February 16, 2013

Gonna Touch Down …

… in Florida.

Must have been pre–Kate, in 2010.

We head to Florida in two hours. I guess it’s my mandatory report date for the Detroit Tigers. We have gone every year since 2010. It’s a great experience.

The first time we went to Spring Training was 2004.

Fernando Vina had signed with the Tigers. So had Rondell White. Another guy who signed a bit late was Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

Spring Training was cool back then. Usually only about 15 people hung out after workouts — 10 of them professionals looking to get glossies of Pudge signed. No one cared about the other players. Heck, the coaching staff and Manager Alan Trammell were the most popular folks around. Different times.

Went again in ‘07, and it was different. Games were sell outs. People were excited. That happens when you were the defending American League Champions and not coming off 119 losses.

Spring Training is a great experience, especially for die hard baseball fans. The players are more relaxed, more approachable. Even superstars like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder spend time talking and signing autographs.

Tavelin' Man, Johnny Damon spent one year in Detroit.

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