Al Kaline’s Last Bat Boy begins with the author’s birth in Malta, a country where the national sport is football (soccer). From that unlikely beginning, the tale moves quickly to Detroit, Michigan, where Dennis Clotworthy grows up in the shadow of Briggs / Tiger Stadium.
Chance combines with personality, ability, and willingness to work, and young Dennis finds himself living out every American boy’s dream. Readers watch that dream unfold, first from outside the old ballpark, where Dennis and his buddies play ball in the streets and listen to the legendary Ernie Harwell describe games that are going on just a few feet away. When chances come his way to do volunteer work for the home team, Dennis does anything he is asked and does it well enough that he finds that he has a job - when he didn’t even know he was looking for one. “Bat Boy” chronicles his experiences first as a junior usher in Tiger Stadium, then later as a clubhouse attendant and visitors’ bat boy. His promotion to Tiger bat boy is almost inevitable, and if working for the future Hall of Famers who paraded through the visitor’s clubhouse was thrilling, finding himself bat boy for his Tiger heroes - people like Norm Cash and Willie Horton and Aurelio Rodriguez and, of course, Al Kaline - is something he cannot quite believe to this day.
This story moves away from the clubhouse when Dennis is too old to be a bat boy and accepts an assignment in the ticket department - first in sales and eventually in the front office. The first Tiger team he served included many of the ’68 World Champions. Before he leaves the organization, the ’84 Wire-to-Wire champions will have become the talk of the town. The memories of those days don’t ever get old and a great many of them have found their way into this book.

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