18. The Ultimate Tiger Fan

18.  THE ULTIMATE TIGER FAN

Daddy and his brother Steve loved baseball.  After high school, they played for the Ionia team.  Steve was the pitcher, Daddy was the catcher.  When Daddy and I played catch in the driveway, I used his big catcher’s mitt and mask.

Daddy took me to see a Detroit Tigers game when I was little.  I only remember that Rudy York was the player Daddy pointed out.  Before we got TV, he always listened to the games on the radio.  He sat on the settle with his eyes closed, apparently asleep, but never missed a play.  Mom used to say she hoped the Tigers were not playing the day of her funeral. 

As a surprise, Mom sent a post card to Ernie Harwell, the legendary Tiger announcer of the day, that Bob Hicks, a fan in Ionia, was celebrating his 80th birthday by listening to the game.  Ernie read it on the air, July 8th, and we all yelled “Surprise!”