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MY NOLAN RYAN STORY

GROWING UP ACROSS THE STREET FROM 
TIGER STADIUM HAS ITS ADVANTAGE
AND DISADVANTAGES.
BEING A YOUNGSTER 
HOT HUMID MUGGY SUMMER NIGHT.
DETROIT MICHIGAN.
JULY NINETEEN HUNDRED AND 73
WOULD TURN OUT TO BE A VERY
COLD
NIGHT.
IN THE MOST UNTHINKABLE WAY.
RUNNING AROUND TIGER STADIUM
3 HOURS BEFORE THE GATES EVEN OPEN.
YOU CAN SAY I HAD SOME PULL.
I KNEW EVERYONE WHO WORKED THERE.
GUARDS , USHERS, TICKET TAKERS, GROUND CREW,
 LADIES AND MEN WHO 
WORK AT CONCESSION STAND.
VENDORS MANAGERS EVEN JOHN FETZER.
  
THAT PARTICULAR DAY STARTED OUT 
LIKE MANY OTHERS.
MAYBE GET A CRACKED BAT OR A BASEBALL OR TWO DURING BATTING PRACTICE.  SELL THEM OR GIVE THEM AWAY TO DIFFERENT USHERS WHO LET ME SIT DOWN THERE. RIGHT BEHIND THE ON DECK CIRCLE.
SO CLOSE I COULD TOUCH THE FIELD.
NICE PADDED FOLDING CHAIRS NOT ATTACHED 
TO THE FLOOR. 
I LOVED THOSE SEATS. 
BEST PLACE TO BE IN THE GAME.
THERE OR NEXT TO THE DUGOUT. 
DEFINITELY BETWEEN HOME AND FIRST. 
YOU CAN SEE AND HEAR EVERYTHING.
FEEL THE ENERGY OF THE CROWD
FEEL THE ENERGY OF BOTH TEAMS.
CALIFORNIA ANGELS
VS.
DETROIT TIGERS
ERNIE HARWELL AND GEORGE KELL TIGER BASEBALL
HYGRADE BALLPARK FRANKS. 
GRILLED IN OLIVE OIL.
ICE COLD COKE AND A BAG OF CHIPS
A WHOLE $1.05 .
COCA COLA WAS FREE. I KNEW EVERYONE.
YOU GOTTA LOVE THE SMELL OF FRESH CUT GRASS 
PINE TAR AND RAWHIDE LEATHER GLOVE
THAT SOUND THE BALL MAKES WHEN IT HITS THE CATCHERS  MITT.
WHAT ABOUT THE SOUND 
WHEN THE BASEBALL MAKES CONTACT WITH A LOUISVILLE SLUGGER.
SOUND THE BALL MAKES WHEN IT SKIPS OFF INFIELD.
THE ROAR OF THE CROWD WHEN THE TIGERS SCORE OR DISPLAY A GREAT DEFENSIVE PLAY.
CHEERING LET'S GO TIGERS LET'S GO
SITTING AT THE EDGE OF THE FIELD YELLING 
"A LITTLE HIT NOW" TURNING INTO
 " LET'S GET ON BASE"
LATE IN THE SEVENTH NORM CASH WALKS UP TO THE PLATE WITH A TABLE LEG. 
THERE'S A TABLE IN THE CLUBHOUSE. USED FOR AFTER GAME DELI PLATTERS.
BEFORE GAME 6 DOZEN BASE BALLS AWAITING SIGNATURES. IF YOU PICK UP THE TABLE ONE OF THE LEGS WOULD FALL OFF. 
AND NORM DID NOT GET ON BASE.
WE DID GET A MAN ON BASE. 
THAT WAS QUICKLY ERASED.
THIS GAME IS ALMOST OVER. STANDING IN THE AISLE LEADING TO THE EXITS. THE USHER YELLS "LETS KEEP THE AISLE CLEAR" "FIRE HAZARD" 
AS EVERYONE LEANS AGAINST THE WALL PEAKING OVER EVERYONE SHOULDER. 
MOVING TO THE TOP OF THE AISLE TO SEE PITCH RESULTS.
AGAIN LET'S KEEP THE AISLE CLEAR PEOPLE. IT'S A FIRE HAZARD. 
NOLAN RYAN GOES INTO HIS WIND UP.
 I RUSH TO THE TOP OF THE AISLE CATCHER HAS THE BALL.HE JUMPING UP AND DOWN.
RUNNING OUT ON THE FIELD 
TOWARDS THE PITCHERS MOUND.
SO QUIET YOU COULD HEAR A PIN DROP. 
MY DETROIT TIGERS DIDN'T EVEN GET A HIT.
NOT ONE HIT.
NOT ONLY WAS IT A SHUT OUT 
WE DIDN'T EVEN GET A HIT.
MAN, THAT WAS A LONG WALK HOME LEAVING THE GATE BEHIND HOME PLATE.
CROSS MICHIGAN AVENUE.  CROSS THE PARKING LOT BEHIND SHELL GAS STATION THE GREEN HOUSE THE GREY HOUSE AND OUR HOUSE. HOME. PEOPLE STILL TALK ABOUT THAT GAME IN JULY. WHEN NOLAN RYAN THREW HIS THIRD OF SEVEN NO HITTERS.
THE GREATEST STRIKE OUT PITCHER OF ALL TIME.
SOMETIMES WE WIN. SOMETIMES WE WIN.
ADVANTAGE IR DIS ADVANTAGE YOU MAKE THE CALL.
02252020

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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