Editor’s note: This story on the Detroit Tigers’ Rally Goose was originally published on May 31, 2019.
It was just a typical game between so-so Angels and Tigers teams last May when a flock of geese landed on the field at Detroit’s Comerica Park during a rain delay. Moments later, the Rally Goose was born — after a near-death experience. (To see the Rally Goose’s flight, crash and revival, scroll to the bottom of the story.)
Alex Wilson, then-Tigers pitcher: After they started to pull the tarp up, all the geese flew off — except for one.
Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers outfielder: The grounds crew took out flare guns and noisemakers to try to get him to fly away.
Andrew Goodrich, grounds crew: If the noises don’t work, we have to chase them. I ran hard for a while before I realized I was getting fatigued and had to tag somebody else in. But just then, he took flight, and we thought he was gone.
Dr. Catherine Roach, veterinarian and Tigers fan in attendance: Geese are fairly smart — not super smart — and he should have been able to fly out and away. I wonder if he was confused by the lights.
Mario Impemba, then-Tigers TV broadcaster: People were starting to cheer, and the next thing I know, slam, headfirst into a sign! He started careening backward and somersaulting, then he hit his neck on a chair and flopped to the ground. I thought, “That goose is dead.”
Roach: I ran down there and grabbed the goose. I put him under my arm, we threw towels over him, and we went to my clinic for some tests. By then, he seemed fine.
James McCann, then-Tigers catcher: We put a rally together and won the game, and that’s when you started to hear about the Rally Goose. I felt like we had to have one for ourselves.
Chase Mahoy, clubhouse attendant: James left a note to get some goose decoys. So the next day, I went and bought eight.
McCann: The next thing you know, the Rally Goose was born.
Roach: In the morning, I took him up to the Michigan State vet school’s wildlife ward. He was feeling a lot better, and they released him on a lake near Lansing.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 31, 2018
Wilson: We carried the decoys around for a while. But then it kind of lost his mojo. We never gave him a name; he’s just Rally Goose.
Goodrich: We ordered a little goose that we put on one of the mowers. I hope the Rally Goose lives forever.
Ben Fidelman, Tigers PR: The Rally Goose replica is now with our archives and curation department and will be showcased at different Tigers events throughout the year as an artifact from the 2018 season.
Roach: People asked me, “Why aren’t we winning anymore?” And I’d say, “It’s just me and a goose — there’s only so much we can do.”