Tigers at night

Tigers at night, photo by baklein62

101 years ago today on April 20, 1912, Tiger Stadium opened at the corner of Michigan & Trumbull in Detroit’s Corktown Neighborhood. Last year Eric Adelson of Yahoo Sports observed that this milestone passed largely unmarked:

It was 100 years ago this weekend. Ty Cobb scored the first run by stealing home. From that day until 1999, this very spot rumbled with din and greatness. Pretty much every legend that played in Fenway in the 20th century also played here. Lou Gehrig sat himself down for the first time in 2,130 games here, ending his incredible ironman streak. Babe Ruth hit his 700th home run here. Reggie Jackson hit one into the right field light tower here during the ’71 All-Star game. The Tigers won World Series titles here in 1968 and again in 1984, with Kirk Gibson launching a late-inning home run off Goose Gossage that no Tigers fan alive to see it will ever forget. Fair to say this was the most exciting place in the history of Michigan.

And now there’s hardly a trace. Fans committed to honoring the old stadium in some form maintain a home plate, a pitcher’s mound, two chalk lines for base paths and two benches where the dugouts used to be. The 125-foot flagpole from the old center field is still standing.

While the old ballpark’s birthday is definitely passing unmarked again this year, mLive hadan article about the uncertain future of the site a couple of weeks ago. If you’d like to do a little remembering, head over to 100 years at Tiger Stadium on Absolute Michigan for a whole lot more about this beloved ballpark and links to videos including the intro to the DVD Michigan & Trumbull featuring Ernie Harwell. (a 2 1/2 minute stroll through Tiger Stadium)

Check Barney’s photo out on black and see a whole lot more in his great Baseball as Art slideshow.

Lots more Detroit Tigers pictures on Michigan in Pictures!

at the corner

at the corner, photo by 1ManWithACamera

“It was the most famous address in Michigan. Not the number, but everyone knows the location. The corner of Michigan and Trumbull was a connection for everyone all over Michigan to the city of Detroit”
~Charley Marcuse, former hot dog vendor at Tiger Stadium

The above is a quotation from a heartbreaking feature on the 100th anniversary of Tiger Stadium that we are linking to today from 100 years at Tiger Stadium on Absolute Michigan. It’s chock full of great links, photos and a video narrated by Jeff Daniels and featuring Tiger greats Al Kaline, George Kell and Ernie Harwell.

The feature was especially heartbreaking for me as I was as guilty as most of the rest of the media that let this historic milestone pass unmarked. Don’t get me wrong – I think Comerica Park is a fantastic place to play baseball and a fitting home for the Tigers. To me, the shame lies in the manner in which one of the finest ballparks in all of baseball was cast aside by a city that seemed more interested in squeezing one last dime from the stadium at Michigan & Trumbull than celebrating and honoring her rich legacy.

Check this out bigger and in Larry’s great Detroit Tigers and their ballparks slideshow.

Much more on Tiger Stadium and the Detroit Tigers at Michigan in Pictures.

R.I.P. Tiger Stadium

June 9, 2009

R.I.P.

R.I.P., photo by Ralph Krawczyk Jr.

Ralph writes:

Supporters of renovating what remained of Tiger Stadium surrendered Monday in a failed court effort to postpone the final demolition, sparking the end of a legacy that began in 1896…

You can read about the demolition in the Freep, watch it on YouTube, check out other Tiger Stadium pictures on Michigan in in Pictures and read Tiger Stadium stories on Absolute Michigan). You can also see more photos of this iconic park in Raph’s Tiger Stadium set (slideshow).

I’m not sure, however, that you can explain to me why Detroit seems hell-bent on demolishing its most prominent pieces of heritage.

Tiger Stadium Demolition

tiger stadium, photo by Rhonda_Marie

View bigger in Rhonda’s Tiger Stadium slideshow (view set). Demolition has begun on Tiger Stadium. You can follow the bouncing wrecking ball using any or all of the ways below:

Tiger Stadium Usher 2, circa 1999

Tiger Stadium Usher 2, circa 1999, photo by LAWRENCEcreative.

