Woman, 104, celebrates at Comerica

Updated: June 14, 2011, 10:42 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

DETROIT -- For Mary Johnson, the wait to celebrate her 104th birthday at Comerica Park by watching her beloved Tigers play was worth it, even though Detroit lost.

Johnson was to celebrate her birthday on May 15 but that game was rained out. She finally got the chance to celebrate on Sunday by seeing the Tigers play the Seattle Mariners -- the first game she has attended since 1936.

Mary Johnson
Dana Wakiji Mary Johnson's 104th birthday party at Comerica Park included a visit from Tigers great Al Kaline.

"It's beautiful," she told the newspaper of her impression of Comerica Park. "I couldn't say another word."

According to the Detroit Free Press, Johnson's belated birthday bash included a a limousine ride to the ballpark, a birthday greeting on the stadium scoreboard and a chance to meet one of her favorite players -- Tigers great Al Kaline.

Kaline visited Johnson before the game in a stadium suite and signed baseballs. Kaline, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980 and hit 399 career homers in 22 seasons (all with the Tigers) came away impressed.

"She's awesome," Kaline told the newspaper. "She's so sharp."

She grew up in Henderson, Ky., and moved to Detroit in 1936. Johnson, whose birthday was May 10, came to visit her brother and never left.

Johnson even made an appearance on television when she was interviewed during the game by Fox Sports Detroit.

"I've never had a celebration like this before in my life," Johnson told the newspaper.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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