Fan uses 4-foot stilts to watch Series

Associated Press
Oct 23, 2006 at 03:09pm IST

Detroit: For one fan, the choice was easy: Why plunk down a big chunk of change for a World Series ticket when you can stand on four-foot stilts and watch through the steel gates?

Throngs of people, most with tickets but hundreds without, converged on Comerica Park on Saturday night, eager to watch the Tigers' first World Series game in 22 years.

Ticket holders rushed to their seats when the gates opened, while others staked out spots around the stadium to catch a glimpse. From his spot on stilts, 29-year-old Brian Harpster said he could see the outfield, the pitching and any balls hit in play, though he couldn't see the batters.

ARDENT ADMIRER: Harpster wears stilts to try and get a glimpse of Game 1 of the World Series.

He stuck with nonalcoholic beer to keep his balance.

"I think after this, it's going to be a whole new thing," friend Brooks Rodriguez said. "He's a pioneer."

Detroit lost Game 1 to the St Louis Cardinals, 7-2.

Other ticketless outsiders like 46-year-old Patty Minch and her sister-in-law, 49-year-old Cheryl Darnell found a spot between two minivans in a parking garage behind the popular Elwood Bar and Grill across from the stadium.

"It's the best one we could get for not having any tickets," Minch said, laughing.

Minch and Darnell said they could see everything but third base and the outfield.

Inside the stadium, the views also varied widely.

Perched in a seat in the last row of the upper deck known as the skyline, Chris Schrader, 21, of Baltimore, could see the top of the left field foul pole in front of him but relied on the auxiliary scoreboard and the announcer to help keep up with the action since he couldn't see the main outfield scoreboard.

"It's not bad, you get a nice little breeze from the back," he said.

"Ford Field is right there, if I get bored I can just look over my shoulder," he added, referring to the home of the Detroit Lions, where a high school football game was being played Saturday night.

But fans don't necessarily need an assigned seat to be inside the park. The team also sells standing-room-only tickets.

"I'm grateful to be here, whether we're standing or sitting on the bridge," said 39-year-old Marie Opalewski.

She and her friends were sitting in one of the park's standing-room-only sections on bleachers resembling what you might find at a local recreation softball diamond.

The view from the section can be improved by standing up and leaning against the railing to look down on the outfield.

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