But on Tuesday night, White was back in his hometown of Detroit, where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Tigers-White Sox game at Comerica Park. And he was in a much better mood; after all, not only are the Tigers in first place, but it was “Christmas in July” night at the ballpark. Which meant he got to toss his pitch to Kris Kringle (every kid’s dream!)
“It’s just one of those days you throw a split-fingered fastball to Santa Claus,” White joked to the Detroit Free Press.
Turns out, it was his road manager wearing the Santa suit. White also apparently asked the Tigers if he could have slugger Miguel Cabrera swing at his pitch (the team refused the request) and wore what he claimed to be the only existing championship ring from the 1919 World Series – which, of course, gave us the infamous “Black Sox” scandal.
“I figured if there was any time to wear this, today was the day,” White told the Free Press. “Since we’re playing the White Sox.”
He took the mound wearing a vintage Detroit Stars Negro League jersey, and with more than 30,000 fans looking on (and the White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” blasting through the ballpark), delivered a pitch that hit the ground before reaching home plate – but hey, at least he got it there.
On Monday night, White – who has been making stops at MLB games while on his Lazaretto tour – performed a sold-out show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. He’ll play the city’s Masonic Temple (which he helped save with a donation of $142,000 last year) on Wednesday, before taking his trek to Canada.