ALCS – My Clinch Story

My 5 year old son is a huge Tiger fan. We’d been watching the game Saturday night and he’d wandered into the other room to help his sister with something after Oakland’s half of the 9th. When Craig Monroe and Placido Polanco both singled bringing up Magglio Ordonez (that’s his Tiger) I called to him. He came into the room and I said to him, “I think you might want to be watching right now.”

I reset the situation and he said, “this is kind of scary.” By scary I think he meant nerve-wracking, but he’s 5 and I figured it was close enough and simply agreed.

He picked up his rally towel he’d gotten the previous night and started waving it. Moments later Ordonez connected and sent the ball high into the chilly night. I of course jumped up off the couch and had my hands raised in the air as the ball nestled into the crowd. I looked over at my son and he was expressionless. I yelled, “Can you believe Magglio did it?” He put his head down, incapable of speaking as tears started streaming down his cheeks.

To say that I was able to maintain my compsure would be a lie. I misted up just as much as he did. (heck, the screen is getting a little blurry as I write this) My 3 year old daughter came running in to join the celebration. We all were hugging in the middle of the room as we watched Monroe, Polanco, and Ordonez circle the bases and launch into celebration.

I was happy for the Tigers. I was happy for my son. Mostly I was thrilled that he understood just how big the moment was, even if he couldn’t fully process it or voice it.

18 thoughts on “ALCS – My Clinch Story”

  1. As someone who has 2 kids; including a 4-1/2 year old son… I can relate… And not sure I can type more.

    Dombrowski for Governor! Heck, President!

  2. Very nice story. You now have a wonderful memory to carry with your for a lifetime.

    Hopefully, your son will also hold this memory forever (5 year-olds memories are fickle things.) My hunch is he will.

  3. Great story. We put our 2 1/2 year old son to bed at 7:00. His favorite player if Magglio (or “Maggilo”, as he says it). I told him I’d go up to his room and tell him if Magglio hit another home run–not for a moment thinking it would really happen!

  4. That was a wonderful story Billfer. Your son is going to be a great fan. My first Tiger World Series was in 1968 when I was the same age as your son. I still remember it.


  5. Great story, Billfer – and as others have also shared, my 5-year-old daughter is a Tigers nut, too (I’ve written about her before).

    Today, my wife and I were lucky enough to be at the game (and in all the immortal videos of Maggs hitting the walkoff!), and when we walked hom to our townhouse on Woodward, we found my daughter yelling out the window and waving her Tiger Towel – eyes soaked from crying.

    Meanwhile, I think we found the good luck charm for these playoffs: me wearing my RAGGED every-day Tiger hat while rubbing my wife’s pregnant belly.

    (Never **** with a winning streak)

    Life, as they say, is good.

    I’m simply entirely full of happiness tonight.

  6. An awesome story Bill! One you’ll both never forget. Knowing you as well as I do, I couldn’t be happier for you – arguably the world’s biggest Tiger fan! – in getting to share such a special moment with your son.

    Today was an incredible birthday to say the least!

  7. Haha, my childhood is full of memories of losing seasons and watching other teams play in October. I grew up without knowing what winning feels like. Now for the first time, I’m seeing what baseball in October feels like — It is impossible to put into words.

  8. Hey Billfer, great story. I’m sure your son will remember this day. I remember watching a game on TV with my dad when I was 5, and seeing Al Kaline hit a home run. I still remember distinctly my day jumping up and yelling and the roaring Tiger head they flashed on the TV screen. I don’t think I cried, though. 🙂

  9. I was there.

    Great fans around us. Funny. Everyone around us just starting hugging each other. There were tears. It was incredible.


  10. Thats a great story. I don’t have any kids, but I have recorded the Yankees Game 4, and the Oakland Game 4. and my kids will definitely be seeing them one day.

  11. Immediately after the game on Friday I called just about everyone I knew that really cared about baseball and yelled “Woohoo, go Tigers!” then hung up and called the next person.

    I tried it on Saturday but the phone company was having problems, so I just had to yell it out my window.

  12. What a great story! I was watching with my 1 1/2 year old son. He doesn’t understand the game obviously, but he likes to point at the screen and say “Bay-ball.” His new favorite phrase is “Go Tigers!” (which I prompt him to say countless times a day). He also enjoys wearing my tattered Tigers hat.

    My bottom of the ninth story is pretty good. My wife (not much of a sports person), was sensing extra innings and not real excited about the prospect. Just as the pitcher went into his windup, she said with a hint of exasperation, “Does this guy ever hit home runs?” I didn’t even have a chance to answer her. I was too busy hollering and carrying my son all over the house.

    Great to hear everyone’s story, here!

  13. I read/heard somewhere a theory as to why babies look more like their fathers when they’re newborn – so men would form a stronger bond with their offspring, and be less likely to eat them. Evolutionarily speaking, of course.

    This is where sports steps in for most men. We teach our children to love sports the way we do, and we get moments like this. It’s all good.

    Great post, and go Tigers!

  14. I was sitting on the floor in front of the TV (they play better when I’m sitting in that spot. I haven’t moved for 7 games.) Any case – my wife walks in and I tell her I’m thinking the A’s are goin to win.

    In my mind I saw Houston Street knocking out the start of the Det batting order and going to the 10th. Detroit would have to keep it tied knowing that the “power” in their line up was 1.5 to 2 innings away from making it back up to the plate. I tried not to get too excited when Polanco and Monroe singled, fearing the worst.

    After explaining this to my wife, she changed subject and asked why Todd Jones was wearing his Cap inside out. I explained it was a rally cap. She asked me why I didn’t do it with my hat. I said what the heck. She then did like wise with her Philladelphia Eagles ballcap. The next pitch went out of the park.

    I wents nuts.

  15. My two month old boy was sleeping in my arms as I sat on the couch. I woke him up to “watch” as Ordonez rounded the bases so he could, as I explained to my wife, honestly say he saw it when he gets older.

    My wife is still mad at me.

  16. adr – I love that – I could definitely see the same scenario playing out in my house.

    marshall – I’m also a believer in sitting in that special “spot”. Mine is on the right side of the couch. I lean forward in a “ready position-like” pose in critical situations. I, too, donned the rally cap after seeing Jones in the bullpen. What would baseball be without the superstitions?

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