When the World Series returned to Detroit last month, it came and went all too quickly for Tigers fans. But for Ryan Robinson and his son Benjamin, it was a treasured moment to last forever.
Watch the 28th episode of the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" and you can see why. The two contestants from nearby Ann Arbor leaned on each other and learned about each other as they answered trivia questions by the Big League Grill at Comerica Park before Game 4.
"The World Series is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Ryan said in an email to MLB.com. "I've had chances to go to other championship sporting events, but didn't because I waited for other people. I'm just really excited that I got to share this experience with my son."
So the Tigers were swept by the Giants. So the Robinsons watched the visitors celebrate with champagne on their field. You can't get those games back, but you also can't take away the experience of sharing the Fall Classic and winning some bucks to help pay for souvenirs.
"I'd have to say that the atmosphere was electric," Ryan said. "The fact that we saw a Triple Crown winner [Miguel Cabrera] hit a home run in a World Series game was wonderful, even with the loss."
"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel, and you might be a part of it when you least expect it. Fans at the ballpark interact with MLB.com's studio through the magic of technology in conjunction with game action inside. In creating a new experience for fans, MLB.com is giving people a chance to earn bucks while they spend bucks at the ballpark.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of the game. Get the question correct and win money. Get the question wrong and it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out.
The questions' difficulty and value increase with the number of outs in the on-field action: $5 easy questions to start, $10 medium-difficulty questions after one out, $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Fans are chosen randomly by the "Bucks" crew, and new episodes are being released every Tuesday and Thursday this season. This marked the fourth postseason show taped at Comerica, as episode 20 featured a pair of fans with Tiger face paint and a tribute to Cabrera, followed by the science experts of episode 24 and then episode 27 featured a ballpark date at World Series Game 3.
For a while, it looked like episode 28 was going to be the Ben Robinson Show.
"Afro Whiz" is what his dad called him, and the 17-year-old honors student at North Branch (Mich.) High School, wearing a Justin Verlander No. 35 jersey, is a whiz kid indeed. One by one, Ben tells his father the answer to relay.
"Benjamin has always been a smart kid," says his father, who finally breaks through with a 1992 movie reference, going old school.
The craziest part of this new episode involves an automotive question.
"You should know this stuff, you worked for a car company," Ben tells him.
How do you get a strike on that one when you're part of the regional auto workforce?
We had to ask.
"I currently work as a manufacturing supervisor at Ford Motor Company in Chicago," Ryan said. "Prior to Ford, I was with General Motors in Tonawanda, N.Y., and also Chrysler in Detroit. He thinks that my management experience should make me an expert."
So, how many bucks do they win? Will there be a father-son chest bump involved? Will it be a great night despite a Giants clincher? You'll have to watch and find out for yourself.
"School pays off, I guess," Ben says.
In addition to the Tigers, teams visited by the "Bucks" crew in 2012 include the Astros, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Marlins, Red Sox, Reds, Royals, Orioles, Tigers, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.