The Wings/Tigers alumni roster featured Darren McCarty, Dino Ciccarelli, Joey Kocur, Dave Rozema, Jeff Daniels, Jason Wolley, Manny Legace, Steve Avery, Eddie Mio, Kevin Miller, Wayne Presley, George Bowman, Gary Taylor, Mike Krushelnyski, and Pat Peake. I think it goes without saying that D-Mac stole the show. He was pretty obviously the fan-favorite. I loved the fact that a grinder upstaged a recently-elected Hall of Famer. I also loved the fact that while most of the guys wore cargo shorts and sneakers, Mac came decked out in cleats, baseball socks, knee pads, and sliding shorts. He looked like he was having a pretty good time out there.
McCarty played third base, which made me happy because that was my primary position in my youthful days of fastpitch. It turns out that he’s a pretty good player. He turned some nice plays over there. He also entertained the crowd:
Another fun Mac moment came after the first game when he was eating a blue sno-cone. He was stopped for some autographs and had nowhere to put the cone cup, so he just held the edge in his mouth. When we walked by, he was standing there with blue sno-cone lips dangling the cup from his mouth. We laughed. A lot. Sadly, we didn’t manage to snag a picture of this. Instead, I took one of him making some totally RAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHH party horns aka the two out sign:
Joey Kocur pitched all three games in between having seemingly endless cell phone conversations. He got lit up for a couple of home runs by a strapping young policeman in the third game, but it ended up not mattering as the Alumni team went on to sweep the tourney.
We also learned that Dino Ciccarelli can throw a mean fastpitch fastball. He was whipping pitches in pretty quickly when he was goofing around in warm-ups. We were impressed. He’s clearly done that somewhere before. It’s not the kind of thing you just pick up and do well. Unfortunately, he didn't do so well at the plate. I maintain that he would've gotten a hit if he'd taken our advice about which bat to choose, but he didn't listen. By the third game, he was sitting in the dugout icing his shoulder with an entire party store bag of ice. We were amused.
Speaking of pitching, during the second game, Liz and I decided to head over to the radar they had set up (They brought a radar speed rig that would normally be found on the side of the street and set it up behind the backstop on one of the diamonds.) to have our pitching timed. I was a mediocre pitcher back in the day and had never had my speed clocked, so this was mildly exciting. I think both of us regretted this decision the next day.
The highlight of the day came between the second and third games. Darren McCarty gave an impromptu concert in one of the tents. Liz and I sat in the front row. I know you’re jealous. Thanks to Mac, I’ve had ‘Ain’t that America’ (which I've just been informed is actually called "Pink Houses" for reasons that I don't quite understand [UPDATED: 8-11-10 15:25]) stuck in my head since Saturday. And yes, I did get his performance on video. You’re welcome.
After the mini-concert, we got a chance to meet him and take some pictures.
- When we stopped to have pictures taken with Rozema, Liz was kind enough to bring up the time he got my dad kicked out of a Hooters at Tigers Fantasy Camp by throwing ice cubes at the waitress. His response? "It's Fantasy Camp. You have to do stuff like that." Oh fun times.
- Rozema was also entertaining people when he ran the bases. He was making safe calls and waving his arms around. I'm not entirely sure what he was doing, but he seemed like he was having fun.
- We enjoyed the fact that the base coaches took their beers out onto the field with them. It was literally beer league softball.
- There was a drunk guy claiming to be Taylor's son who came and stood by us when we were taking pictures up against the fence. He decided to lean into the field through the open gate to inspect the bats. He spilled his beer on them. I was amused.
- People are obnoxious. I knew that already, but Saturday reinforced it.
- Jeff Daniels does a mean Mr. Peanut pose.