Newcomers relish their first Opening Day

Newcomers relish their first Opening Day

Newcomers relish their first Opening Day
DETROIT -- For Andy Dirks, Collin Balester, Danny Worth and Duane Below, Thursday's game marked the first time they would get to experience Opening Day in the big leagues and the festivities that coincide with it.

All four earned a roster spot with the Tigers out of Spring Training -- albeit in different ways -- and all four wore smiles as they prepared to take the field for the team's first batting practice in the confines of Comerica Park.

"Obviously this is everyone's dream to be on the Opening Day roster," Balester said, "and to be on a team like this, in a city like this, it's a dream come true. It's going to be an awesome experience."

Of the four, Worth knew the "most" about what to expect. As a child, he attended an Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, recalling the game was between the Dodgers and Reds in Ken Griffey Jr.'s first season as center fielder.

It was fun, of course, but obviously won't compare to being on a Major League club's Opening Day roster, he said.

He'll allow himself to enjoy the moment -- the atmosphere, hearing his name announced for the first time and former Tiger Al Kaline delivering the ceremonial first pitch -- but once the game starts, "it's all business" as the team tries to live up to expectations.

"It's going to be a special team," Worth said. "I think everyone knows that. ... Some very special players on this team and the fans are going to be able to watch every day now."