Last October was a thrill ride at Comerica Park, where the Tigers made it back to the World Series and the hit MLB.com game show "Bucks on the Pond" doled out a combined $825 to fans over the course of four postseason shows taped on the concourse there.
Now the "Bucks" crew is back, featuring a pair of contestants who drove up for a game from Columbus, Ohio. Corey Flussi and Amanda Reed were there on a ballpark date, hoping to get in on the more than $20,000 that has been paid out to trivia winners at 25 of the 30 MLB parks since the show's debut last August. Watch the video to see if they make it 5-for-5 for Tigers fans ... or whether they go down swinging.
"The whole experience that day was crazy," Flussi said in an email to MLB.com. "I was born a diehard Tigers fan, ever since the days that I can remember of the great Cecil Fielder, Travis Fryman, Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel. We were both born and raised in Toledo, [Ohio], but moved to Columbus for our jobs. However, the Triple-A affiliate for the Tigers was the Toledo Mud Hens. I lived two blocks away from where they played at Ned Skeldon Stadium, so naturally I grew up watching the future Tigers.
"My favorite Tigers memory is the first time Amanda and I went to a Tigers game together. She was just being introduced to Tigers baseball and was not really a fan of baseball until we saw Justin Verlander pitch one night. We had tickets behind home plate and saw Verlander rack up a career-high 14 strikeouts in eight innings. It was an incredible performance.
"She fell in love with the Tigers, and I would say when we watch games together, she seems to be more critical than I am when it comes to the players and their performance," he added. "Especially Verlander -- after seeing that game, she has the highest of expectations."
Flussi is a supervisor at United Parcel Service, and Reed is a patient care assistant at Nationwide Children's Hospital. They have dated for two and a half years, and converting her into a Tigers fan meant the pair spent their vacation with baseball, sitting in the club seats section. The "Bucks" crew invited them to join the show in the Miller Lite Lounge.
"Bucks" is hosted by Jeremy Brisiel and you might be a part of this season 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, and shows are released each Tuesday and Thursday.
Contestants are asked a trivia question -- general knowledge and baseball -- on each pitch during a half-inning of baseball. 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 and $20 hard questions after two outs. If the contestant lasts longer than the team's at-bat, they win the bucks in their bank.
Flussi and Reed try to extend the "Bucks" success found last year at Comerica during the first season's episodes 20 (face-painted father and daughter, $185 won), 24 (science experts, $235), 27 (date, $200) and 28 (father and son, $205).
"It was really cool -- an awesome way for fans to win some bucks," Flussi said. "We loved that we had all type of trivia thown in. I think I was loving the highlights of Prince Fielder hitting a ball 420 feet for a home run -- more chance for bucks for us."
Topics covered in this episode include citrus, Tigers ballparks, movie ratings, No Doubt, math, "Survivor," Tigers leaders, catching flies, Shakira, painters, U.S. presidents, Austin Powers, Tigers legends, rappers, explorers, Jerry Springer and stars.
"All those times I watched Jerry Springer are paying off," Flussi said.
In addition to the Tigers, teams visited by the "Bucks" crew include the Angels, Astros, Athletics, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, D-backs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Twins, White Sox and Yankees. Bookmark MLB.com/bucks and be on the lookout for the "Bucks" crew at your ballpark.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.