Posted by jdg | Thursday, June 26, 2008

Her mother reads in the paper that they are wrapping the old stadium in demolition fencing; three kids hardly out of their teens drove down from the thumb to pay their last respects, touch it before it was out of reach. "You'd better tell your dad you want to go today," she says.

Juniper comes up to my room, up to my ear while I'm still sleeping: "I have a secret," she says. All I hear is "tiger foot prints." For many months we have been driving past it and she always tells me she wants to go see the giant paw prints that adorn the exterior of old Tiger Stadium up close. Despite the rain, today's the day.

How big do you think this tiger was?

Did you know he can make himself very small and crawl through that gap under the door? He's in there right now.

You know Juney, the first time I ever came to Detroit this is where I went. Grandpa and I drove for hours to go to a baseball game. There were guys out on Trumbull selling things, and other guys just asking for money. I remember the train station then, too, back before it was broken. That was more than twenty years ago now. We walked through this gate. A pole blocked our view of home plate. One of the best days of my life. They're going to tear it all down soon.

Because the metal it's made out of is worth a lot of money.

Maybe they will turn it into a park. Maybe someday you will play t-ball on the same infield where Ty Cobb used to steal bases.

Ty Cobb was a mean old jerk, but in baseball you're allowed to steal. And boy Ty Cobb could hit, too. We looked at his old house when we were moving here, but it had a leaky roof. Plus, I figured his ghost would probably spit a lot and play mean tricks.

No, we don't have any ghosts in our house now.

Babe Ruth played here too. This is where he hit the longest home run in the history of baseball.

Maybe they'll let the tiger live at the new stadium. Or maybe he could come live at our house?

You're right: that probably would be too many smells.

I think I just heard him. Did you hear him roar?


All he said was Goodbye?

So long, tiger.