthem):

sparky on the wall with ernie harwell and jackie robinson:

after the game - oh to be a kid again:

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oh, and bythos gave me the same song i got when i made the entry after sparky died, sinatra's my way.