As of publication, the Detroit Tigers have not yet announced the date that pitchers and catchers are required to report to Lakeland, Florida for Spring Training.
This might not seem like a long time. In fact, it is only 52 days. But, considering that the last baseball game of 2016 was on November 2, it seems like eons since a live baseball game has aired on the radio or on TV.
So, to kill those 52 days, what is a Detroit Tigers baseball fan to do? I have a few suggestions:
This documentary film will give you a little Detroit Tigers fix as it heavily features Justin Verlander. Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, is also in the film as he discusses the fastest pitchers he has ever faced. There is plenty of baseball footage that includes a discussion about who really does have the fastest pitch in the history of the MLB. It’s narrated by Kevin Costner and features a few other iconic baseball players like Kalamazoo, Michigan’s own Derek Jeter and former Tiger David Price.
Watch For the Love of the Game
This may not be the best baseball movie ever, but Kevin Costner plays an aging Detroit Tigers pitcher. With long-time Tigers fan J.K. Simmons and plenty of other baseball icons, it is a great film that soothes a bit of the ache that comes from missing baseball.
Read A Place for Summer
Comerica Park may be the current home of the Tigers, but the romance of Tiger Stadium still exists in the hearts of fans who got to watch a game there. A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium is an interesting history of all of the parks the Tigers played in before they made their way to Comerica Park. Reading a little bit each day could take you all the way to the first Spring Training game. There aren’t any names of current players in the book, but there are plenty of other iconic Tigers mentioned through the narrative – Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, and Hank Greenberg, to name a few.
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Read Pitch by Pitch
This book, written by St. Louis Cardinals great Bob Gibson, is one of my personal favorites. It’s about one of baseball games in the 1968 World Series. He shares the story of the game literally pitch-by-pitch against the Tigers. It is a fascinating read because readers are able to get into the mind of a Major League pitcher (and one of the best ever). Throughout his memoir, he shares stories of being an African American pitcher during the height of the racial tensions in the US. It is a true page turner and will certainly provide plenty of Detroit Tigers stories to get you to the middle of February.
Catch Reruns on Fox Sports Detroit
When nothing else is on, FSD will occasionally replay some of the better games throughout the season. If you are lucky enough to catch a game, enjoy it!