Greenberg, Kailine, Manush, Heilmann, Kell, Newhouser, Jennings, Harwell – the stadium may be gone, but the names live on. Brett writes:

These are pictures taken from the last season of Tiger Stadium. Rather than watching all of the the games, I would find myself wandering the hallways and aisleways trying to capture moments significant to this iconic place…

I hope these pics bring back some great memories as we all wait for the final brick to fall on this historic landmark.

View his Tiger Stadium, circa 1999 slideshow (photo set). Do it, for real. The scenes he captured of the daily life of this grand old ballpark are priceless.

Although a series of bids to save all or part of the ballpark over the last several years, the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has until August 1st to prove it can raise $12-15 million to preserve the diamond, dugouts, 3,000 seats and an area that would house Hall of Fame Tiger’s broadcaster Ernie Harwell’s collection of sports memorabilia. Detroit News story.

Here’s some more Tiger Stadium Stuff:

Tiger Stadium, Detroit MI, photo by jnhkrawczyk
Tiger Stadium, Detroit MI, photo by jnhkrawczyk

Jill was one of 18 members of the Exposure.Detroit photo group that got a chance to tour the soon to be demolished Tiger Stadium last Friday.

They brought back an amazingly collection of images. Some, with trees growing in the aisles and demolished seats are almost painful, but from other angles it looked almost as if you could play tomorrow (if you cut the grass).

I could go on and on highlighting pictures, but it’s probably best if you check out the photos of Tiger Stadium from September 28, 2007 (slideshow). More about the Detroit Tigers and Tiger Stadium on Michigan in Pictures.

At the corner of Michigan & Trumbull

Michigan and Trumbull was the address for professional baseball in Detroit for 104 seasons. From 1896 when Bennett Park opened, until the last game at Tiger Stadium in 1999, Michigan and Trumbull was the most famous street corner in Michigan. Tiger Stadium by Irwin J. Cohen takes you on a visual tour of baseball in the Motor City from the beginning of the Tigers franchise to the historic final game played at Tiger Stadium. The pages are filled with photos (some never before published) of the stadium and Tiger legends from Cobb, Gehringer and Greenberg right up to Kaline, Lolich, Trammell, Gibson and others.

1968 Detroit Tigers / St. Louis Cardinals World Series program cover
The World Series went a full seven games and games three, four, and five were played in Detroit. Each game attracted the same 53,634 attendance numbers. (Author’s collection.)Click above photos for a larger view!
Willie Horton of the Detroit Tigers
Affable slugger left fielder Willie Horton hit 36 home runs in 1968. In game five with St. Louis ahead three games to one, Horton made the most memorable defensive play in the history of the ballpark when he threw out speedster Lou Brock trying to score from second on a single. (Courtesy B&W Photos.)

Tiger Stadium by Irwin J. Cohen is available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665.

View other excerpts from Arcadia Publishing’s Michigan books at Michigan in Pictures!

On a more editorial note, I had originally thought when I requested these photos that this would be part of a requiem for this grand old ballpark. It still may, but with Tiger icon Ernie Harwell pushing a plan to redevelop Tiger Stadium as a smaller ballpark and museum complex, maybe not!

You can follow Tiger Stadium news at Absolute Michigan.

Tiger Stadium, in pictures

August 16, 2007

Aerial View of Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium #1, found by m7k7k7

Many folks in Michigan have a piece of their heart stored at the Corner of Michigan & Trumbull. Wikipedia’s Tiger Stadium entry says the ballpark located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit hosted the Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team from April 20, 1912 when it opened as Navin Field, through its expansion in 1938 when it was renamed Briggs Stadium (and began hosting the Detroit Lions as well) through 1961 when John Fetzer took control and renamed it Tiger Stadium. It saw two World Series championships, 1968 and 1984 and was the home of the Tigers until Comerica Park opened in 2000. It was declared a State of Michigan Historic Site in 1975 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989.

And it’s scheduled for demolition in October of 2007.

From honorary bat boys spending a few moments with a player to huge and cheering crowds, this ballpark has made millions of memories.

Now it waits for the wrecking ball, slowly falling to pieces. I don’t think that too many want to remove the Tigers from their palatial new home, but it would (in my opinion at least) be a wonderful thing if Ernie Harwell and his group could succeed in preserving a scaled-down park at the Corner so none of us have to say goodbye to an old friend (and maybe The Last Strike at Tiger Stadium wouldn’t actually be the last).

