1984 world series ticket that mr. haas traded to me. oh where are you mr. haas?
The era of the 1984 World Series was that classic watershed time in a kid’s life- I was obsessed with drives into Bailey with my dad to Bernie’s Gas Station on M-37. He got beer. I got baseball cards. I bought however many wax packs of Topps baseball cards I could scrounge up pennies for (25 cents each). I plastered every square inch of my bedroom wall and ceiling with pictures of the Tigers players cut out from sports articles in the newspaper. My dad wasn’t really into sports but he’d watch games on channel 7 with me (it was hard to make out the ball through the static) and fondly reminisce about Al Kaline (along with George Kell, the Tiger tv announcers of my youth).
No, I wasn’t lucky enough to be at Game 2 of the 1984 World Series. Years later, my high school freshman English teacher traded me this ticket stub for some vintage 1965 Michigan State memorabilia my mom had found for me. It wasn’t a fair trade but I had no idea at the time and I was still so in love with the Tigers I didn’t give a rip. Never mind the ticket doesn’t have anything about the Detroit Tigers on it, hahaha! My teacher (Mr. Haas) probably had questionable judgement making such a lopsided transaction with one of his pimply podunk students, but I don’t want to make it seem like he was a bad person. In a noble gesture at introducing a few of his pupils from the boondocks to a bigger world, he took my sister and one of her friends and me to the college campus at East Lansing for a Michigan State University football game (he was an alum). We sat in the upperdeck of Spartan Stadium, which at that time was the highest above Earth I’d been in my life. The players looked like dust specks, but who cares? I was over the moon! Two predominant memories from the day were 1. Mr. Haas’s really sporty Chevrolet Celebrity hatchback, and 2. Mr. Haas complained bitterly at the end of the game about the old lady sitting next to us who was wearing headphones and apparently had given the play-by-play for the entire game, causing him to quip “if I’d wanted to listen to the damn radio I could’ve just stayed at home!” Teachers who swear get extra brownie points! Mr. Haas just disappeared one day. I don’t know what happened to him. I don’t know if podunk suited him. Hopefully he moved on to bigger things in middle america.
The Tigers take on their second Bay Area team in this post-season, the San Francisco Giants, in the World Series! While we were in Hesperia a couple weeks ago it was a west coast game but I stayed up late enough in our motel to watch Justin Verlander pitch the clincher against the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS Pre-Division Pre-Something Series.