Hammond: In baseball the journey means as much as the finish - Fox 2 News Headlines

Hammond: In baseball the journey means as much as the finish

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30,000+ feet above the USA -

As I stretched out my right leg, I could feel my foot pressing down on the accelerator with increasing force, my hands wrapped stressfully around the wheel.

I was racing to the airport for a flight that I didn't have, after a booking mishap following Game 7 of the NLCS. In a panic I called my News Director and woke her up at 6:30 am.

She was able to talk me off the ledge with just a few simple words. "Don't worry, the game isn't until tomorrow. We'll get you there."

In the hours since my frantic drag race to Metro airport, some really pleasant things have happened to me. I actually got to sit quietly for a few hours in the Delta Skyclub drinking coffee, I also got bumped up to a big cushy seat with plenty of room, and most of all, I took a deep breath and remembered where I get to go.

I'm heading to San Francisco to cover the World Series! Yes, this is my first blog from 33,000 feet but it's one I am posting with amazing anticipation for what lies ahead.

I've been to San Francisco before a few times in the month of December for Lions games, I was actually engaged there before a Monday Night game in 1998 - in Wine Country. But this is October and not only does it mark the Tigers first World Series ever against the Giants, it marks my first trip to AT&T Park.

If you're reading these words, I don't have to tell you what makes baseball this time of year so special. You can see it, feel it, smell it and hear it with every pitch, swing and catch. Just being at Comerica Park on Monday afternoon for the Tigers inter squad game had a magical feel to it.

They didn't even know who their opponent was at that point, but every player, coach and employee in the organization knew exactly what was ahead.

In 2006 the Tigers were overwhelming favorites to beat the Cardinals in the Series - which made us all nervous, didn't it? But this time around, ever since Game one of the ALDS - Jim Leyland and his players have seemingly transformed into a team of destiny, as if the "Baseball Gods" decided that they (and their fans) had been through enough during a tumultuous regular season. 

I could bring on the stats to support my argument ....starting with Ace Justin Verlander's gaudy 0.74 ERA in the post season, but this is about something more. A focus, hunger, and calm that has grown increasingly stronger for this team throughout the season.

We didn't always see it or want to believe it, but deep down they knew they could get here. Doug Fister said as much before Tuesday's workout - that inside the clubhouse, this group never blinked.

So here I am, or we all are - eyes wide open hoping to get a chance to see this amazing ride climax with the ultimate payoff over the next nine days as the Tigers try to bring home a Championship for their themselves, their tireless, aging owner, and possibly a departing skipper.

Much like my chaotic and uncertain trip to the airport this morning, it had a rocky start and I wasn't quite sure how or when I would get there - but at least now we can all sit back and enjoy the ride.



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