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 Tigers pitch ABCs to kids at free event

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PostSubject: Tigers pitch ABCs to kids at free event   Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:23 am

Friday, January 9, 2009
Neal Rubin
Tigers pitch ABCs to kids at free event

A is for the American League and B is for Baseball.

At least for me, C is for Couldn't hit the Curveball, which is why instead of reading "The ABC's of Detroit Tigers Baseball" to awestruck kids, I'll be the guy introducing the real live ballplayers who will speak the words.

As part of the Tigers Winter Caravan, pitcher Nate Robertson and infielder Mike Hessman will drop by the Borders in Novi for a free presentation at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 -- no A-is-for-Autographs, but a dramatic rendition of the book followed by a Q&A.

Authors pass through town more often than bankruptcy lawyers, and heck, Robertson and Hessman didn't even write the primer, which is credited to "the Detroit Tigers Wives."

It's an event worth mentioning anyway, because if you're a baseball fan young enough to appreciate an alphabet book, ballplayers are still 9 feet tall and cast in bronze. To have actual big leaguers, close enough to touch, telling you that L is for Legends and S is for Slide ...

D is for Delirious.

Alexandrea Thrubis, the Tigers' community affairs manager, says much of the writing was done by Kari Ross, Shani Inge and Brooke Maroth. In order, those are the wives of team president Dave Dombrowski, third baseman Brandon Inge and pitcher Mike Maroth. T is sometimes for Trade; after the project began in 2007, Maroth was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Before he left, Brooke suggested that the "A" page include a United States map, with emphasis on the states with American League teams. It's one of a whole roster of nice touches, including a Spanish translation for each of the key words: In Honduras, a home run is el jonron.

There are also nifty bits of trivia, alluring illustrations by Craig Jablonski and Bryan Durren, and a charitable component. Part of the proceeds from the $14.95 price goes to the Detroit Tigers Foundation, and Olympia Entertainment plans to donate 500 copies to children's hospitals.

Ron Colangelo, the Tigers' vice president of communications, donated two copies himself at Christmastime. They were gifts for the 8- and 6-year-old children of his wife's sister, who lives near Boston and roots for the Red Sox.

He also gave them Red Wings hoodies and Tigers ski caps. I is for Influence, Indoctrination and Irritating Your Sister-in-Law -- irresistible, all.

Reach Neal Rubin at (313) 222-1874 or nrubin@detnews.com
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