Al Kaline to throw out Opening Day first pitch

So maybe Prince Fielder will get the second-biggest ovation at Comerica Park on Opening Day.

The Tigers have had some pretty big celebrities and politicans throw out ceremonial first pitches on Opening Day in years past. This year, they’re going to use the occasion to honor Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, as he begins his sixth decade with the team.

Staff Sergeant Matthew Marentette of the U.S. Air Force will deliver the game ball to the mound before the game. A military flyover will feature the 107th Fighter Squadron “Red Devils” flying the A-10C Warthog from Selfridge Air National Guard base. American Idol finalist Haley Reinhart will perform the anthem.

In addition, the Tigers will raise the flag celebrating their 2011 AL Central championship. It’s the first division title flag they’ve had the honor of raising at Comerica Park.

For those heading to the game tomorrow morning, gates open at 10:30am.



Can’t wait for tomorrow got to watch the big dogs take bp down here in Toledo today Brennan was hitting some monster shots. Fu te ni started off strong but the big cats over muscled them. Awesome turnout for the charity game today, see y’all tomorrow at Comerica when we start the trek to the 2012 World Series.

Thrilled that the Tigers are honoring Al Kaline in this fashion. I remember the first time I went to a Tigers game end of July 1954, and as a kid just couldn’t take my eyes off the skinny kid with the laser like throws. God Bless you Al, Forever a Tiger.

Major League Baseball should have an award in Kaline’s name, as he was on the original Gold Glove outfield in 1957 with Mays and Minoso. Commissioner Bud Selig should name the best defensive outfielder in the American League as the winner of the Al Kaline Gold Glove Award every year.

Al Kaline is in a class by himself and deserves to be honored.
Enjoy the game tomorrow. Just wondering…..are there others out there that get goosebumps from the flyover?

Kaline is still my most admired tiger although he retired 1 month before I was born. I got a little choked up at the sparky tribute last year when Tram and Whit both made it. I imagine the place will erupt tomorrow when Kaline heads to the mound and I may get a bit weepy again. My grandfather was buried with his favorite Tigers cap on his head. He made me the staunch Tiger fan I am today with his stories of Tigers of yesteryear. He was near 80 when he passed and had seen many of the Tiger greats but Kaline was his guy. A shame I missed the golden age of the sport I hold most dear but my grandpa Joe’s tales of former glory painted the past for me as if I witnessed it myself. God bless my grandpa, his hero Al Kaline, and the franchise I was born to love The Detroit Tigers.

What of Gerald Laird? Did he injure a hammy today or was it another case of “I never had that injury before and didn’t know what to expect?” I don’t see any info anywhere on that.

I hope that if the injury is serious , they will call Santos and not overwork Avila again.You mentioned his high SO numbers during ST. He is paying for the overload of last year.JL lost many chances of resting him and kept him there.His bat was missed in the post season

You’re right. There were a number of missed opportunities to rest Avila back when Victor was still healthy. I think Jim got a little greedy with Alex’s hot hitting early on.

—After the game Tigers officials called the injury “left-hamstring tightness,” and both Laird and Tigers manager Leyland said they expect the catcher to be available for Thursday’s game.—
Okay, that’s twice inside a week that Laird has fooled me with injuries. Cut it out, G-Money. You don’t get an Emmy. Glad it’s not serious.

Opening Days I’ve attended:
1965 – Tigers beat A’s, attendance about 32K.
1966 – Dick McAuliffe’s slam beats the Senators, 5-2. Julio (Whiplash) Navarro shines in relief.
1967 – Earl Wilson beats Angels 2-1 and picks a runner off 2ndbase. Temp about 40.
1968 – Carl Yastrzemski comes off his triple crown ’67 season with two homers, one inside the park, that huge centerfield at Tiger Stadium contributing.
1969 – some yahoo throws a roll of toilet paper from the upper bleachers at Red Sox centerfielder Reggie Smith. It passes right over Reggie’s shoulder causing him to jump as if shot. Not an unexpected reaction, seeing as how someone had thrown an M-80 at Boston’s Hawk Harrelson the year before.
1974 – The streakers. All those streakers. Oh, the humanity! I….can’t….unsee it.

I can’t recall ever being so excited for an Opening Day. The division flag will be raised. I just wish Victor could be there. Without him, that flag probably doesn’t get raised. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!

took my wife and 9 month old son to the game today – sat 15 rows up from the tigers clubhouse. great time – love 5/3rd field!


Unless they do something differently this year FSD won’t show Kaline throwing out the first ball live —– I wonder why they have always avioded showing that ceremony before the home opener.


Even though I was a pitcher, Al Kaline was always my baseball idol. He always enhanced his great play with class and humility. I will never forget his clutch hits and his laser throws from right field. I even managed to break my collarbone just like he did.

Nice walk down memory lane by Rich, home openers are special. 2007 was my favorite, after being in 2006 WS the fans were pumped up. We won’t talk about that season.

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