Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My friendship with the Detroit Tigers begins

Early in the year, 2007, I called the media director of the Detroit Tigers  Rick Thompson requesting a media guide. I received it a week later and proceeded to write letters to the sixteen  top officials in the  Tiger front office. I told them about my one-man baseball show about Ty Cobb and asked if they would sponsor my show. I received no response.  I vowed to try again later in the year.

In late spring, I met Lyn April Statten, a tall handsome woman who recently moved into the apartment complex where I resided. We struck up a conversation and she asked me what I was
doing so I told her I was an actor.  "What did you do when you were you younger" I asked.
She replied, "I was an actress, on Broadway in New York and on television in the early days when TV was live" she said. She informed me she also worked on stage in Hollywood and Las Vegas and made one film. I felt foolish and embarrassed but we became friends.

I explained I was new in the acting game and asked if she would give me some advice, she said yes, and became my director. 

Early in September, I decided to once again write to the officials in the Tigers front office telling them about my show seeking sponsorship. I received a letter from Christopher Illitch, President and Chief Executive Officer. He replied, "...thank you for your letter regarding your one-man show about Ty Cobb. I will be more than happy to forward your letter to the appropriate Detroit Tiger staff for their consideration".

He did and I received a letter from David Dombrowski, CEO, President and General Manager of the Tigers. He wrote, "If possible, our organization is willing to offer assistance if we can be helpful to you in bringing your play to Detroit and Lakeland, FL next year". David and I have since become friends and we exchange four or five letters a year.

Years later when the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers met in the World Series, I called Mr. Dombrowski at the St. Francis Hotel where the team was staying while the Tigers played the Giants in San Francisco. His wife answered the phone. I explained who I was and wanted to wish him and you a pleasant stay in the city. She said David wasn't in but she would let him know I had called. 

When I explained who I was, she said, "I know who you are, my husband has talked about 
David Dombrowski, CEO. President, GM
many times, you are the actor who portrays Ty Cobb on stage".                                           

Oil portrait by Arthur K. Miller, Art of The Game

I added 24 pieces of music, some sound effects 
and a short introduction to the show informing the audience where the show takes place and who Cobb was. After the introduction, Take Me Out To The Ballgame plays and I walk on stage.

My friend Auri Naggar, musician, singer, big Giants fan and mc at open mic. night  at Cameron's Restaurant & Pub in Half Moon Bay suggested I do some of my show there on Thursday evenings. I demurred explaining I do a monologue, all of the performers are musicians and singers. and I don't sing. As Cameron's is a bar, I wasn't sure if people would listen to me perform Cobb for fifteen minutes while drinking and talking with friends.

He talked me into it. I was wrong, he was correct, the audience responce was positive. I continued performing the show for five weeks, twelve-fifteen minutes each night. I did this for ten consecutive Thursday evenings in preparation in the event the Tigers would send me to Lakeland, FL to entertain the many Tiger fans who escape the snow and cold winter up North to bask in the warm sunny days in Florida and watch their beloved Tigers during Spring Training.

Early December, I spoke with Ron Myerse, the Complex Director in Lakeland who informed me he had heard from David Dombrowski about my show. He asked me to send him some material. He told me he would get back to me in January if he was interested.
I mailed him my press it. 


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