Doug Fister has a pair of ski goggles stored in his locker in the Detroit Tigers clubhouse. The last couple weeks they've come in handy.
Not for skiing or snowboarding. Instead, he wears them for protection during champagne celebrations.
So far, there have been three.
The Tigers celebrated when they won the American League Central Division. There was the celebrations after beating the Oakland A's and New York Yankees in the playoffs.
Next up: The World Series against the San Francisco Giants.
"They had some small goggles here, but those didn't do the trick," Fister said. "I went to my ski goggles. They give you better protection and better vision.
"Right now, our clubhouse kind of stinks a little bit. They cleaned up, but there is a lingering smell. It never gets old, though. Guys get into it. It's a huge camaraderie moment. It's something they can't take away from you."
After two straight years of deep playoff runs, Fister can hold his own when it comes to spraying champagne.
"I think Doug is pretty well liked by his teammates," said Fister's father, Larry, who was in Detroit with his wife, Jan, for the playoffs. "I don't know how many liked him after they beat the Yankees. We were standing outside the locker room when two of his teammates came out.
"One guy said, 'I don't know what Fister is shooting in there, but he wiped both of us out.' "
The former Golden Valley High and Merced College star is one of two players from the area playing a key role in the Tigers' postseason run.
Sonora left-hander Phil Coke picked up two saves in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
After closer Jose Valverde struggled against Oakland and New York, Coke found himself on the mound in tight situations late.
Coke pitched 5º innings of scoreless relief, surrendering just three hits and striking out four in the ALCS. Coke was on the mound when for the final out of the ALCS, pounding his glove on the ground after Prince Fielder caught the final out.
Fister has done his part for a Tigers starting rotation that has been dominant this postseason.
Fister pitched 6ª scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Yankees. He gave up six hits and four walks, but pitched his way out of jams on his way to a no-decision.
Fister also picked up a no-decision in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against Oakland. The 6-foot-8 right-hander struck out eight and allowed just two earned runs in seven innings of work.
Detroit won both games Fister started in the playoffs. Tigers manager Jim Leyland will call on Fister to throw the second game of the World Series on Thursday in San Francisco.
"You always dream of going to the World Series," Fister said. I think I had a dream last night, laying there watching TV.
"That's why we work all offseason. That's what we're working for from the first time we pick up a baseball."
Fister finished the regular season with a 10-10 record and a 3.45 ERA.
The highlight of his season came on Sept. 27 when he struck out nine straight hitters against Kansas City to break an American League record.
"I had no idea what was going on," Fister said. "I was so focused in on one pitch at a time. After it happened, everyone started cheering. Prince came over and told me to step off and take a breath. After the inning was over, we're walking off the field and Prince puts his arm around me and asks me, 'You really have no idea what's going on, do you?' I told him no. He said, 'Just go in the dugout. They'll tell you.'
"I had no idea I had struck out that many, especially in a row."
Fister received a bit of a scare against the Yankees when Robinson Cano lined a shot off of his wrist early in the game.
"He squared me up pretty good," Fister said. "For a second, I wasn't sure what was going on. It was a numbing pain."
Between innings, Fister had his wrist looked at and taped up. He threw some pitches and decided he could try to continue.
"It almost made my curveball better," Fister said. "I had thrown some balls up there that were just spinning and not doing much. After that I found my curveball. You kind of forget the pain you're in."
Fister has had plenty of time to heal, but it's still hard to believe he'll be taking the mound in the World Series.
"It hasn't sunk in at all," Fister said. "It's one of those things, it's pretty surreal. You come in and see the World Series logo on your hat, it's on your sleeve and jersey. It's a constant reminder that we're going to the World Series, but at the same time you try to tell yourself it's the same game. It's the same thing we've done all year long."