The annual rite of spring in the state of Michigan is upon us again.

No, not the typical snowstorm in April to get us back for the good weather we had in February and/or March.

I'm talking about one of Michigan's great sports traditions:  Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers in Detroit.

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The day in which the Detroit Tigers open their home schedule for the season is always a big deal in Michigan.  Many people take the day off of work (or take a half-day off) to either attend the game in person, or watch the game at a local establishment or at home on TV.  It has become, as the title of this article suggests, an unofficial state holiday.

It has almost always been a sellout at either Tiger Stadium, or since 2000, Comerica Park.  That's regardless of the weather.  Whether it's 70 degrees and sunny, or 28 degrees and snow flurries (which happened in 2021).  There's nothing like a full ballpark at a baseball game.

Opening Day is the one day that it's OK to tailgate outside the stadium for a baseball game.  And there's lots of it, too.  There's always a "barbershop quartet" singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and other baseball songs.  Plus, there's at least one brass section belting out baseball tunes as well.

The smell of the ballpark for Opening Day is unmistakable.  I remember the smell of Ball Park franks when I entered Tiger Stadium as a kid.  And the same is true for Comerica Park (It's hard to believe this is the 25th year in the "new" ballpark).

Opening Day is also where "hope springs eternal".  It's where you believe the Tigers have a chance to win the American League and go to the World Series.  And it's also a sign that good weather is coming soon.

And the Tigers good start on the road has fans hyped up about the season.  The Tigers haven't finished above .500 in any season since 2016.  But with a healthy Riley Greene, ace starting pitcher Tarik Skubal, and rookie 2nd baseman Colt Keith on the squad.  There's legit hope for the team this year.  And they're in a division they can win, the relatively weak American League Central.

And now I close with a popular refrain from the 1968 World Series-winning team..."Go Get 'Em, Tigers!!!

Brock's Major League Baseball Hat Collection