Tigers announce home-opener plans

Tigers announce plans for home opener

KANSAS CITY -- Michigan's miltary heroes, television and film star Tim Allen and "American Idol" finalist Matt Giraud, Michigan natives all, will be the featured participants in the Tigers' traditional pregame pageantry prior to their home opener Friday afternoon against the Indians at Comerica Park.

Much like last year with representatives of Michigan's Big Three automotive companies, the Tigers will use their ceremonial first pitches to honor each branch of the U.S. military. Joyce M. Lambton, Yeoman Second Class of the U.S. Coast Guard, will join Marine Corps Captain Thomas Shield, U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Bradford Webster, U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant John Self and a representative of the U.S. Navy to take the mound and throw out a pitch prior to the 1:07 p.m. ET game.

They'll all be receiving a ball from Allen, who went to high school in the Detroit area and graduated from Western Michigan University before embarking on a career in comedy in the Detroit area and starring in the television sitcom "Home Improvement."

Giraud, a finalist from last year's "American Idol" competition and a native of Ypsilanti, Mich., will perform the national anthem.

A military flyover will feature four F-15C Aircraft from the 95th Fighter Squadron of Tyndall Air Force Base. Following the traditional team introductions, Master Sergeant Derek Stancle of the United States Air Force will deliver the game ball for Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello to use for the official first pitch.

The gates to Comerica Park will open at 10:30 a.m. ET to accommodate the sellout crowd.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.