Jack’s Journal: Detroit Tiger Fan

This room is full of memories — baseball memories — and with the Tigers just a few days away from another spring training, baseball fans are ready. And this baseball fan is a collector and this room is full of stories. Does he ever just come in and just sit?

“You better believe I do. Yes, I do,” said Kent Ailsworth. “And either pull out a binder or just read the books behind me here. This shelf is all baseball, so I’m a baseball freak.”

His collection is of course baseball cards. He has every Tiger’s autograph from 1935 to the present! A section of bleacher from Tiger Stadium, the banner from the visitors bullpen from old Yankee Stadium. Connections, friends of friends and being at the right place at the right time have aided in the collection.

The item that is most near and dear — well you could say he stole second base.

“Second base from Tiger Stadium, 1987. Signed by Trammel and Whitaker is one of my favorites.”

And there is the old hot dog vendor steamer. I bought plenty of dogs out of one of those. Oh can’t forget the Kaline stool. Kent also has a collection of photo’s from women’s leagues from World War II and the Negro Leagues. Classic stuff — he’s become enough of an aficionado that he has contributed to several books and has written one of his own. Yes he collects modern era items, but he’s love leans to the vintage.

“Little bit of everything. More the vintage, more of the older stuff. And obviously the Detroit Tigers. I am huge Tiger fan!”

With the Tigers headed back to spring training later this week, fans like Kent are ready to collect another season’s worth of memories.