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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) - The energy in Detroit was electric Thursday night as thousands of thrilled Tiger fans celebrated their team’s dominating ALCS win over the New York Yankees.
Following the 8-1 victory, the crowd went wild.
Feverish fans in the stands included Chad Schneider, who said it wasn’t just the win — it was how Detroit’s boys destroyed the Yankees the make it to the World Series.
“I didn’t think we were gonna beat them this bad,” he told WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil. “We smoked ‘em! It was a good game.”
During the post-game ceremonies, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch expressed his appreciation for the team.
“They’re humble, they’re down to earth, they appreciate the fans to no end, and I couldn’t be happier between, you know, the Red Wings and the Tigers — but the Tigers are something special,” Ilitch said.
Ilitch directed his thanks, also, into the stands. “It’s a big thrill … but my fans, 3 million, my fans — you pumped my players up!”
Hear the final call of the game:
97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger spoke with pitcher Phil Coke directly after the game. ”The skipper didn’t quit on us; we didn’t quit on us — we kept pushin’, kept fightin’ … and here we go!” Coke said, before bolting off to celebrate with his teammates.
Riger said it was bedlam in the locker room as he caught up with champagne-soaked outfielder Andy Dirks.
“It feels great, you know … it’s a dream come true. It’s a great time for the city, a great time for the team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” said Dirks. “This city — they love their baseball, they love their team and it’s good to have that kind of support behind you.”
Added Tigers slugger Prince Fielder, “This is awesome … you know, get a chance to go to the World Series — it’s just a good feeling … I’m just happy (the fans) received me well and I’m just happy we’re able to go to the next level.”
Fielder talked about what he did after catching that final out. ”I saw Omar (Infante) first and I just grabbed him and then you just start running around,” he said.
WWJ’s Beth Fisher talked to enthusiastic fans as they streamed out of Comerica Park — some carrying brooms to signify the sweep.
“I think it’s absolutely phenomenal,” said Chris Kelly of Clinton Township. “I can’t wait to go to the World Series … awesome!”
Fan Joshua Taylor, too, was all smiles. ”It’s amazing! It’s amazing! To God be the Glory! It’s amazing; I’m excited for Detroit!”
Brain Fingerly of Ann Arbor said we’re on top of the world. “It was, on a scale of one to 10, it was like a 12,” he said.
Pretty much everyone said they’re hoping to get their hands on World Series tickets — and that might not be so easy. The Comerica Park box office sold out in 15 minutes.