My Trip to Cooperstown: Part 2

It took all of the second day in Cooperstown to make it through the balance of the Museum – and it did not disappoint. There’s so much I could write about but I think the photos I posted on TigersHistory.com tell the tale more vividly. Yet, one dimension in particular stands out and deserves a few words: the detail of the Museum.

Here I am in the exhibit recognizing the Tigers clubs from the 1980s. Though he’s not represented in the Hall of Fame, I was delighted to see my man Jack Morris in the Museum. Same for Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker and the rest of the ’84 champs.

The Museum is rooted in the minutiae of baseball and the memories these otherwise mundane objects evoke. You’d expect to see artifacts from Hank Aaron’s chase for the Babe, Nolan Ryan’s seven no-hitters and Rickey Henderson’s stolen base exploits. But it’s the other stuff that held me rapt. For example:

  • The cornerstone from Ebbets Field
  • The wall panel from Tiger Stadium’s deepest reaches – the 440-foot mark
  • A deep-blue leather jacket from the Philadelphia Athletics
  • The rotating thingy that sat atop the centerfield scoreboard at old Comiskey Park
  • A scorebook from a Tigers/Indians game from the early 1970s
  • The shoes worn by Hall of Fame National League umpire Doug Harvey in his final game in 1992

And so much more. Of course, there was lot of Tigers miscellany, some curious of not outright dubious.

For example, in the Tigers locker, part of the Today’s Game exhibit, you’ll find the hat worn by Luis Pujols when he managed against the Royals’ Tony Pena in June 2002. It marked the first time managers from the Dominican Republic faced each other. The fact someone has that on their radar and thinks to make contact ahead of time with the Royals and Tigers is astounding and impressive.

Also in the Museum is the hat worn by Octavio Dotel on April 7 when he appeared in a game for his record-setting 13th different club.

In a way it’s cool that these items are in Cooperstown, but these two names representing the Tigers with Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Hal Newhouser, Mickey Cochrane, George
Kell
and Al Kaline? Kind of a joke, I thought. But the more I considered it, the more I appreciated that the seemingly minor and mostly forgotten stories of people like Pujols and Dotel shape the narrative and history of baseball.

I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

As we departed for the grueling drive back to Detroit I wondered when I’d get back to Cooperstown. Chances are it won’t be soon.

Until that time, I’ll be keeping a more watchful eye on the historical aspects as they happen and cherish a trip of a lifetime with my Dad, brother and brothers in law.

Tigers Today: September 25, 2010

BondermanHead.jpgTigers’ Record:

78-75, 3rd Place; 14 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Twins | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Jeremy Bonderman (8-9, 4.92 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (17-11, 3.60 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 10 – Twins 1

Continue reading “Tigers Today: September 25, 2010”

Tigers Today: August 24, 2010

WoodBats.jpgTigers’ Record:

62-63, 3rd Place; 10 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Royals | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Rick Porcello (5-11, 5.76 ERA) vs. RHP Kyle Davies (6-7, 5.14 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 12 – Royals 3

Continue reading “Tigers Today: August 24, 2010”

Tigers Today: June 15, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

33-29, 2nd place; 2.5 GB Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Nationals | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (2-6, 6.30 ERA) vs. LHP John Lannan (2-3, 5.00 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Off Day

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

  • 2008 — Former Tigers pitching coach Billy Muffett passed away at 78. Muffett took over for Roger Craig as Tigers pitching coach in 1985 and remained on Sparky Anderson‘s staff until 1994. As a player, Muffett pitched for Red Sox, Giants and Cardinals from 1957 through 1962 and finished with a 16-23 record, 15 saves, and a 4.33 ERA.

  • 1965Denny McLain made a first-inning relief appearance and struck out the first seven batters he faced, setting a major league record. He recorded 14 strikeouts in 6.2 innings as Detroit rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-5. Bill Freehan had a record-tying 19 putouts at catcher.

  • 1963 — The Tigers acquired OF George Thomas and cash considerations from the Angels for RHP Paul Foytack and infielder Frank Kostro.

  • 1960 — The Tigers acquired RHP Clem Labine from the Dodgers for RHP Ray Semproch

  • 1948 — The Tigers and Hal Newhouser beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 4-1, before a crowd of 54,480 in the first night game at Briggs Stadium. The Tigers were the last American League team to install lights.

Tigers Today: June 12, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

31-29, 2nd place, 4.5 GB of Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Pirates | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Jeremy Bonderman (2-4, 4.40 ERA) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (4-4, 3.80 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 6 – Pirates 2

Continue reading “Tigers Today: June 12, 2010”

Two Tigers World Series Moments

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=thedailyfungo-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&asins=1934186163&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&lc1=0000FF&bc1=FFFFFF&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrBaseball-Reference.com reports that on this date in:

1945 – The Detroit Tigers score five runs in the first inning of Game Seven of the World Series, and rout the Cubs 9-3 behind Hal Newhouser, who strikes out 10 to win the World Championship.

1968Mickey Lolich won the World Series for the Detroit Tigers by defeating Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in Game Seven. It was Lolich’s third win and came after the Tigers had lost three of the first four games.

For more on the ’68 team, pickup a copy of the terrific book Sock It to ‘Em, Tigers.

(And in case you missed it, listen to my interview with the book’s editor Mark Pattison on the Detroit Tigers Podcast.)