Tigers thoughts while listening to a pounding rain:
- I attended the Tigers Winter Caravan one time, in 1991 when I was living in Kalamazoo and had some connections with the local paper. Back then, only the media was invited. Or so I thought. I walked into a Kalamazoo hotel and saw dozens of fans asking for autographs from the players and Sparky Anderson.
If memory serves me, Cecil Fielder was there. Recently signed Tony Bernazard was too. This I remember because I asked Sparky during the Q&A how he’d work Bernazard into the lineup without Tony Phillips losing at bats. The answer was classic Sparky and basically amounted to: “I have no idea but Tony is Tony and we’ll be all right.” Uh, yeah. (Bernazard was released in April after playing in just six games and hitting .167).
The real story that winter was the recent firing of Ernie Harwell and, lo and behold, new Tigers President Bo Schembechler was on hand to answer questions about it. As you might guess, Bo was not happy with the first round of reporters’ questions being about Ernie and not the team. After that, he said he wouldn’t answer other questions on the topic and though people tried, he wouldn’t bite — other than to bite their head off for even asking.
It was a great experience. If you get an opportunity to attend a Winter Caravan event, do it.
Continue reading Non-Sequiturs: Winter Caravan Memories
Can you name the last Tigers player to wear #42 before MLB retired the number across the board in honor of Jackie Robinson?
The answer to come on Episode 78 of the podcast.
Update: In the comments, Jan answered Phil Nevin. I was quick to shoot that down in the podcast but she was correct, though, that Nevin did wear #42 for the Tigers. He and Buddy Groom* wore it in 1995, but Groom wore it first.
In 1996 it was a popular number in that three players wore it that season: pitchers Randy Veres and Tom Urbani, and utility guy Shannon Penn.
*Did you know Buddy Groom’s real first name is Wedsel?