Here’s a whole lot more photos in the Tiger Stadium group on Flickr. If you have any photos (or memories) to add, post a comment below!

Read Ernie Harwell’s plan for Tiger Stadium on Absolute Michigan.

Tigers get ALCS sweep

Tigers get ALCS sweep, photo by Detroit News

Last night the Detroit Tigers completed a 4-0 shellacking of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Watch the final out of last night’s 8-1 victory from the Tigers and many more video highlights from the celebration.

Wikipedia’s Detroit Tigers entry notes that the Tigers have won the American League pennant 11 times, winning the World Series four of those times in 1935, 1945, 1968, and 1984.

With a lineup that featured four future Hall of Famers (Hank Greenberg, Mickey Cochrane, Goose Goslin and Charlie Gehringer), the Tigers won the World Series in 1935, defeating the Cubs, 4 games to 2. Game 6 concluded with Goslin’s dramatic game-ending single, scoring Cochrane to seal a 4–3 victory.

With the end of World War II and the timely return of Hank Greenberg and others from the military, the Tigers took the 1945 American League pennant. With Virgil Trucks, Hal Newhouser and Dizzy Trout on the mound and Greenberg leading the Tiger bats, Detroit responded in a Game 7 for the first time, staking Newhouser to a 5–0 lead before he threw a pitch en route to a 9–3 victory over the Cubs.

In the 1968 World Series, the Tigers met the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, led by starter Bob Gibson (who had posted a record 1.12 ERA during the regular season) and speedy outfielder Lou Brock. In Game 7 at Busch Memorial Stadium, Lolich, also pitching on two days’ rest, faced Gibson. Both men pitched brilliantly, putting zeros up on the scoreboard for much of the game. For his three victories that propelled the Tigers to the World championship, Lolich was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

The Tigers led their division wire-to-wire in 1984, from opening day and every day thereafter, culminating in the World Series championship over the against the San Diego Padres. This had not been done in the major leagues since the 1927 New York Yankees. With the win Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues.

See this photo on black and see more in the Detroit News’ slideshow.

More Detroit Tigers photos & history from Michigan in Pictures!

Tigers Game_2012-07-21_15-08-05_P7210017_©MikeBoening_2012_HDR (1)

Tigers Game, July 21, 2012, photo by memories_by_mike

It may come as a surprise to regular readers that despite all the posts about the Detroit Tigers here and at Absolute Michigan, I’ve never been to Comerica Park. Today I not only get to go – I get to sit on the 3rd base line (2nd row!!)as the red-hot Detroit Tigers face the New York Yankees tonight!

Wikipedia’s entry for Comerica Park (edited a bit by me) explains that:

Groundbreaking for a new ballpark to replace Tiger Stadium for the Tigers was held on October 29, 1997 and the new stadium was opened to the public in 2000. In December 1998, Comerica Bank agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights for the new ballpark. Comerica Park sits on the original site of the Detroit College of Law.

In contrast to Tiger Stadium, which had long been considered one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, Comerica Park is considered to be extremely friendly to pitchers. Except for dead center – 420 feet versus Tiger Stadium’s 440 feet – the outfield dimensions were more expansive than those at Tiger Stadium. This led to complaints from players and fans alike, and engendered the sarcastic nickname Comerica National Park.

Although a few public figures—notably radio announcer Ernie Harwell—supported the dimensions, most agreed that the left-field wall, in particular, needed to be brought closer to home plate. Before the 2003 MLB season the club did so, moving the distance from left-center field from 395 to 370 feet. In place of the old bullpens in right field, 950 seats were added for a new capacity of 41,070.

At the time of construction, the scoreboard in left field was the largest in Major League Baseball. The first playoff game at Comerica was played on October 6, 2006 against the New York Yankees. It hosted its first World Series later that month. The stadium also includes many baseball-themed features, including a “Monument Park” in the deep center field stands, complete with statues of former Tigers Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, and Willie Horton.

A few neat things I found are Comerica Park from Ballparks.com, baseball writer Geoff Baker touring Comerica,  Calvin Johnson hitting a HR in BP, Comerica on Michigan in Pictures, a time-lapse of the installation of the new high-def scoreboard, the slightly bizarre Comerica UFO footage and a very cool RC plane fly-over of Comerica.

Check this photo out big as a ballpark and in Mike’s slideshow.

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