My friend Steve P and I had traveled by car from San Diego to Oakland to attend the 1987 All-Star Game at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium, where we’d also see a regular season A’s game, as well as a Giants game at cold and windy Candlestick Park a few days later. Of course I took my Statis Pro game on the trip with us, and after visiting Marriott’s Great America earlier that afternoon, and sitting down to a Round Table Pizza dinner that evening, we returned to the hotel and played SP78 Game #181, an April 22, 1978 AL match-up between the Rangers and Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It was only the second SP78 game Steve had ever participated in, and my first ‘road trip’ game since 1985, when I’d played a game at the Palomar College library.
Steve chose to manage the Rangers, and had Dock Ellis starting on the mound against Detroit’s Dave Rozema. And as games between us usually go, we were tied through nine and were forced to go extra innings, after Tiger second baseman Steve Dillard’s two-run double in the fourth had knotted the game at 2-2. We’d started the game late, and were becoming more and more tired as the extra frames dragged on into the night.
Finally, over two hours after we’d started, in the last of the 13th with two on and two out, Rangers third baseman John Lowenstein fielded Alan Trammell’s sharp grounder and threw the inning-ending out over first baseman Mike Jorgensen’s outstretched glove, allowing Tim Corcoran to trot home from third with the winning run, lifting the Tigers past the Rangers by a 3-2 count. It would be the only game we’d play on the trip, and the last game ever played at the All-Star Inn in Campbell, California.