FanPost

What the Tigers mean to me- Tiger poetry

From Kaline to Verlander, spanning half a century of Tiger baseball - Ezra Shaw




I wrote this a few years ago around opening day, thinking back on over fifty years of Tiger baseball. The Tigers have been a big part of so many peoples' lives growing up in Michigan.

WHAT THE TIGERS MEAN TO ME

You ask me why I wear this Olde D upon my hat

Or why I keep this glove or this old baseball bat

You wonder why I await the spring with such anticipation

It is the game of baseball, the pastime of our Nation

You think it such a mystery, that I do this every year?

And tho they win or lose, I watch my Tigers every year

.

Growing up in Detroit, I have memories so fond

Of winters icy cold, when I would skate upon a pond

Of autumns when the foliage would fall down from the trees

Playing football on the lawn amidst the autumn leaves.

But nothing can compare to the memories so dear

When springtime came around with a Tiger season near

.

The Last year was forgotten, no matter good or bad

And we knew this would be our year, and good times would be had

We heard of all the trades in the winter time each year

And there would be new Tigers on the field for us to cheer

But most of our old heroes would be back again to play

I couldn’t wait for that first pitch to be thrown on opening day

.

I should have been in school doing english or my math

But not for me on opening day, I chose a different path

The snow would all be melted and the grass would start to grow

And the Voice of Ernie Harwell would come on the radio

The anticipation built with baseball not so far away

Looking forward to the day when the Tigers started play

.

I remember one long summer, our city torn apart

They said there was a curfew and we couldn’t leave our yard

People burning buildings made a shambles of our town

And LBJ sent troops and tanks to put the riots down

The Tigers came so close that year, it almost felt like heaven

But it wasn’t meant to be in the year of sixty seven

.

When springtime came around, each year I could hardly wait

But the best year of all was the year of sixty eight

The year before was over, a summer long and hot

We came so close, and lost to Yaz, but now it mattered not

The ump cried out "play ball" and the Tigers took the field

Spring was in the air, and the Winter had to yield

.

All summer long, we'd gather and listen to the games

Sitting on the porch as Ernie called out all the names

In left field, Willie Horton- Al Kaline out in Right

Cash, Freehan and Stanley, were all ready for the fight

The Gater, Wert and Lolich were on our mighty team

It was a magic summer, on the field of baseball dreams

.

Denny mowed em down all year from innings one to nine

And hardly did we lose a game when Denny pitched so fine

With pictures on the TV of a war so far away

Our problems all forgotten when the Tigers came to play

All year long, we led the league, the town was all abuzz

Black and white, all tiger fans- even the fuzz

.

Many times I took a trip down Michigan avenue

And for fifty cents, I sat out in the bleachers with a view

Nothing could be finer and my heart beat like a drum

When I saw my heroes on the field at Tiger Stadium

Against Red Sox, White Sox, Indians, and even the hated Yanks

My dad would take me to the games and buy me ballpark franks

.

The season done, the Tigers beat the Os by a dozen games

And into the World Series for the best of seven games

The nuns all knew there was no point in having class

They even prayed for victory that day at morning mass

We gathered in the gym that fall to watch the Tigers play

Children, priests, and nuns were there on that historic day

.

The series didnt start so well, we lost three games of four

Gibson won his battles, but we would win the war

Things were looking grim until Lolich came along

Northrup hit a granny, like hed done all season long

The series turned around when Willie Horton gunned down Brock

When the Tigers won the series-into streets the people flocked

.

Detroit has seen its share of times that weren't so good

Getting beat by Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer and Wilbur Wood

We saw Aaron, Rice, and Mantle, McGwire and Carew

The Robinsons of Baltimore and Harmon Killebrew

All the stars came to Detroit, and Reggie hit the lights

My fondest moments spent on Tiger days and Tiger nights

.

Another charge was made in the year of seventy two

Against the Oakland A’s with Campaneris and Vida Blue

We had Brinkman in at Shortstop and Aurelio at Third

We lost that year, but then there was the season of the bird

The town was all agog when Fidrych took the mound

Talking to the baseball and mowing hitters down

.

I remember nineteen eighty four, when we started out on fire

Sparky in the dugout and the team went wire to wire

Morris shut em down and Hernandez slammed the door

Parrish, Evans and Chester, who was better than LeFlore

Mustard on a hot dog, onions on the sausage

Whitaker and Trammell, and Gibby slamming Gossage

.

Seasons come and seasons go, some happy and some sad

But I never will forget those precious moments with my dad

Memories of my childhood, collecting baseball cards

Going to Tiger games down at the old ballyard

Now Ive grown, my dad is gone, and if you wonder bout the D

You just have no idea what the Tigers mean to me

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.

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