Not surprisingly, Haase was pumped.
“It was awesome,” he said Thursday. “I’m a huge rock fan. I tend to lean toward a little harder rock; you can probably tell by my intros and stuff. But obviously, the White Stripes were big when I was coming up. My wife’s side of the family loves them. Obviously being from Detroit, I’ve always known them.
“I had a couple of chances to meet [White] this offseason. Couldn’t make it happen, so I was kicking myself about that, and then I come down here, and he’s out here. It was fantastic.”
It was the latest moment in Haase’s rise to stardom where he had to almost pinch himself. Even being in the Majors for Opening Day was a first; he played pro baseball for a decade without experiencing that. Remember, the Tigers didn’t call him up last year until about a month into the season.
Haase thought it was crazy when he was batted behind Miguel Cabrera last summer. Now, he’s meeting rock stars. He admittedly put so much of his focus into staying in the Majors last year that he didn’t always appreciate such moments. Now that he has a set role, he’s allowing himself to soak in the moments a bit.
“I’m walking out here and seeing Jack White, and it’s like, ‘Dude, what is going on?’” Haase laughed. “It’s just kind of all-encompassing. The whole last year has been an awesome ride, and the team looks so much better this year, just a great group of guys. I think we’re really shaping up to win a lot of baseball games, and it’s exciting.”
Haase, again in his first Opening Day game, played a huge role in the Tigers’ season-opening win. His home run off White Sox closer Liam Hendriks tied the game in the ninth before Austin Meadows and Javier Báez paired up to win it.