Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Box Score From My Second Baseball Game, Detroit @ California, 8/20/74

On February 8th of this year I shared the box score from the first baseball game I ever attended, which was in 1973. Now, for your April pleasure, here is the box score from the second baseball game I attended -

Tuesday, August 20th, 1974 - Detroit Tigers 1, California Angels 0 (11 innings; @ Anaheim)

First of all, briefly about the Detroit Tigers - they were my first baseball love. How can this be, you ask, growing up in La Habra, California, in Orange County, which is right on the border of Los Angeles County? The answer is this: when I was maybe 8 years old and started watching baseball regularly (typically Saturday morning's/afternoon's Game of the Week on NBC), I didn't understand that there was a National League. So that left the Dodgers out. And, then, before I could comprehend that the Angels were right down the road from me, I saw the Tigers on television in a home game with those crisp white uniforms with the gothic D (in black to my eyes as we didn't have a color set), and I was sold. They went to the playoffs that year and lost to the A's (Bert Campaneris flinging his bat at Lerrin LaGrow in one game), and it wasn't till the '74 season I was able to see them in person. And, if you look at the box above, you'll notice, among other things, that even though the game went 11 innings, Mickey Lolich (who, along with Aurelio Rodriguez, was my favorite player at the time) and Nolan Ryan both pitched complete games, and that Ryan was the losing pitcher even though he struck out 19. And even though the game went 11, it clocked in at less than two hours and 45 minutes - please take note 2012 Yankees and Red Sox (extra - Bobby Valentine, the new Red Sox skipper, played 3B and SS for the Angels that evening).

And more extra - I did, subsequently, become a pretty serious Dodgers fan around 1975 or 1976, partially because they were GOOD, sure (and I had an older friend who was a big fan who drove me to a hell of a lot of games); but, also, they were not in the same league as the Tigers, so there didn't seem to be a conflict there (and here's hoping there are no Tigers/Dodgers World Series' in the future). Years later I received an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan (1993 to 1995), and attended a fair amount of games at Tiger Stadium, rekindling my childhood love.