Just a few blocks from my house, high school football coaches used to monitor children playing Duck, Duck, Goose during recess at an elementary school one block from the beach.

This was many years ago and I have no idea why high school football coaches were sent to the playground to oversee kids’ activities, but the reason I bring up the memory is because major league baseball now has its own form of Duck, Duck, Goose.

It’s the Detroit Tigers’ Rally Goose and opponents are trying to duck it.

It all started May 30 when a goose crashed into a scoreboard at Comerica Park after the grounds crew chased it during a rain delay. The goose was rescued, the Tigers rallied for five runs to beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 and the bird was released into the wild two days later.

To honor the free bird named the Rally Goose, the Tigers welcomed a gift to their dugout at Comerica on May 31. It was a hunting decoy from catcher James McCann, and like the waterfowl that survived its errant flight, the replica is also known as the Rally Goose.

The Tigers won five of seven Rally Goose games at home, including four in a row, before going to Boston for a three-game series that started Tuesday, with the decoy also making the trip to Fenway.

The Rally Goose not only sparked the Tigers, but it has led to a new wave of creativity from punsters, T-shirt makers, Tweeters and Instagrammers.

I’ve checked out Official Rally Goose, Detroit Sports Shirts, Ardent Ink, Sack Daddy Sports and My Detroit Sports, all on Instagram, and I also saw a post from a woman who said she made a Goose onesie for her child.

The Tigers’ game notes May 31 included such plays on words as “Take A Gander,” “Getting Tweet-ment” and my favorite, “Duck, Duck, Goose,” which highlighted the team’s streak of hitting a least one double in 46 consecutive games. I see what the Detroit PR people did. They brought a double meaning to “Duck, Duck, Goose.”

Twitter jokes include one from an account called Tigers Rally Goose: “I’m requesting a 5 year, $100 million contract. Willing to crash into scoreboards if the team scores 5 runs the next inning.”

One of the replies: “You will be traded before the deadline. Sorry, gotta do what we gotta do. #verlandered

That’s a reference to former Tigers pitcher star Justin Verlander, who helped the Houston Astros win the 2017 World Series after he was traded for prospects before the Aug.31 MLB waiver deadline.

The Tigers will be back at home this weekend to play the Cleveland Indians and the Goose will also be back unless the Green Monster gobbles it.

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John E. Bialas
John, 67, is retired from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald newspaper in Gulfport, Miss., after a 45-year career there in which he was a sportswriter, weekend sports editor, book reviewer, rock music critic, copy editor, blogger, Facebook administrator and award-winning headline writer and page designer. He lives in Gulfport with his wife, Patricia, and writes the blog Pictures of Tilly which you can find at http://picturesoftilly.net/.