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CZAS POLSKI - Polish-American Night at Comerica Park

01 czerwca, 2011

CZAS POLSKI - Polish-American Night at Comerica Park
Polish Times - CZAS POLSKI: The color, music and heritage dance was front and center at Polish American Night in Detroit. The Detroit Tiger\'s mascot \'PAWS\' even got in the swing, wearing traditional Polish festive folk-wear. Before the game \'PAWS\'

Baseball Highlighted by the Color, Music, Dancing and Food at Polish-American Night

By Raymond Rolak   
Twoj Ulubiony, TIGER?

DETROIT--  Music, dancing and ‘Paws’ entertained in front of the announced 34,046 on a misty Friday evening.  ‘Paws’, the animated mascot of the Detroit Tiger’s was dressed in colorful Polish folk-wear.  It was a highlight.

Even Tiger’s manager Jim Leyand acknowledged those on the field supporting the pre- game festivities of the 41st annual Polish American Night.   

For those in attendance, besides the anticipated baseball action, and the spectacular color display from the dancing troupes, there was the added value of post game fireworks sponsored by Pepsi.  Pre-game music was provided by: The Natural Tones, The Kielbasa Kings and Big Daddy Lackowski & The La De Das.

Leyland spoke with former baseball sensation Pinky Deras before the game.  Deras is one of the 2011 inductees into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame and was acknowledged on the field before the game.

\"\"Rob Szczublewski of Toledo, Ohio did great service to the Polish and American national anthems and then pre-game emcee Rob Wolchek decreed, “Play ball.”  

The evening started with great expectations and high hopes by having Rick Porcello on the mound for the Tiger’s.  The Boston Red Sox had a five run third inning that sent the Tiger starter to the showers and dimmed some of the evenings merriment.  Leyland said after the game, “He was just out of sync.”  Tiger rookie Charlie Furbush was a highlight with five innings of shutout relief.  With the home team losing 6-3, the post game Polka concert left most departing the stadium in good spirits. 

A special promotion was sponsored by the Polish Roman Catholic Union and the Michigan Division of the Polish American Congress.  Those that purchased a special ticket package received tee-shirts with “Who’s your Tiger” in Polish on the back, (Twoj Ulubiony, TIGER?).

Veteran talk-radio host Ron Cameron along with good friend George Eichorn saluted Ed Browalski.  Browalski was one of the driving forces of Polish-American Night and he headlined the formation of the NPASHF. 
“Big Ed”, as he was affectionately known, was a respected baseball and bowling writer.  He was also the longtime official scorekeeper for the Detroit Tigers.  Veteran pro-wresting ambassador Kurt Schneider told humorous Browalski tales about how the players would lobby to get an error erased from the stats.

 In keeping with the evening theme, the press box kitchen at Comerica Park featured a Polish style dinner and snacks.  Polish ‘Angel-Wing’ cookies (Chrusciki) were even featured.  “These are awesome,” exclaimed radio stringer Rich Curbelo, as he enjoyed the tasty confections.     

Deras, who was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Hamtramck High School for a big bonus, told Jim Conrad, “At my first day of spring training in St. Petersburg, Stan Musial came up to me and said, ‘Come on Polish boy, how about some catch.’” 

“That shook off the butterflies,” added Deras.  “What a class act to help out a rookie like that.”  Musial was the first NPASHF inductee in 1973.

At one of the busy Comerica Park concession stands Fr. Walter Ptak of Wyandotte Mt. Carmel Parish invited those within earshot to their August Polish Festival.  Polish native and first time baseball attendee Jan Borowski acknowledged with a smiling and heartfelt, “Tak, tak, bardzo dobrze.”  

Boston Red Sox pitching ace Jon Lester met with 17 year old Tim Myszenski of Warren, Michigan.  Myszenski, a big baseball enthusiast is suffering the effects of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  It was part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation program.    

This year’s NPASHF induction banquet is June 23, at 6:00 pm at the American-Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan.  For ticket information, 313-407-3300.

In Chicago, Polish-American Night with the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field will be Tuesday, July 26, 2011.  The Sox will take on the Tigers and tickets can be purchased from the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, 1-800-772-8632, ext. 2601.

Editors Note: Raymond Rolak was a past Chairman of the NPASHF
Courtesy of www.mypolishtimes.com