My First Visit to Comerica Park in Detroit

Last Saturday I visited Comerica Park after seeing The Henry Ford (see previous post). The Detroit Tigers were playing the Cleveland Indians. I arrived early, found parking, and walked to the ballpark. The tiger statues in front of the park impressed me. They are fierce.

The tiger welcomes you to Comerica Park, or not.

At the box office I purchased a ticket, then walked into the ballpark. I stood on the edge of the concourse and watched batting practice while talking baseball and ballparks with an usher for 5 minutes. During that conversation I shot this panorama:

A panorama of Comerica Park during batting practice.

I walked a loop around the ballpark. Many people were standing around the player statues behind center field. I worked my way through the crowd to see them up close. I wanted to photograph the Ty Cobb statue in particular. Ty Cobb was a fascinating person and ballplayer. He was brilliant, determined, competitive, nasty, and mean.

Ty Cobb slides, cleats high.

My seat was behind the plate, probably the best seat I have ever had for an MLB game. I sat beside a longtime Cleveland Indians fan from Ohio. Our conversation ebbed and flowed throughout the night.

Doug Fister warms up before the start of the game.

When I bought my ticket I asked the person at the box office for a seat with a great view of the park and the city. He definitely made a good recommendation.

The view from my seat.

The game was cruising along, when suddenly I felt a drop of rain hit my arm. “Maybe it will pass” I thought. And for a moment it seemed like that was the case. Then came the deluge. Like a hose turned full blast. In moments I was completely soaked. As people tried to get to the concourse a massive human traffic jam occurred in the aisles. I put my camera bag under my seat and just sat in the rain till the aisle cleared. Resistance was futile. By the time I walked to the concourse I looked like I had jumped into a pool.

Despite its initial gusto, the storm was short-lived. Soon the grounds crew was back at work, getting the field ready to go.

The grounds crew works on the infield after the tarp has been pulled to the outfield.

The delay lasted a total of 37 minutes. Not bad at all.

The tarp is rolled up; the pitcher warms up.

Prince Fielder has a couple of hits for the Tigers. I was impressed at how much he hustled on the base paths, especially compared to Miguel Cabrera (on this night Cabrera put forth the least effort on the bases of any MLB player I have ever seen, it was disgraceful).

Prince Fielder gets a fist bump after getting a hit.

One highlight of the night was seeing the opera hot dog vendor.

The opera hot dog vendor at Comerica Park.

Every time he walked by people would comment on his unique sales pitch. The dominant opinion was favorable. One ballpark employee, however, was not in agreement. “Just listen to it every night” he said, “It gets old, very old.” See it for yourself:

Detroit starting pitcher Doug Fister was throwing a perfect game for 5 2/3 innings. But a triple ended that. There was a total of four triples hit in the game, two for each team. The Tigers led from the 2nd inning until the end, winning by a 6-1 score. For being that lopsided it was a very exciting game thanks to the suspense over the tease of a perfect game and all the triples.

Baseball under the lights.

After the game a fireworks show was scheduled. I walked to my car to the sound of explosions. Soon I was on the road–driving for home. The storm that had only delayed the game for 37 minutes hit Michigan and Ohio with a fury moments after the game ended. I saw the most intense lightening I have ever seen during that all night drive. Just epic.

It was a long day. A good day.

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2 Comments

Filed under General, Sports

2 responses to “My First Visit to Comerica Park in Detroit

  1. Watched the video and cracked up. I love the singing hot dog guy, but some people tried to get the Tigers to shut him down once…but then a group of people protested and there was even a website called “Let Charley Sing”. Eventually the Tigers gave in and let him sing while the opposing team is at bat.

    Do you know he has his own brand of mustard? “Charley’s Ballpark Mustard” – the slogan is “It will make you sing!”

    • One of the ushers at the ballpark told me about the controversy with the opera hot dog vendor. I think it was a good compromise to let him sing every half inning. I didn’t know he has his own brand of mustard–that’s great!

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