The ongoing photo journey of a very special former Tiger!
all photos by Samara Pearlstein
Where is Ugie? We rejoin our intrepid hero on the Irene Hixon Whitney Footbridge over I-94 in Minneapolis, Minnesota! This bridge is so freakin’ cultured that it has a John Ashbery poem all over it. Ugie just loves Culture.
The bridge leads to the Walker Art Center, where Ugie is happy to run from grass dot to grass dot. They’re like a series of pitcher’s mounds, representing Ugie’s varied path through the Majors, skipping from team to team.
The tags for the John Waters-curated Absentee Landlord exhibit at the Walker seemed to anticipate Ugie’s arrival.
Ugie poses with a Wolf Vostell print. Does this mean that Ugie has been qualified into Art? I THINK SO.
Of course, there is no way Ugie could go to Minneapolis and fail to check out Spoonbridge and Cherry, the iconic sculpture by Claes Oldenberg and Coosje Van Bruggen. Don’t pour that gasoline into the art, Ugie!
Ugie does love his churches. Here he takes a look at the Basilica of St. Mary, the first Basilica in the United States. It was built between 1907 and 1915, and was blessed by the Pope at the time in 1926 (which is what makes it a Basilica, I guess).
Where’s Ugie now? He’s LHAO at this ridiculous Minneapolis radio billboard.
Did you know that Minneapolis has a public bike network? Ugie is making that discovery here. It’s called ‘Nice Ride’, because the Midwest is all about everything being nice. (Boston is about to start a similar program, which will probably be called ‘F-U Cars and Pedestrians’.)
Kirby Puckett may be hollering at him, but Ugie will not be kept away from baseball! He’s got a career 2.40 ERA against Minnesota– he loves those wacky Twinkies.
This is Ugie’s first trip to Target Field, because he only ever pitched in the Metrodome when visiting Minnesota.
Ugie is quite a fan of outdoor baseball in Minnesota. Not so much a fan of the brutal summer heat and oppressive humidity in Minneapolis at the time, but outdoor baseball in general, yes.
Continuing his explorations of Minneapolis, Ugie had to take a look at the Weisman Art Museum and run along the contours of its Frank Gehry-designed housing.
There was plenty of time for Ugie to take a quick dip in the Mississippi River, although as usual he did have to be cautioned to keep his gasoline spout out of the water.
Where’s Ugie now? Why, at the University of Minnesota, of course!
Ugie may have been traveling with a pack of Wolverines, but he still paused to worry about Golden Gopher hockey.
Always one to appreciate a ridiculous name, Ugie greatly enjoyed a visit to the Dinkytown district.
Ugie’s in the front row at Target Field! Obviously a security breach of some sort, although he did mostly behave himself. In fact, he only jeered Brad Penny a handful of times, which I think you will agree is very restrained of him.
His time in Minneapolis done, Ugie gets back on the road. Most of you will recognize this: he’s admiring the water sculpture at Detroit Metro Airport. It is fascinating technology, which Ugie of course only considers in the context of using it to wreak havoc on his enemies.
Now he’s really getting Midwestern. Ugie says hi to a Big Boy located somewhere anonymous in Ohio.
Ugie greets the ancestral Ohioan homeland of Jim Leyland!
More baseball for Ugie, this time at Eastwood Field in Niles, OH. It’s home to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the low-A affiliate of the Racist Logos.
Normally Ugie loves Dippin Dots, but when they’re served in a Racist Logo helmet… time to break out the gasoline!
Ugie just does not know what to make of this incongruous fountain. It’s in front of a Holiday Inn Express in Warren (‘Youngstown North’), Ohio, which is just not the sort of place where Ugie would have expected to find such a fountain.
After a long drive, Ugie can breathe a sigh of relief, because he’s back in Michigan. He celebrates with a delicious Michigan staple.
Soon enough it is time for Ugie’s TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO COMERICA PARK!
Ugie refuses to let this creepy glow-y tiger freak him out on the occasion of his glorious return.
It’s so beautiful! Ugie cannot wait to run out to the mound and bean every Angel in the ballpark.
Ugie rides the Tiger carousel! The carousel is not too happy about it, clearly, but Ugie does not care about its feelings.
Always up for some Tigers history, since he himself is a part of it, Ugie dances on the bat of Hank Greenberg, taunting batters as is his way.
Angry crazed Tigers unite! Ugie visits with Ty Cobb. In life they would have despised one another, for a multitude of reasons. In statue and Terrible Cartoon form, they are BFF.
Ugie can’t ignore the other cats in town. He knows that this is the year the Lions make the rest of the NFL sit up and take notice.
Five dollar gameday parking? Ugie is traveling with Bostonians who simply cannot believe such a thing, as comparably-located parking around Fenway often runs you anywhere from $20-40.
Ugie pauses by a historic marker in Detroit to wonder what might have been if he had channeled his energy as effectively as Henry Ford did. Alas, the world will never know.
It’s incredibly hot in Detroit, so Ugie takes a moment to cool off in the Grand Circus Park fountain.
Another visit to Comerica Park, this time allowing Ugie to hang out with the Gate A Tigers.
And that’s it! Another great trip for Ugueth Urbina, in the only way he can travel these days. Many actual baseball photos to come from these journeys, of course, but for now, enjoy the Midwest through the crazy bug eyes of our old friend Ugie.