Sometimes you hold your breath and you don't even know it until you let out a long, satisfying exhale. You know, like yesterday when the Tigers finally escaped the Metrodome with a win for the final time. Like when you realize that 1. You never have to watch your team play in the Metrodome again, 2. That they are up 3 games in the division instead of up 1, and 3. That there is an off-day on Monday which means that not only can they not lose today, but you finally have a chance to catch your breath.
Sometimes though, the deep exhale isn't as satisfying. Instead, it is painfully slow and drawn out as if to hold back some deeper feelings. It shudders a bit as you let go, as you stretch that breath long enough to keep your composure. I've had a few too many of those this year, and today's unceremonious note of finality called them all back to mind.
Tiger Stadium is officially gone, now just another empty lot on an increasingly barren Detroit landscape. That is sad. Certainly, I'm glad to see nothing there instead of the partially demolished wreck that it has been for a few months, but it just strikes me as sad that it ended up like this. The fact that it stood there for almost a year in a miniature state, with stands running from dugout to dugout was awesome. Something could have been done with that. And while I have a million questions about what went wrong, I suppose it is time that I just let it pass on.
In fact, in a bit of perfect timing, I'll be able to preserve the stadium in my own way. Yep, this came in the mail the other day, and can be my little piece of history while others scramble for bricks and rubble:
That's a real life piece of a Tiger Stadium seat, as found in 2004 Topps. This is what baseball cards are for. Yes, I understand that relics etc. are overdone, but I mean that in a more general sense. Baseball cards are for preserving history and memories--moments in time. When I look at this card, I will recall far more than what is depicted. In fact, I never saw Al Kaline play, and have no concept of what he was like in the 1968 World Series. I do know that the blue seats shown on the card are in no way related to the seat relic in my possession. Those blue and orange plastic seats were installed in 1977, no wood seat relics there. The wood seats were actually there during the '68 series. I can picture myself walking up those tunnels only to be wrapped up in that blue stadium, and I can easily envision its majesty as an all-green canvas. It is nice to see a card that commemorates a stadium--there's really not enough recognition given to their place in history.
And while we're at it:
I also got this card on Saturday. It was a loose card that my dad found while they were clearing out my Grandpa's house. It is the single greatest hologram card that I have ever seen. A picture doesn't do it justice. I may try to take video of it, but I don't have time to figure that out tonight. So I leave you with just the picture, of a dynamic, multi-dimensional stadium that had so much life in it, even after it had been left empty for 10 years. With the last pieces now gone, cards like this are all that we have left.