Baseball at the El Moore…?

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The El Moore has been around for more than a century, and when you take a look at the various and dramatic transformations and transmutations that have taken place in the surrounding Cass Corridor neighborhood during that time, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the building has attracted a wide variety of tenants. From the extraordinarily wealthy ‘automotive widows’ who are thought to have taken up residence during the building’s early years, to the more average, ‘normal’ income types, to the artistic sort to the not quite so much. We have even seen evidence of certain tenants feeling a need to ward off evil spirits with the assistance of crosses placed above windows and doors and the widespread presence of St. Benedict medals.

But now, as spring training is about to begin, we have also found evidence of something much more earthshakingly important than all of these; we now know that at least one former resident was a serious fan of  the Detroit Tigers, having left behind at least two old-time baseball trading cards of the type that would make any serious Tigers fan or historian weep tears of Tiger joy. We’re talking the original cards going back to the early ’50s with players such as Gus Zernial, an outfielder whose statistics on the back of the card list him as 6’3″ tall, weighing in at 210 pounds, and born June 27 1923 (a little over a year after my 93-year-old mother). According to what it says on the back of his card:

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“Gus was the best pinch hitter in the American League last year. He posted 15 hits in 42 games and wound up with a huge .395 mark. Among his hits were three homers giving him a record-tying lifetime total of 9 clutch homers.”

The other Detroit Tiger card we found was Mike Roarke, who weighed in at 195 pounds, was 6’2″ tall, and was described as “a fine gloveman and an expert on handling a pitcher.”

I wonder if they ever dropped by the El Moore…? You know, just to hang out.

About Keith Owens

Keith Owens is a freelance writer, columnist, blogger and musician whose most recent work has been featured in Model D Detroit, BLAC Detroit, and the national political affairs blog PoliticusUSA. He has also published three novels through Detroit Ink Publishing (www.detroitinkpublishing.com), the eBook publishing company he co-founded with his wife, Pamela Hilliard Owens. Keith and Pam live in a 100-year-old home in the Historic Boston-Edison District a few miles north of the El Moore.

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