Veterinarian golden for Tigers’ rally goose

Christine Ferretti
The Detroit News
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Catherine Roach, a part-time veterinarian at  Advanced Animal Emergency Clinton Township, rescues a Canada goose that ended up in the seats after noise shots had been fired by the grounds crew to try and scare it away.

Detroit — Not since Daffy Duck has a bird made such a cartoonish blunder and yet been so adored for it.

Fair or fowl, the Detroit Tigers’ unofficial mascot, the Rally Goose, has become the talk of the town ever since its perilous fall from grace at Comerica Park on Wednesday night sparked some sizzling baseball.

A day later, a hero emerged from the stands. Tigers season-ticket holder Catherine Roach, who happens to be a part-time veterinarian at Advanced Animal Emergency Clinton Township, was revealed as the bird’s savior.

Roach was among the fans waiting out a second rain delay in the sixth-inning of the Tigers-Angels game when the Canada goose that wandered onto the field made a failed attempt to fly out, smacking instead into a scoreboard and tumbling into the stands below.

"It happened right above our seats. I didn't see him hit, but I heard it, and I saw him bounce back," said Roach, 51, of Hamtramck, who holds Tiger Den seats in section 121, in the lower deck behind the first-base dugout, along with her husband, Mark Lamb. 

"It was right above and to the left of us. I thought, 'They are not going to know what to do with this.' So I headed down and picked up the goose."

A Canada goose lands near the pitching mound during the sixth inning of the baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

Roach said fans and staff were concerned about the young adult male goose that was stunned from the fall. 

"They needed to get him off of the field for his safety and the players' safety. I don't know why he couldn't fly well-enough to fly out. He may have gotten confused by the lights," she said. "I just easily picked him up, tucked him under my arm and carried him out."

Roach said with the help of staff and security, she set the goose outside the main doors near some bushes to "minimize the stress." She returned about a half-hour later to see if he'd settled down or taken off on his own, but he hadn't moved. 

From there, she transported him to the office for an examination and X-rays. The goose, which she said did not appear to be badly hurt, spent the night in a dog kennel in her basement before she drove him to Michigan State University's Veterinary Medical Center to the care of a wildlife veterinarian. 

"He's doing really well now," she said. 

He's expected to get a new home within the next couple of days when he's released into a wetland sanctuary in the Lansing area, she said.

Roach said the amount of attention she's received from the ordeal is "a little crazy." But for her, it's just another day on the job. She's hoping to be there when the goose is set free, once again. 

"I'll try," she said. "They are going to keep me updated on how he's doing."

The Tigers, meanwhile, scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth Wednesday night, as fans chanted, "Rally Goose," to grab a 6-1 win.

On Thursday, the boys of summer extended their rally with a 6-2 win over the Rally Monkeyless Angels.

But not before having a bird-brained idea of their own. A fake goose was unofficially activated and carried about in the dugout.

"Baseball players, it's what they do. They don't miss a beat," joked Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire.

Asked who was the culprit responsible for bringing the faux fowl, Nick Castellanos disclosed: "I think that's a (James) McCann question. McCann's a hunter. He's the taxidermy guy."

Hopefully, Tigers of a feather will continue to flock together.

Staff writer Lynn Henning contributed.

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