Detroit, Michigan – Only about 10 hours had lapsed since the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox edged the Detroit Tigers 4-3 in Game 5 of the ALCS, giving them a three games to two advantage in the best-of-seven series, yet the Detroit Tigers staffers welcomed the iCASE Baseball Academy to Comerica Park with open arms, smiles, and hopes for a comeback as the series would resume two days later at Fenway Park in Boston.
The student-athletes from Ontario’s only college prep, full-time high school baseball program dropped into Comerica Park on the morning of Friday, October 18th for a look-see at one of the world’s greatest baseball shrines.
Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski is supportive of the iCASE concept, particularly due to the fact that it is tied into an academic program (Stratford Northwestern Secondary School), making it Ontario’s only full-time, student-based baseball academy, and let field manager/GM Tom Valcke know in advance that the players were welcome for a visit en route to Eastern Michigan University, where they were scheduled for a campus tour and a visit with the Eagles baseball team later that afternoon.
“Many of these young teens have never stepped foot into a major league ballpark, other than a handful of them who have seen the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, so this was certainly one of the highlights of our Fall program,” noted Valcke.
“We watched Game 5 of the ALCS the night before, and for the players to have the opportunity to step on to that same field the very morning after was a magical experience for them. They were of course in awe, but it was equally important for them to see for themselves that the pro diamond is no different than the dimensions they are playing on right now, the mound is sixty feet, six inches from home plate, and the bases are ninety feet apart.” iCASE’s impressive visit to Eastern Michigan University will be chronicled tomorrow