June 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Tigers garage sale a home run with fans

Detroit -- Most people find old clothes, knickknacks or comic books at a garage sale.

But not Christy Kanine. She found a 7-foot-tall baseball bat that used to decorate Comerica Park.

Kanine was one of thousands who stopped by the ballpark Thursday for the first day of the 2014 Detroit Tigers Garage Sale. The event stadium runs through Friday.

“We got a big rush when we opened,” said Heather Ennis, a Comerica Park operations coordinator. “I couldn’t count how many people came through the gates. It’s a big crowd and it’s very good to see.”

The sale comes less than a week after an online auction of fixtures from the Pontiac Silverdome netted about $500,000 for items such as scoreboards, pretzel warmers and end-zone turf.

Kanine, 42, of Petoskey said she plans to give the bat to her husband to add to his collection of Tigers memorabilia in the basement. “I think he’ll be fine with it,” she said. “I hope.

“But it was $50. That’s a bargain.”

Other items for sale included furniture, framed artwork and turnstiles, as well as promotional items from previous giveaway nights and hockey player lockers from the Winter Classic games.

Everything is sold as-is and is usually gone by the time the sale ends on its second day, Ennis said.

The Tigers typically have the garage sales after a remodeling or renovation project at the stadium is finished, she said.

“A lot of the furniture this year came from the remodeling of our hospitality areas, such as our Tiger Club and our Tiger Den areas,” Ennis said.

Prices for items start as low as $5 and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Detroit Tigers Foundation, the pro baseball team’s official charity.

Garage sales were held in 2012 and 2011. Ennis said she didn’t know how much the events have raised.

Bruce Crossman, 63, of Pontiac said he collects game-used equipment and thought he’d give the garage sale a shot Thursday.

“I didn’t think that I’d find anything that I collect; you never know what you’re going to find,” he said after snagging some DVDs of Justin Verlander’s no-hitter, a Torii Hunter mini-bat and a plaque from Sparky Anderson’s retirement ceremony.

Crossman said he was amazed at the turnout.

“It just goes to show that regardless of what people think, this is a baseball town,” he said. “It’s amazing how many people are out here buying memories. Because that’s what it amounts to.”

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Louis Weinberg, 14, of Waterford stands in line Thursday at Comerica Park with a picture of Brandon Inge that he plans to put in his bedroom. A Detroit Tigers garage sale sold team memorabilia, as well as stadium fixtures no longer needed. / Photos by Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News