Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anniversary Blues

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1984 World Series championship. There will be a reunion celebration at Comerica Park on September 28. However, it does not appear that it will come close to rivaling last year’s 40th anniversary party for the 1968 championship. It was wonderful to see so many of the ’68 Tigers players turn out for the fiesta, taking turns getting interviewed in the booth each inning by Rod and Mario. They gave such a great retrospective at the season, the Series, their careers, etc.

Alas, not too many ’84 Tigers are even planning to make the trip here.

Some players have genuine conflicts, such as Alan Trammell (Cubs bench coach), Kirk Gibson (Diamondbacks bench coach), Howard Johnson (Mets batting coach), and Rusty Kuntz (Royals first base coach).

Tom Brookens, who is a minor league manager at Tigers AA affiliate at Erie, should be available, since the Seawolves’ season ends September 8.

Lou Whitaker, in a March 2009 interview with the Tom Gage of the Detroit News, says he probably won't make the trip, instead taping a message to be played on the big screen. Lou, how can you blow off such a glorious opportunity to celebrate the ’84 Series victory before adoring fans?

Guillermo Hernandez' health is very fragile.

Chet Lemon coaches two AAU teams, called Chet Lemon's Juice--how cool is that? Will he be too busy?

I'm hoping that Milt Wilcox will come, since he gets his hair cut in the area.

Aurelio Lopez was tragically killed in an auto accident back in 1992.

Lance Parrish has been fired twice by the Tigers organization, prompting Tom Gage to wonder whether he'll have any bad feelings to stop him from coming.

Darrell Evans manages the Canadian Victoria Seals, a team in the Golden Baseball League. Their season will be over by September 28, but...

A Tigers fan I chatted with at a game says he parties with Dave Rozema all the time, so presumably he'll be interested.

Larry Herndon is the batting coach for our Lakeland Flying Tigers. I'm hoping they'd let him get away for this, since they are affiliated with our organization and all, plus their season will be finished by that time.

Johnny Grubb coaches high school baseball at his own alma mater Meadowbrook High School in Richmond Virginia. That's a spring sport, so September 28 shouldn't pose a major conflict.

Marty Castillo's whereabouts are unknown. Maybe he'll resurface for the reunion with some good stories.

Dan Petry participates in a lot of Tigers stuff, so hopefully he'll be here with bells on.

Jack Morris is a broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins. We're playing the Twins on September 28, so he'll be here!

Well, we know one '84 Tiger will be on hand for sure. Rod Allen was on the 1984 Tigers roster, in case you didn't know.

So there you have it, a sad portrait of a reunion to be sure. I sincerely wish for a great celebration of a season engrained in the memories of so many fans.

2 comments:

J Ellet Lambie said...

Cool piece Jen, good to get updates on so many of the '84 guys in one place. I expect most will make the effort. Milt told me he'd be there and I believe him.

I'm crossing my fingers that Willie Hernandez is strong enough to travel, I think the place will go nuts if he walks out to that mound.

OldEnglish said...

I really hope there will be a good turnout. Glad Milt has "committed." Sparky doesn't like to travel either. Hope he's feeling well and in the mood to reminisce.