See Where You Can Meet Your Favorite Detroit Tigers Players (Plus A Giveaway!)

Spring is still a couple of months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about baseball season in Detroit! The 2013 Tigers Winter Caravanis set for this Thursday, January 24th and Friday, January 25th, where star players, coaches and managers will travel throughout Detroit and the state of Michigan spreading baseball fever. Members of the Pure Michigan team will be tagging along as well to provide fans live updates and behind-the-scenes info. See a full schedule of the tour here or follow @PureMichigan , @tigers or the #DETCaravan hashtag on Twitter.

To learn more and get the inside scoop on the Tigers, we spoke with announcer Mario Impemba. See his answers below.

Plus – we have a very special giveaway for one lucky Tigers fan in advance of the upcoming season. See details at the bottom of this post.

Q: Having been on the Tigers Caravan in years past, what are some of your favorite memories?
A:
I would say traveling to Northern Michigan.  The fans up north are very passionate about the Tigers and you can see it in the turnouts we have.  I also think the visits we have made to local hospitals are very rewarding.  Seeing the looks on the faces of patients when their favorite Tigers walk into the room is priceless.  It’s great to put a smile on someone’s face when they are stuck in a hospital bed.

Q: What is it like calling games for a team that is very focused on bringing home a championship?
A:
It’s great.  It wasn’t too long ago when the Tigers lost 119 games in a season and to see how far the franchise has come in a short period of time is incredible.  The 2013 version of the Tigers should be very good and I would expect that there will be a lot of buzz surrounding the team when we get to Lakeland for Spring Training.

Q: How do you see that passion to win resonating into the fan base?
A:
Tigers fans are some of the most passionate in baseball.  You can see how badly they want to win a World Series.  When the team isn’t doing well, they get very upset.  They expect a lot out of their team and I would think this season will be no different.  Everywhere we go on the road, Tigers fans are visible.  They travel well and support the team as well as any major league club.

Q: Last year the Tigers drew 3+ million fans to Comerica Park. What is it like calling a game when the ballpark is packed, and how does it change the game?
A:
Well, it’s a different feel, that’s for sure.  We call a lot of games on the road where crowds are small and not very loud, so when we return home to 40,000 people, it makes a world of difference.  There is just more energy at Comerica Park and it makes calling the games much more enjoyable.

Q: What makes up a perfect day at the ball park?
A:
No rain!  Ha-ha.  Actually any day at the ball park is perfect for me, but the Sunday day games are the best because you see so many families with kids out at the park.  Kids also get to run the bases after the game on Sundays.

Q: What is your favorite Detroit memory?
A:
There are too many to pick just one.  My favorite memories professionally include calling Justin Verlander’s two no-hitters, Magglio’s home run to send the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 and the champaign celebrations that I have covered in the Tigers locker room after clinching.
Personally, it was watching the Tigers play at old Tiger Stadium when I was a kid.

Q: What does Pure Michigan mean to you?
A:
A 75 degree summer night in Detroit at Comerica Park watching Tigers baseball.

Detroit native Mario Impemba enters his 11th season as the popular play-by-play announcer on FOX Sports Detroit’s coverage of the Tigers. Learn more about Mario at at MarioImpemba.com or on Twitter @Mario_Impemba.

To help spread baseball fever even further, we’re offering one lucky fan the chance to win a Tigers World Series flag (pictured left), which measures 2 1/2 feet wide by over 7 1/2 feet long. To be eligible to win, simply tell us in the comments section below what you think makes up a perfect day at the ballpark. Please also include your email address. Comments must be submitted by this Thursday, January 24th at 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET. We’ll then select one lucky winner at random as the winner and will alert the winner by Friday, January 25th using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody). 

  • SantaMiller

    The perfect day at the park would be with my family, good food, lots of fun and of course a Tigers win, and no rain I went down last year and got rained out….Oh well GO TIGERS

  • BrentMishler

    The perfect day at the ballpark was taking my nine-year-old son for the first time.  It was a sunny June afternoon, and his face absolutely lit up when he first saw the field from the concourse.  We live in Northern Michigan and watch most every night on TV, but for him to experience it in person, it’s a totally different feeling.

    Brent Mishler
    Beaverton, MI
    brent.mishler@gmail.com

  • DianeKnight

    The perfect day at the ballpark would include sunshine, good food and an awesome game all shared with one of the most grateful Tiger fans I know, my almost 80 year old mother.   Her mother used faithfully listen to the Tigers on the radio and she has kept up the true Tiger spirit.

    Diane Knight
    Grand Rapids, MI
    dmkni@comcast.net

  • Amanda Mogford

    a perfect day at the ballpark is the sun shinning on the detroit stadium, the sold out crowd is cheering in the stands, and the Tigers run onto the feild ready to play an exciting fingernail bitting game. and in the nineth ining the game is tied the bases are loaded and there are three outs, every fan is on their feet and the next tiger is up (I can’t pick one I love them all). and he hits a grandslam out of the park. detroit erupts and the tigers just won the world series.
    amanda mogford
    linden, mi
    aschrock56@yahoo.com

  • KerryOtt

    Why isn’t the Upper Peninsula included on the Tigers’ “tour of Michigan”?

