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Fervent fans show up for Opening Day

Sarah Rahal Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Billie Giorgio and Joey Radio pose with officers and horses Friday.

Detroit — Cold weather and postponed games couldn't keep the most ardent Tiger fans away Friday. 

Some showed up as early as 7 a.m., including J.R. Blankenship, 55. He and his crew said they were the first to set up their tailgating tent, across from Comerica’s entrance. He said it is a tradition they started when Comerica opened in 2000. 

J.R. Blankenship, left, and his crew tailgate across from Comerica Park's entrance, starting at 7 a.m. Friday.

Longtime friends Darlene Sherbenou and Gina Johnson of Ypsilanti have been going to the Tigers Opening Day games together since 1999. This year, they tried Round 2 on Friday with Joyce Chihan of Garden City. 

Baseball fans Darlene Sherbenou, left, and Gina Johnson of Ypsilanti have been going to Tigers Opening Day games together since 1999. This year they tried Round 2 with Joyce Chihan of Garden City.
Detroit Tigers fans  Elpidio Sancen, left, and his twin brother Jesus Sancen, both of Detroit, roar with Paws during Opening Day.

Painted Faces

Carlota Lohmeier, 48, painted her face and joined her friend, Paula Piatt, from Warren, for Opening Day, tailgating outside of Cheli's Chili Bar. 

Paula Piatt of Warren, left, and Carlota Lohmeier of Ferndale enjoy Opening Day.
Tony Rinna of Southgate holds his grandson Mikah Bugeja, 2, on Opening Day.
Jacob Robinson, right, takes in his first Opening Day with friends.

A must-do part of going to a game downtown is getting a memorable photo in front of the tiger. 

Aidan Saluski, 4, of Grosse Pointe Woods waves his tiger paw in front of Comerica Park.
Rob Precorv, 29, and Nikki Gillen, 27, came from Cleveland.

Pirates Fans

Erik Jabs and his daughter, Olivia, 6, play catch while waiting for gates to open.

Erik Jabs and his daughter, Olivia, 6, play catch while waiting for the gates to open. 

"It's her first Opening Day, so we're hoping to get in there early and catch a baseball during batting practice," the Pirates fan said. 

Danny Novack Sr. and Danny Novack III from Garden City root for the  Pirates at Opening Day.

srahal@detroitnews.com