First Pitch: 6:10 pm CDT
The Tigers have always been the Tigers.
Baseball’s historical landscape is full of oddities; the world’s most instantly-recognizable baseball team originated as the Baltimore Orioles before becoming the Bronx Bombers. The Twins, as we all know, started as the hard-luck Washington Senators. But in 1894, a group of ballplayers from Detroit founded the Tigers in the American League — then the minor-league Western League. They’ve been there ever since.
Just as timeless as the Tigers are...well, real tigers. Wikipedia describes the majestic cats as one of the world’s most recognizable “charismatic megafauna.” Charismatic Megafauna, incidentally, is my drag name. It’s hard to argue their point; Tigger, Hobbes, Tony the Tiger, that tiger from Life of Pi...the orange-and-black-striped felines are cemented in the public consciousness.
But within the last 100 years, worldwide tiger population has dropped 93%, and tigers have become extirpated from large swathes of the globe. They’re the only MLB mascot that’s also classified as an endangered species. With under 5,000 actual tigers estimated in existence, some of us may in our lifetime see the Motor City Kitties play baseball representing something that no longer exists in the universe.
Just some food for thought while Edwin Jackson, baseball’s most well-traveled talent, faces off against Kyle Gibson, who’s never known any home but Target Field. Whether you’ve made a journey to see these creatures in person, or only gotten as close as the pages of a National Geographic magazine can take you, consider taking five minutes out of your day to see if there’s a way you can help them out — they’re just one item in a laundry list of environmental crises that need our attention right now.
And if you’re satisfied by recent regional tiger population growth statistics, find something else you’re passionate about. We can always be doing more to earn our stripes and take care of the home front.
Go Twins, and go tigers.
|Victor Reyes - LF||Max Kepler - CF|
|Harold Castro - CF||Jorge Polanco - SS|
|Miguel Cabrera - DH||Nelson Cruz - DH|
|Ronny Rodriguez - 2B||Luis Arraez - 2B|
|Brandon Dixon - 1B||Miguel Sano - 3B|
|Travis Demeritte - RF||Marwin Gonzalez - RF|
|Willi Castro - SS||Mitch Garver - C|
|Dawel Lugo - 3B||Jake Cave - LF|
|Jake Rogers - C||C.J. Cron - 1B|