Monday, December 14, 2009

The Lost Wednesday

So, I was looking for something today in one of those plastic storage bins, and I came across a genuine piece of my history with Tiger baseball. It was my ticket stubs from a game I attended at Tiger Stadium on July 10, 1985. I would love to tell you that this was a memorable game, and I have a bounty of riveting highlights to share. On the contrary, I've recall zilch from this game. I had to look up the game log on Baseball Reference to find out that I was at quite a little gem of a game.

Tom Seaver faced off against Jack Morris that fair Wednesday. I say fair because the game wasn't rained out. In reality, my recollection of the weather is no better than the game itself. I'm sorry. I suck. I would like to blame my blackout on some traumatic event, in which a period of my life was tragically overshadowed, and therefore blocked from memory. Nope. I have unforgivably forgotten a game I attended, one with a Hall of Fame pitcher dueling a potential Hall of Fame pitcher.

Jack Morris came out one top that day, pitching a complete game, 5-hit shutout, with four walks and 9 Ks against the Chicago White Sox (managed by Tony LaRussa). Tom Seaver wasn't bested by much. He went eight strong, allowing four hits and one earned run, no walks, and five strikeouts. That's right, the final score was 1-0 Tigers. I know, how is it possible not to remember it?

Lou Whitaker got the lone RBI, a two-out single scoring Tommy Brookens in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brookens had hit a double with two outs in the previous at bat. I would love to say that reading these details sparked my memory of Whitaker's single up the middle, a ball that just got by the second baseman, allowing Brookens to score easily from second base without a slide. Again, I let you down. I got nothin. In fact, I just made all that up about the single going up the middle. The game log didn't indicate the field to which the ball was hit. The no-slide score by Brookens? Also fabricated. Who knows whether he slid or not? NOT ME! Feel free to post abusive comments. I deserve them.

The win put the Tigers at 47-34, good for 3.5 games back of Toronto in the AL East. The game was well attended, with 33,748 other fans joining me at the ballpark. I wonder how many of them remember this game? In my defense, I was a little young to remember this game, and I had only gone to my very first baseball game in 1983. I'm sure I had no idea who Tom Seaver was at the time, and would have had no appreciation for what a great matchup it was. Well, I wasn't really all that young, but I'm trying to come up with a credible excuse here--please play along.

Hey, thanks for coming along for a ride on the amnesia express. It was fun, wasn't it? Wasn't it? More fun than reading ESPN's Rumor Central? More fun than pondering the Tigers' 2010 season, with true rookies playing center field and second base? (Actually, it will be fun to watch the young fellas develop, as long as your expectations are well, let's say tempered).


Juskimo said...

Great post. I remember my first tigers game (which would have been during the '85 season), when I was five years old. I remember getting up early to take a tour bus from Grand Rapids with my grandfather and it being filled with middle aged men and a couple of families. I remember being at tiger stadium and being excited at seeing Tram and Sweet Lou. I remember eating ice cream out of a Tigers helmet and listening to the game on a transistor radio. I remember falling asleep on my grandfathers lap on the ride home, thinking that there was no way the day could have been any better.

OldEnglish said...

Wow, you have a terrific memory! Thanks for sharing such a great story. That's what makes baseball great.