|Detroit News, The (MI)
July 11, 2003
Canines sink teeth into promotion
Every dog has its day at Comerica Park
Author: The Detroit News Angelique S. Chengelis
DETROIT — Congregated among the left-field statues of
Tigers greats Horton, Cobb, Greenberg, Gehringer,
Newhouser and Kaline, were, among others, Rocky, Daisy,
Otis and Sebastian.
There were 178 dogs of all shapes and sizes, some
dressed appropriately in Tigers paraphernalia, some
barking, others enjoying the camaraderie of fellow dogs,
who joined their owners for a dog-day afternoon at
Comerica Park on Thursday.
Who let the dogs out? The Tigers and Pet Supplies “Plus”,
that’s who. Both sponsored the stadium’s first “Bark in
the Park,” created to raise money for the Michigan
Animal Adoption Network.
“I heard about it and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! We’re
taking a day off work to be here,’ ” said Wendy Evtushek
of Taylor, who brought Otis the basset hound dressed in
a Tiger-print cape and wearing a headband of Tiger ears.
“We don’t have any kids, and we’re nuts. We’re all about
dogs. I’m definitely here for the dogs.”
Owners and pets occupied the left-field section as they
mingled and watched the Tigers beat the White Sox, 1-0.
The Tigers were prepared for everything — including
“restroom facilities.” Each owner got a plastic bag, and
five small red plastic hydrants helped let dogs do
their, uh, business.
Complimentary plastic bowls filled with bottled spring
water, no less, were available for all dogs. There was a
food section for dogs with “goodie” bags containing
snacks and a tennis ball, along with a large bag of Pro
Plan, at a table across the way from the Hot Fries-Big
League Grill human food concession.
Milt Wilcox, who pitched 16 seasons in the major
leagues, including nine with the Tigers, attended
Thursday’s game with his black Labrador, Sparky. Sparky,
named for former Tigers manager Sparky Anderson, is on
his way today to Reno, Nev., for the Great Outdoor Games
in which he will be competing Sunday.
Wilcox, an animal lover, said Bark in the Park was a
great way to introduce new fans to Comerica Park and the
“All the dog people actually get to sit and talk and
make friends, and that’s what’s nice about this,” Wilcox
Jennifer Piasecki of Brighton and her dog, Gatlin, got
to take a picture with Paws, the Tigers’ mascot.
Sebastian, a shepherd-husky mix owned by Shawna
Schoenberg of Livonia, enjoyed a more exclusive event
before the game.
Sebastian was one of six dogs chosen to participate in a
race around bases set up in the outfield. The
participants were selected based on a contest in which
the owners had to describe which Tiger their dogs most
Manager Alan Trammell was the one most owners wrote
about, but Schoenberg’s friend, Brent Hall, wrote that
Sebastian was most like pitcher Steve Sparks.
“He throws a knuckleball and it reminded (Hall) of
Sebastian’s floppy ear flopping in the wind like a
knuckleball,” Schoenberg said.
It was the first Tigers game of the year for Jeff Young,
and his son, Alex, of Marine City, who brought Copper,
an English setter. Darla Brandt of Eastpointe frequently
attends Tigers games, but this was the first with
5-pound dachshund Amber, who sported a fashionable
homemade blue-and-orange bandana with an orange
“They need to have more fun things like this to get
people here,” Brandt said.