Here on The Stew, we're throwing the challenge a curve by requiring that all responding bloggers relate their 25 things to baseball. Up third is Ian Casselberry, a man with a second baseman's name and proprietor of the Tiger-centric Bless You Boys.
1. There is no better uniform in baseball than the Tigers' home whites. You might believe your team's home togs are better, but you're wrong. They might be just as good in your eyes, but they most certainly are not better.
2. A reminder of why being a nice guy usually doesn't work out for you: I almost missed Magglio Ordonez's ALCS-winning homer in 2006 while helping out my mother and sister with some errands. (They said we were supposed to be done in time for the game!) Fortunately for our family, I made it back home in time.
3. The most embarrassing thing about Comerica Park is that the scoreboard was constructed too far toward the left-field line. If you're sitting down the line, toward the corner, you can't even see it.
4. Sparky Anderson's name should be on the wall in right field at Comerica Park. This year is the 25th anniversary of the '84 championship team; so it's time to bury whatever grudges remain and honor the man who was Tigers baseball while he was manager.
6. My first-ever autograph was from John Wockenfuss. I don't remember much about it, other than he and my dad had a good laugh over something.
7. I've never caught a foul ball (or batting practice ball), though I've come close on two occasions. If I get to my fifties and I still haven't gotten one, I will knock over children for any ball in the seats.
8. What I should do is bring more women to baseball games. In 1998, while standing behind the Tigers' dugout as they were running back in from batting practice, Bobby Higginson tossed a ball to my ladyfriend. I got nothing, but she was much better looking.9. During my senior year of high school, I skipped class to meet Ernie Harwell. But it wasn't really skipping because my teacher said I could do it. (Liz Gray, you rock!)
10. It's not the best view, but the best vantage point at Comerica Park might be the standing-room area in left-center, in front of the statues of Kaline, Newhouser, Gehringer, Greenberg, Cobb, and Horton. Preferably on a warm summer night.
11. I haven't been to all of the major league ballparks, but I dare say there is no more photo-friendly and walk-worthy exterior than Comerica Park, with the giant tiger guarding the front gate facing Woodward, two more tigers atop the gate at Witherall and Adams, and the gargoyle-like tiger heads (with baseballs in jaw) that ring the corner of Montcalm and Witherall.
12. Three major league ballparks I really want to visit: Fenway Park in Boston, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and AT&T Park in San Francisco. I wonder if it'll still be called AT&T Park by the time I see a game there.
13. At least one park that will be scratched off my to-visit list this year is Seattle's Safeco Field. (Of course, I hope there will be more.)
14. This would be a good time to mention that Ichiro is my favorite non-Tiger. (I hope my companion to that Mariners game won't confuse him with this movie, but if that gets her to the game, I'll roll — or should that be "Ichi-roll"? — with it.)
15. I wonder how often I've eaten a hot dog at a ballpark when I wasn't even all that hungry, yet felt I should eat a hot dog because I was at a ballgame. My guess would be ... 20 percent of the time.16. The coolest assignment I ever had as a sportswriter was interviewing the guy who rubs Delaware mud on the baseballs for the Tigers. How many cracks did I hear about "rubbing balls" from players and coaches walking by? At least seven.
17. I really miss that overhang in right field from Tiger Stadium. How can it be commemorated at The Ballpark in Arlington and the new Citi Field, yet not in Detroit? Baffling.
18. I used to own the cap of every major league team. I doubt I ever wore each of them. Surely, I could've spent that money more constructively.
19. Comerica Park really needs a better beer selection, preferably something that highlights several of Michigan's tasty microbrews.
20. I wonder how many sunflower seed shells Tony Phillips spit on the Tiger Stadium field from 1990-94? You could make an entire pitching mound from what he left behind.
21. While I acknowledge "Bull Durham" is the better movie, I have more fun watching "Major League."
22. I wish I'd have tried harder to attend the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit. (Though that was shortly after my father died, and I wouldn't have been able to handle it.)
23. Being a sports fan became clear to me when my dad explained that Tigers fans weren't booing Ruppert Jones; they were chanting "Roop!"
24. I miss hot dog vendors putting mustard on the dog with a popsicle stick. Maybe because I'm virtually guaranteed to squirt a mustard packet onto my shirt.
25. One last Comerica Park complaint: Playing "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band every time the Tigers hit a foul ball is something that really, truly needs to go.
- Comerica Park