  • AndreaCherwinski

    Perfect day at the ballpark would be spending it watching the tigers win with my amazing husband!
    rodeo_29@hotmail.com

  • Audrey Deming

    To me being able  to share the Tiger’s ballgames at the Ballpark as well as on T.V.  I have watched and cheered the Tigers for over 65 years, when I listened on the radio with my Dad. Just all of the excitement and support, I think help carry the Tigers to many victories.  Wishing them the best of luck this season, and can’t wait  for it  to  start. The Ballpark just comes alive when the team come on the field. Audrey Deming. addeming@msn.com

  • FireRunner2379

    The perfect day at the ballpark definitely includes my 2 boys, nice weather, great food and a win by the home team, Go TIGERS!  It would be great topped off with a home run ball or even a foul ball.  Of course my kids would love to shake hands and bump elbows with some of the players.  Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these, it would look great in our “Tiger Den”!
    jlammers002@woh.rr.com

  • BobbleHeadGuru

    Section 104
    Hunter throws the ball in stands
    Daughter catches it!
    ….. #haiku
    ….. Farris.Khan@gmail.com

  • BobbleHeadGuru

    A Tigers Haiku:
    Section “One O Four”
    Hunter throws ball in the stands
    My daughter is ready!
    …. Farris_Khan@yahoo.com
    …. @bobbleheadguru

  • BobbleHeadGuru

    A Tigers Haiku: || Section “One O Four” | Hunter throws ball in the stands | My daughter’s ready! || Farris_Khan@yahoo.com

  • KlausJones

    Sitting in the sun, watching the Tigers with a group of friends. Does it get any better?
    kdjones98@gmal.com

  • DedeRush

    The perfect day at the park is 75 degrees and sunny with @Nicholas Rush and our two kids.

  • EdwardCardenas

    A perfect day at the ballpark has my two boys and I dressing in our Tigers gear and heading down to the park on a sunshine filled Sunday. Once we arrive, we ride the carousel and Ferris Wheel before grabbing hot dogs, chips and popcorn for the game. As we cheer on the Tigers, we seek out Paws for a photo before seeing the Tigers win on a walk-off by Miggy. Then we head home after a perfect father and sons day at “old ball game.”
    Edward Cardenas
    edreporter@yahoo.com

  • kwisnie

    My perfect day at Comerica Park includes a large group of my friends and family in their Tigers jerseys, sunshine, 70 degrees, a Tiger Fuel slushy in my hand and some runs up on the scoreboard!  Thanks for asking, but it makes me miss baseball season!     wisnieki@mail.gvsu.edu

  • PaulAAlgee

    Any day or night at the ballpark is perfect.

  • rldurso

    The perfect day at the ballpark almost happened last summer at Wrigley! Me, my dad, my son and our best friend. The Tigers were in town, the park was PACKED with the Orange and Blue and chants of “Let’s go Tigers!” deafening the Wrigle faithful! We loved it! The weather was perfect, under the lights and 3 generations of Tigers fans! Unfortunately we lost that one! Although I wouldn’t trade that grandfather, son, and grandson experience for anything! An almost perfect day at the ballpark!
    Rick Durso. rickdurso@gmail.com

  • Debharas

    The most perfect day at the ballpark was when my hubby surprised me with front row, next to the dugout, tickets for my birthday. On Aug. 12, 2007 in a game against Oakland, the Tiger’s rallied in the 2nd inning, when my FAVORITE player Magglio hit 2 home runs in the SAME inning!  Enjoying lunch w/ my family before the game in the Tiger Club (our 1st time),  having the best seats in the house and getting the win, added to being the most memorable day at the ballpark. A close 2nd was on vacation in Maine, went down to Boston on July 30th, 2010 to see the Tiger’s play at Fenway (our 1st time at Fenway).  It was there that we found out Jhonny Peralta had joined the team. Ortiz hit a grand slam home run in the 9th inning while down 6-1. Bringing the Sox back into the game trailing by just one run, but they failed to beat us…….we won 6-5.  You could just imagine the noise level and the electricity in Fenway after Poppy’s big hit.  It was definitely one of the most memorable experiences at a game.  3rd and lastly, being able to drive from San Fran down to San Diego taking in a game at every stadium in California with my son on a summer road trip, wasn’t too shabby!  Yep, we’re a family of baseball fanatics…..thanks to my late mom!
    debbieandjohn@comcast.net

  • jgonczar

    My perfect day was when my dad took me to one of the last games of Tiger stadium.  I think I was only 12.  Caught a foul ball that day.  It was awesome! jgonczar@gmail.com