Tracy K. Lorenz ...

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Opening Day

Today is the opening day for the Detroit Tigers and, to my amazement, the sun is shining. I have been to Opening Day games for the Tigers before and the one thing each and every game had in common is I froze my bejeebers off and I don’t even know what bejeebers are.

But one year stands out in particular.

My friend The Schaaby and I drove over for Opening Day at the Old Tiger Stadium. When we left Muskegon the weather wasn’t so bad, maybe high forties, but as we drove east the temperature continues to drop. By the time we arrived there were snow flurries and we were not dressed for snow flurries. We were high school kids, we were stupid like high school kids.

We didn’t have tickets because I consider myself a master scalper, when we got inside we discovered that the scalper we dealt with was even more masterful because our seats were on the first base side under the overhang.  

By the third inning the sun broke out and the temperature spiked to about 34. The one saving grace was the sun was on its way. Each inning this semicircle of sunlight taunted us, moving up slowly row by row. If the sun would just speed up I could regain feeling in my bejeebus.

Well, as was the case back then, the Tigers were getting creamed and all the people with brains had bailed by the fifth inning, including a bunch of people in the sun seats, so, we just walked down there. So, the usher just walked us back. I tried to reason with him but he said the people in the empty seats might be coming back, I said “All of them?” He gave me ”the look” and back we went to the igloo section.  

Every time the guy would turn his back we’d hustle down to different seats and try to act like we didn’t do our homework and didn’t want the teacher to call on us, and every time he called on us; he’d snap his fingers and point and we’d have to slink back to Irskatusk.

Finally, about the eighth inning we were able to sneak in a couple sections over and sit in what was left of the sun. I couldn’t taste my food or see out of my right eye but at least thawing was an option. It never really dawned on me until years later that the reason the guy was bouncing us was because my skinny little hand wasn’t holding onto a fiver.

Out of all the opening days I attended that’s the only thing I remember, that one game where the usher did his job. I have no recollection of who the Tigers played who pitched or what players were on the team, all I remember was I was a fish stick and my brother in the striped vest wouldn’t help me out. It’s a shame, really, because if it had dawned on me to grease his palm, whatever he was asking I probably would have paid ... double.

Printed by permission of the author. Email him at Lorenzatlarge@aol.com.
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