DETROIT -- Rest easy, baseball fans looking for a sign of summer in the frigid Michigan winter. TigerFest is back.
After a one-year hiatus, the Tigers' annual winter warmup event is on the schedule again, set for Saturday, Jan. 26 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET at Comerica Park. The format is much the same, giving Tigers fans a chance to meet and greet everyone from star players to the newest Tigers.
A full list of players scheduled to come to town won't be released until January, but the vast majority of the Tigers' roster -- including many stars like Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder -- is expected to attend. So is new Tigers right fielder and MLB fan favorite Torii Hunter, in what will be his first public appearance at the ballpark.
Along with Tigers coaches, they'll be making their rounds through the numerous autograph booths throughout the ballpark, as heaters and tents turn a winter setting into a taste of Opening Day. Players will also be available in a photo area set up in the visitors clubhouse.
Much of the ballpark will be open, either for specific events or for visits. Self-guided tours will take fans through the Tigers clubhouse, including a team archive display, while fans can take their swings in the underground batting cage just inside the Tigers dugout.
While fans are welcome to take photos in the visitors dugout, another self-guided tour will send fans through the Ernie Harwell Media Center, luxury suites, the Champions Club and a selection of Tigers executive offices.
For kids, there's not only a separate autograph booth with players and coaches, but a miniature stage with book readings from players, a video game bullpen, face painting and baseball-themed games.
Fans of all ages will be able to enjoy the main stage sessions with Tigers players, coaches, front-office personnel and broadcasters for updates and question-and-answer sessions. The highlight will be a special two-hour fan conference.
As a bonus to remember Cabrera's amazing 2012 season, every fan through the entrance gate will receive a Triple Crown pennant.
Tickets, $25 for adults and $12 for kids ages 12 and under, will go on sale Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. online at tigers.com/tigerfest. They'll also be available by phone by calling 866-66-TIGER.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.