I don’t know why I’m keeping these memories to two-year increments, I certainly don’t remember every single thing that’s happened to me. Oh well, let’s get moving…
Another strange year, I turned eight years old in October of that year. The Police were everywhere on MTV during this period due to the excellent Snychronicity album. Nothing too groundbreaking really happened to me during that year, I think I played Dungeons & Dragons that year with my cousin or something….I don’t know. Nothing is really leaping out at me for that year. Must not have been memorable then…
let’s move on to 1984…..
1984 was HUGE….I repeat HUGE….A lot happened that year….Prince’s Purple Rain was everywhere, it seemed that Prince’s Little Red Corvette video (which was actually released in 1982) was being played every five minutes in tandem with the new videos that he put out for When Doves Cry and all of the other Purple Rain associated stuff. Even Morris Day got into the act with “Jungle Love” (HEY! OH-EE-OH-EE-OH!..GIRL I WANNA KNOW YA!)
Ask any Michiganian (or Michigander for that matter) what 1984 meant to them? Just one thing…..Detroit Tigers winning it all! Arguably the greatest season that any sports team ever had not named the Chicago Bulls of 1995-96. The 1984 Tigers season was magical right from the start. In just the fourth game of the season in early April, Jack Morris pitched a No-Hitter on National Television when he iced the Chicago White Sox at Old Comiskey Park 4-0. Milt Wilcox (a fellow starting pitcher for the Tigers) had to smile, he came within one out of a perfect game in 1983 which was also against the White Sox. He retired the first 26 batters without incident until Jerry Hairston singled to right. The Tigers would go on to an unprecedented 35-5 start (an eyepopping .875 winning percentage) to coast through the rest of the season winning the AL East by 15 games.
I have fond memories of watching the World Series against the Padres which was kind of a letdown as most people around here were really hoping that the Cubs would have been the opponent. Like the Tigers, the Chicago Cubs also had an insane year in 1984. The Cubs also had a huge following thanks to WGN being broadcast nationwide. The Cubs had some great ballplayers at that time, Ryne Sandberg, Garry Matthews, Larry Bowa, Rick Sutcliffe, Jody Davis, Ron Cey, etc.
When the Cubs demolished the Padres in game 1 of the NLCS 13-0, people were already punching their tickets for the World Series. It would have been a dream Series for this area, we’re almost equidistant from both Chicago & Detroit and fans here could have bought up tickets to all seven games no problem. The dream Series actually happened the very next year although it was in a different state (Missouri – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals) The I-70 Series…that was a great one, went all seven games too. Maybe I’ll reserve that for 1985 in the timeline.
When the Tigers clinched it in Game 5 when Gibby (Kirk Gibson) sealed the deal with a home run late in the game, the crowd went bananas. I remember the final out and this mass wave of fans just stormed the field at Tiger Stadium and starting ripping up the sod, I would have loved to have been there for that. It was one of the coolest things I ever experienced watching it on television. It meant more to me because I was such a huge fan of baseball at that age.
A strange oddity also in Baseball that I remember was seeing Pete Rose in a Montreal Expos jersey, he played for them briefly in 1984 before coming back to the Cincinnati Reds. So many great things were happening around Baseball…you had the excellent weekly show TWIB (This Week In Baseball) narrated by none other than the Hall Of Famer Mel Allen….you also had the Baseball Bunch which was one of my favorites, you had Tommy Lasorda showing kids how to play the game (minus the cursing out of umpires of course) and you had cameos by famous ballplayers of the day such as Steve Garvey, Steve Sax, Tony Gwynn, etc. and who could forget the San Diego Chicken? Awesome stuff for a kid like me at that time.
I also remember watching the 1984 Summer Olympic Games from Los Angeles, watching Edwin Moses kill it on the hurdles, Carl Lewis whooping ass on the track, and also watching Mary Decker Slaney falling near the end of the Marathon (or was it a long-distance track event? I don’t remember at the moment and I don’t feel like looking it up). Of course, Mary Lou Retton taking it to Romania and showing them that Comanecci was old-hat…that was 1976, it was now 1984 and Yankee Gymnastics was all the way live….ok, that really wasn’t said in 1984…maybe a really young Coolio uttered that phrase in 1984…who knows?
Aside from sports, I also bought my very first album in 1984 with my own money, The Genesis album “Abacab” which was originally released in 1981. I did cover that briefly in my last post about North Kent Mall. But that album started it all up with me, consequently I never did buy another album until I was in High School and Compact Discs were around…but that’s another story for another time.