Did you ever have a “Best Day”? Perhaps you’ve been blessed to have a number of Really Good Days? Well, I’ve been blessed over my many years to have quite a few. The following is a tale of one such “Really Good Day”:
The time and place was August, 1999, old Tiger Stadium. It was the last year the Detroit Tigers played there before moving over to Comerica Park for their 2000 Baseball Season.
We had a 4-pack of season tickets and would often go down to the stadium to sell two or all four of the tickets. My son, Tom, would usually accompany me. On this particular evening, we were looking to sell two of the tickets and use the other two to see the game. Tickets were $12 each; but we’d try to get $20 for a pair.
We spotted an older couple walking tentatively up to the stadium. I approached them, inquiring if they needed tickets. They nodded yes and I offered the two we had for sale. The husband checked with the wife; she with him and they took the tickets. I assured them that we’d be sitting right next to them. I explained these were great tickets: Upstairs, right behind home plate, 5 rows from the railing, in the evening shade of the overhang. Great, great seats.
We later found out the couple was from Kalamazoo, Michigan. This was their first time back to Tiger Stadium since seeing their first game here together while on their honeymoon. We left them outside the stadium assuring the couple we’d see them in a bit after getting our drinks and hotdogs. I had no idea of what was to happen next.
Tom and I came to our section and started to slide past the couple to our seats. We passed first the husband, then the wife. I ended up sitting next to the wife. We settled in with our dogs and pop. I leaned back and noticed the husband with an ear-to-ear smile on his face. A genuine look of sheer happiness. I looked at the wife and very quietly she mouthed the words thank you to me. She too was smiling. We talked briefly throughout the game, but I didn’t want to be “that guy”. After all, this was their time together, their first time back to Tiger Stadium which appeared to be quite magical for both, especially her husband.
I continued to watch the kid like smiles on his face, the joy in his eyes, as he quietly glanced the entire stadium: Tiger dugout to the left, panning the outfield around to Kaline’s Corner and the right field foul area where the pitchers were warming up. He gazed out at the bleachers and down below while the Tigers took to the field. The mammoth light towers looking so huge overhead while the green green grass seemed to stretch out beyond our feet forever.
I finally looked at his wife again and with her own great big smile, she again looked at me, whispered “thank you thank you”. Tom and I both knew she was happy because she could see the true happiness that was her husband’s on that beautiful summer night, in 1999, at old Tiger Stadium. Located at The Corner of Michigan & Trumbull in Detroit, Michigan.
Now that was ”A REALLY GOOD DAY.”