It's a blast from the past -- the Detroit Tigers making it to the playoff season.
I haven't paid a great deal of attention to baseball since I was in college, but when I was a kid I watched a lot of baseball. I had a pair of bachelor great-uncles -- brothers whom I found fascinating because they lived like children would live if they could, in simultaneous simplicity and chaos in their rickety old family farmhouse sans electricity or indoor plumbing -- who'd come over during the summertime to watch Tigers games on our TV. Uncle A was a rumpled, wiry old World War I vet whose favorite adjective was "Goddamn," who rolled his own cigarettes and would leave great blue clouds of smoke in our living room; his brother Uncle E was tall, thin and meticulous in dress, and considered slow by the rest of the family, although to me he possessed a surprisingly canny wit. The two of them seldom visited together because they tended to get on one another's nerves. But usually every weekend, and oftener during the haying season when they'd help out my dad, one of them could be found in our living room, watching the ball game. This was back in the days of Al Kaline and Willie Horton.
I loved sitting there in the smoke, listening to my dad and his uncles talk about the game and the world in general. I was for some reason treated like a peer during these get-togethers, which pleased me a great deal; none of my friends seemed to have the same easy familiarity with family elders, and none of the other females in my family were particularly welcome to participate in this ritual gathering.
This past week I've thought about Uncles A and E, and those baseball evenings with my dad, cheering on the home team. They were good times. Thanks, Tigers, for helping me remember, with affection and gratitude, this part of my story.