Random Acts of High Five-itude

Tonight was simply an amazing experience at Comerica Park. I eagerly waited for this game all day and arrived when the gates opened. And even though I had prepped myself, I still couldn’t believe I was watching a playoff game in Detroit. I also couldn’t believe the choice seat I had 3 seats in from where the wall starts to rise along the left field line. It was a great spot for seeing Polanco’s double land fair, only to be called foul (really, what else is the left field umpire looking for?)

I want to paint the scene of what happened immediately following the game. The crowd was on their feet for the entire bottom of the 9th inning so when Jonesy fanned Matsui to end the game, it couldn’t conceivably get any louder. So the fans cheered some more, and then everyone just kind of stood there looking at the field. Nobody really moved at all. I can only imagine what might happen should the Tigers clinch tomorrow.

When people finally did start making their ways to the exits, everyone was high fiving. Again, I mean everyone. People were high fiving up the aisles. They were high fiving in the concourse. They were high fiving in the street and on the sidewalk outside the stadium. And it wasn’t just drunk frat guy with his buddies and anyone else who might join in. These were all strangers. They were young and old. They were guys and girls. They were black and white. It was just amazing that you would end up high fiving every 10th person you saw and say a simple “Go Tigers.”

I know that a winning baseball team has served as a unifier in this city in the past. And I don’t mean to compare people simply being excited to what happened in the aftermath of the 1967 riots. But tonight was certainly special in more ways than one.

8 Comments

  1. Jeff M

    October 7, 2006 at 2:59 am

    Polanco’s double land fair, only to be called foul (really, what else is the left field umpire looking for?)

    Man, no kidding. I was in 344, but even I saw the chalk fly.

  2. Bob S.

    October 7, 2006 at 3:12 am

    Yeeeaaasss!I’d almost forgotten how good it feels.With Al Kaline throwing out the first pitch and Ernie Harwell in the booth,the Tigers are doing right by the baseball gods.That blown call on Polanco is as good an argument as can be made for the use of replay-I think the home plate umpire would have called a belt high pitch down the middle of the plate ball four after that.What the hell was the left field umpire looking at?He seemed to be facing the play all the while he was backing up.Congratulations to Kenny Rogers for getting rid of his post-season demons in a convincing way.And I am really impressed with the way our rookies seem to be taking to October baseball.

  3. Natalie

    October 7, 2006 at 3:21 am

    I felt like I was there. Thanks for your insightful insight.

  4. Greg

    October 7, 2006 at 3:28 am

    As if I didn’t wish that I was there anyway … thanks a lot.

  5. Kyle J

    October 7, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Same experience here: Lucked into excellent seats–first row in the “terrace” section down the left field line. Exchanged high fives all game with the “standing room only” fans in front of us.

    I had an excellent view of the chalk flying on the Polanco double, as well. And here’s what the left field umpire was looking at: he was looking at the grass in foul territory as he jumped out of the way!

    Believe it or not, the highlight for me occurred in the bathroom of all places: I went in about the fifth inning and people in there were singing “You gotta know when to hold em’, know when to fold em'”!!!

    What a night. I’ve never experienced such pure, unadulterated joy for the full duration of a sporting event.

  6. Joey C.

    October 7, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Billfer, this post just makes me want to get to the ALCS even more. I’m flying back to Detroit and hitting a few of those games if we do, and I just can’t barely contain my excitement at the prospect of experiencing Detroit in the grips of October madness.

  7. Chris J

    October 7, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    Bilf, it was exactly as you described it. When the Unit came out of the game and the crowd was going nuts (to that stupid zombie nation ooooo0000OOOooo song no less) I literally got chills over my entire body. The funny thing was the people in the very front of our section kept standing up and getting the whole section up. I think we were the only section up on 3-0 counts, we kept yelling at them to pick more appropriate times to rally the fans haha. It was just a magical night and I’m so glad I was there. I was just in fair territory on the left field foul pole- man, seeing that Bernie Williams home run go foul by less than 3 feet was insane from our section’s point of view.

  8. Chet

    October 7, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    Just as fyi since you were at the game. The said in later innings the rule states that it isn’t the left field umpire’s call until after the ball goes by him. Since the ball basically landed at his feet it technically hadn’t gone by him and wasn’t his call to make. When they interviewed Leyland in between innings about what he said when he went on the field he was saying that he was just trying to get the ump to ask the left field ump’s call.

    In the end there wasn’t any harm because of the walk. It could have changed the mindset some, but we ended up winning so it’s not being talked about today. In my opinion though, it’s a pretty stupid rule.