Thursday, January 18, 2007
Detroit Tigers share historic season with OU community
|Tigers Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Curtis Granderson, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Carlos Guillen, plus vice president and assistant general manager Al Avila, bullpen coach Jeff Jones and infield coach Rafael Belliard visited OU on Jan. 17.|
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Capping a successful season, the Detroit Tigers have been participating in a Winter Caravan; visiting fans around the state who cheered them to an American League Championship. On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the Tigers made a stop at OU and spoke to fans from the OU community in the O’rena.
Tiger fans were able to learn more about players Gary Sheffield, Magglio Ordonez, Curtis Granderson, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Carlos Guillen, plus Vice President and Assistant General Manager Al Avila, bullpen coach Jeff Jones and infield coach Rafael Belliard. More than 1,000 fans came out to learn more about the organization and the players that represent Detroit.
OU alumnus and Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett presented the Tigers with a proclamation for their success in becoming the American League champions and making it to the 2006 World Series. Barnett also presented Curtis Granderson with a key to the city.
“I’ve only given out two of these, and the other one was to Santa Claus,” said Barnett.
The Tigers said they plan to make the 2007 more exciting than this past season.
“There is now an expectation to be a winning club year in and year out,” said Avila, who said the owners, the Ilitch family, is doing everything to help make that possible.
While the talk did focus on baseball, the fans also got to learn more personal information about the Tigers. For example, Bonderman developed his slider by playing in the backyard with his brother. Guillen’s favorite memory of the season was Ordonez hitting the home run sending Detroit to the World Series.
The Tigers Winter Caravan is traveling around the state this week and will cap off with Tiger Fest this weekend at Comerica Park, celebrating the exciting 2006 season.
“I love these fans. This is a great sports town,” said Guillen.