Green Thoughts

By Bob Lilienfeld, Editor

loves great cooking and took me to dinner. My youngest daughter, Olivia, shares my interest in photography and is taking me to the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest. My older daughter, Nicole, loves sports and handed me two tickets to see the Detroit Tigers play the Cleveland Indians on June 2.

The night of the game, Nicole and I enjoyed the warm, breezy spring weather as we walked into Comerica Park. She was embarrassed when I waved to the vendors and exchanged pleasantries. I watched her with amusement and understanding as she enjoyed her first Cracker Jacks and ballpark hot dog. Her questions regarding the meaning of the bewildering numbers and letters on the scoreboard reminded me of my own first trip to a ball game.

Through the first five innings, the game was kind of boring. One Tiger run. No Indian hits. Hmmm, NO INDIAN HITS! The crowd was starting to sense the possibilities, and excitement was slowly building. It kept building as the hitless Indians’ third batter faced two outs at the top of the ninth inning.

By now, the whole world knows about the perfect game pitched that fateful evening by
Armando Galarraga, miscalled by umpire Jim

Joyce, and handled with great skill and restraint by manager Jim Leyland. It did indeed create amazing memories that my daughter and I each own individually and will also share for years to come. No material gift could ever match the experiences we had that evening. I owe my family a great deal for ensuring that I walk my environmental talk.

There's an ironic epilogue to this story. I mentioned baseball games on the TV segment for a very personal reason. For my 13th birthday, my father took me to see the Tigers play the Yankees on June 19, 1966. The Tigers won, 2-1, with the final out made by Al Kaline. He over-ran a short pop-up to right-center field, made an awkward catch, and fell down. After standing up, Al waved his cap and ran into the dugout, where he fainted from a painful shoulder separation. He was too much of a professional to let the crowd see his pain.

I learned a lot about grace and sportsmanship that day in 1966, which I clearly remember 44 years later. I hope that while observing the behavior of Mssrs. Galarraga, Joyce and Leyland on June 3 of this year, my daughter learned the same lessons. That knowledge represents the ultimate gift we shared at Comerica Park.     

The Perfect Gift of A
(Not Quite) Perfect Game

In my May 2010 Fox TV segment entitled Green Gifts for Dads 'N Grads, I talked about the value of gifts of experience, as opposed to gifts of material goods. Experiences cause little environmental harm and create something of great personal worth: memories we can share for years to come. Examples included museum & health club memberships plus tickets to concerts, ball games, and similar events.

Coincidentally, my birthday occurred a few weeks after the segment and my family’s gifts reflected these suggestions. My wife, Paige,