Tigers honor military on Fourth of July

Tigers honor military on Fourth of July

DETROIT -- There was no shortage of military presence at Comerica Park on Independence Day, as members of the United States Armed Forces showed up to watch Justin Verlander pitch against the Twins and were honored in various ways.

The Tigers started by donating 1,000 tickets to local military members and veterans so that they could bring their families and enjoy a Fourth of July evening at the ballpark. Several of those were chosen to be honored during the pregame ceremonies.

Col. Philip Sheridan and Adjutant Rolly Lee each threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Capt. Daniel Mercante delivered the game ball to the mound. And Senior Master Sgt. Mark Kaufmann sang the national anthem as a giant flag was spread across the outfield. A fly-over was scheduled, but a long rain delay wiped it out.

Ten thousand hats were also handed out as fans entered through the gates, decorating the crowd in red, white and blue. Both the Tigers and Twins wore special hats as well, with the usual colors replaced by camouflage.

And, of course, no Fourth of July is complete without a fireworks show, which was scheduled to take place on the field following the game.