When I was a little girl there was nothing I loved more than tightening my cleats, pulling my baseball cap down low on my forehead and smelling the leather of my glove before taking the field. The crack of the bat and the sound that I made sliding into a base was the soundtrack of my childhood. It was only tee-ball and it was my life.
Then 1984 happened. Dad bought us a new television, huge by the standards of those days, and our very first VCR because the Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series. Every game was watched and recorded to be watched again. Our entire family of six scattered around the living room, even the sisters that didn’t love it like I did. We watched. We yelled. We cheered.
The Tigers were part of every year. They meant summer. They were baseball. Even as I watched the depressing 2003 season, the Tigers were baseball.
In 2006, we were all in front of my parents TV watching the guys make the run again. In 2011, we set a TV up in the corner of my brother’s wedding reception to watch our boys play the Rangers. We watched. We yelled. We cheered.
All of this lead to the biggest moment in baseball for me. It’s something I’ll never forget.
My baseball friend and I sat just barely above the bullpen on June 30th, 2014. We had just witnessed the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Championship. We saw the interviews. We heard the crowd release that familiar low "Looouuuu". It was already an amazing experience.
The Tigers played hard. They ended up down by three in the bottom of the ninth. So many people had already left, giving up on our boys. But not us. Yeah, we’re the girls that get the looks from some of the guys when they try to "put us in our place" baseball-wise and we shut them down because we know what we are talking about.
Still, we stayed. Leaving early was never an option.
It looked like it was over. We knew that. Yet we still had hope. And hope came to the plate in the form of Rajai Davis. When the bat cracked the ball it sounded so good. There’s a sound that the good hits make that can’t be described but it was there. That ball climbed. And crossed the field. And just looked so damn good. Kristina and I were on our feet. We were screaming with the best of them. The stadium shook with the thunderous roar of the fans. With the bases loaded, Rajai Davis hit a walk off grand slam to win the game.
And the ball landed in the bull pen right in front of us.
We lost our minds. We couldn’t stopping screaming and jumping and loving the game of baseball. We still can’t stop talking about it, getting goose bumps and smiling at the mention of "The Davis Walk-Off Grand Slam."
With baseball, it really isn’t over until it’s over. And for us, The Detroit Tigers will never be over.