We are wrapping up our trip. The second to last night was in Detroit as the Tigers hosted the Chicago White Sox. The Tigers are reeling and a win by the Twins over the Indians earlier today brought them closer to the leaders. If Chicago could win this game, the Twins would be only 5 1/2 games out of first and 5 games out of the wild card.
We started the day in Pittsburgh and received a walking tour of the former Forbes Field site from a Pittsburgh native and friend of our escort. It was near our hotel on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Home plate is in the law school building and part of the original outfield wall is still intact. There are several plaques highlighting key moments in the history of Forbes Field. The tour guide attended many of the games and was a wealth of information. It was a nice bonus on the trip.
We then drove to Detroit arriving about 4:30. After a quick stop to check in at the hotel (we are very near the Detroit airport and there were several jokes from others about seeing my dad's luggage), we moved on to the old Tiger Stadium. It is in one of the worst areas of Detroit with several abandoned buildings. When they closed it a few years ago, the team left everything behind. We noticed the computer monitors and keyboards were still in the old ticket offices. We weren't able to go inside but we got some photos from the outside. There is a battle over what to do with the location but it will likely be torn down in the next year.
The bus then took us to Comerica Park, the new stadium for the Tigers. It is one of the new, beatiful stadiums built with character and amenities. It is on the edge of downtown and next to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. We learned the Lions were having an open practice this evening so we made a quick stop there before going to the game. I was amazed at how small the football stadium appeared. It holds 60,000 but it felt much smaller. There was not a bad seat in the place.
My first impression of Comerica Park was that several sections were assigned to different designers and they did not collaborate at all. It is an odd mix of spaces that don't necessarily look like they go together. It is very a nice stadium with great detail outside the park especially. There are tigers everywhere and lots of baseball incorporated into the architecture. We caught part of batting practice before the game started. I was able to connect with Cheryl Herzog, a friend and former co-worker at EDS. She's a huge Tigers fan and attends several games each year. She sat with us the first part of the game and I joined her in the upper level for the 8th inning. They were in the second row of the upper level behind home plate. Our seats were far down the left field line but were close to the field.
Chicago scored 4 runs off Tiger ace Jeremy Bonderman in the top of the first. Every time Detroit would get a little closer, the White Sox would add an insurance run. Chicago eventually won 7-5 as Bobby Jenks shut down the Tigers in the 9th. There was a fireworks show after the game and it was more of a noise maker show than a fireworks show but I'm glad we stayed. The weather was beautiful and it was fun to catch up with Cheryl.
I'm looking forward to seeing Jean and the boys tomorrow. I talked to her tonight and she made it safely to Chicago. They had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at Woodfield Mall. They also went to the Lego Store and the boys were each able to buy something. They are going to the Field Museum tomorrow and will then meet us at Wrigley when we arrive. Erik and Kylan will join me for the game and Jean and Kristofer will head back to their hotel. I've really enjoyed this trip but it will be good to get back into the normal routine and see my family again. Thank you Jean for a great gift!!!