HOLLAND, Mich. — Saturday, one of the largest events of Tulip Time kicks off at 2 p.m. on 8th Street. It's the Volksparade, also known as the Parade of Bands.
This parade has a rich history in Holland, drawing bands from all over the state with some very notable dignitaries as Grand Marshall over the years.
On Friday, the 13 ON YOUR SIDE Morning News crew took viewers back in time to 1975 when Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, held that very special role.
The year was 1975...the Vietnam War had just ended..."Laverne and Shirley" ruled the ABC airwaves and right fielder Al Kaline had just retired from his epic 22-year run with the Tigers.
"He was very well known and a good player. He wound up in the Hall of Fame," said Robert Dykstra.
'75 was also the year Kaline was the Tulip Time parade Grand Marshall.
"What I remember is luncheon that we had..." Robert recalled.
He was on the Holland City Council and remembers Kaline's visit to Holland.
"I do recall someone told us not to bother him too much. With a whole room full I suppose we don't want to bother him too much," laughed Robert.
A quick glance around Dykstra's home and it's easy to see he's a big Tigers fan.
"Even though they are not doing very well...I appreciate the Tigers."
So when the wooden shoes Al was given as parade Grand Marshall went up on an auction site, Robert's son Karl jumped on the opportunity.
"I talked to dad...I said we need to get these back to Holland. Al kept them since 1975, they are in pristine shape...so I think that shows his respect for the fans and everything done for him as a Tiger," said Karl.
Karl bought the shoes for less than $400.
"I bid on them and no no outbid me," he explained.
This pair and another Al received were destined for Holland once more.
"It meant a lot to my dad, who is not only a Tigers fan but a big proponent of the city of Holland. I knew it would mean a lot to him to have these shoes back here."
You could call it a home run for Tulip City.
"I think it's great to have them back in Holland," said Robert.
Robert and Karl tell us that the Holland Museum hopes to display them so the public can enjoy them during next year's Tulip Time.
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