May 20, 2013

Everyday Statement. Yes, Every Day.

Kirk Gibson is my hero. He played the game the way I went on to play the game. HARD. 

When I was a kid, the Tigers had their share of stars.

We had Mark Fidrych. Jason Thompson. Steve Kemp.

Jack Morris. Kirk Gibson. Lance Parrish.

Cecil Fielder. 

You could even put Willie Hernandez into the mix.

I probably forgot a dozen or so players. I've been a Tigers fan since 1976 when Mark "The Bird" Fidrych took over in the Motor City. At the time, we lived in Clarkston, I was four, and everything was "The Bird." Really, the Bird was the Word.

The Tigers struggled but in 1983, things seemed to make sense. Sparky Anderson arrived in 1979 with a "five year plan." It was getting close. Baseball players had gone on strike in 1981. I didn't really understand what those 50–some days without baseball really were about. And the scheduled was goofed up and the playoffs bizarre — but the Tigers almost made it. If only the Milwaukee Brewers hadn't wrecked things!!!

Cecil Fielder, let's go back to him. He arrived in 1990, freshly imported from Japan after a few years slugging away in Toronto. I told my buddy Bru at a Spring Training game in Baseball City, Florida, that if the Tigers really give Cecil a chance, he could hit 40 home runs. He hit 51 that year and the magic had arrived. Fielder was larger than life — and a fan favorite. He had charisma. People liked him. (And his young son ... what's his name?)

I've never seen anyone like Miguel Cabrera in a Tigers uniform. In fact, I may never have seen anyone like Cabrera, period. He is AWESOME! Every day, I say, "I am so happy that Miguel Cabrera is a Tiger."

That's all I want to say today.

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