Bill Ferris hasn’t always been in church from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday, but he’s always found a quiet place for reflection, and he’s refrained from eating meat on the most somber day in the Christian calendar.
It’ll be harder this year.
A devoted Tigers fan, Ferris, 34, of Troy won’t miss Opening Day at Comerica Park — even though it’s on Good Friday.
“I can get around the meat thing,” said Ferris, a member of St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Troy.
“I’ll just stick to peanuts and popcorn because I don’t think there are too many seafood options at the stadium. But I’m not sure I can find a quiet place on the concourse at Comerica.”
But for some Catholics and other Christians in southeast Michigan, the Detroit Tigersâ€™ home opener this year will be off-limits. The 1:05 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers is on April 10 â€” Good Friday and one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar.
Thatâ€™s the day for somber reflection, personal sacrifice, church services that run from noon to 3 p.m. and a no-meat pledge, which doesnâ€™t lend itself to downing a hot dog or two at the game.
While all 30 Major League teams are playing that day, only the Tigers are taking the field during the Christian holy hours. It’s a schedule that keeps the weather and tradition in mind, said Tigers’ spokesman Ron Colangelo.
“Major League Baseball has a monumental task of putting together the schedule for the entire season,” he said. “Fans have come to know that our home opener is always a day game.”
And the Tigers point out that there are plenty of vegetarian offerings on the concession menus. Last year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals named Comerica Park one of the Top 10 vegetarian friendly stadiums in baseball.
Michael Ochab, 47, will miss his first opener in 20 years, choosing to attend services at St. Florian Catholic Church in Hamtramck, instead.
“It’s sort of an insult for Catholics,” he said. “I’m still hoping the Tigers will change the time.”