Back in 1999 and 2000, I had the pleasure of participating in the Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camps held at Tiger Stadium. The camps are run by local fantasy-maker Jerry Lewis who started the camps in the 1980s as an independent operator along with his friend Jim Price.
In the late 1990s, Lewis joined forces with the Detroit Tigers and continues to run the camps under the auspices of the team. Lewis’s camps are world renown and he is considered the best of the best when it comes to running a quality camp.
To those who have always thought about participating but have never pulled the trigger, I highly recommend giving Jerry Lewis a call and signing up. You will not be disappointed. He can be reached at (313) 471-2550. Here’s a link to the Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp home page.
The video below is a documentary of sorts about a guy named “Paul” who is a long-time Detroit Tigers fantasy camper. Paul hit what has become known as “The Shot Heard ’round Detroit!” at a Tiger Stadium Fantasy Camp. He hit a home run that barely made it over the fence, but the tale grows taller — and the ball travels a little farther — every time the story is told.
The video gives a wonderful sense of the camaraderie that develops between the campers and the former Tigers stars. Humorous testimonials are provided by the likes of Lance Parrish, Ernie Harwell, Kirk Gibson, Bill Freehan, George Kell, Jim Price, Dave Bergman, Steve Kemp, Mickey Lolich, John Wockenfuss, Dave Rozema, Frank Howard, Milt Wilcox, Dan Petry, Jon Warden, Tom Brookens, John Hiller, Jason Thompson, Rod Allen, Jim Northrup, Willie Horton, Darrell Evans and Frank Tanana.
As you’ll see at the end, Paul becomes the first and only fantasy camper to ever be signed by the Detroit Tigers.