It was roughly 40 degrees and 40,000 people were waving small white towels on command from the scoreboard display. Cold weather and rally towels. Two staples of playoff baseball.
In Game 2 of the 2012 ALDS, a rally was in store for the home team.
Trailing 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and men on first and second, Miguel Cabrera, the Detroit Tiger’s best hitter, sent a line drive to center field. The stellar Oakland A’s centerfielder, Coco Crisp, bobbled his basket catch attempt and both runners scored. 3-2 Detroit.
“I saw it come off the heel of my glove, and I tried to grab again,” Crisp said via ESPN after the game. “I even went for it barehanded, but I couldn’t get it.”
Flash forward to the bottom of the ninth and the score is knotted at 4-4.
This time, a below average Detroit batter, Don Kelly, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Kelly sent a ball high into the air towards the right fielder. The crowd carefully tracked the ball and began to roar. No, it wasn’t a home run. It was a sacrifice fly, but that’s all the Tigers needed to take a 2-0 series lead to Oakland.
The Detroit players sprinted to first base to mob their clutch role player and a sea of white rally towels surrounded the stadium.