April 20, 2013
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)
Lots more Detroit Tigers pictures on Michigan in Pictures!
USA Today notes that Michigan and Michigan State have combined to make hoops history this year:
For the first time in the 75-year history of the NCAA tournament Michigan and Michigan State have advanced to the Sweet 16.
The Big Ten’s Wolverines and Spartans earned their tickets right in their backyard, in dominating fashion, in a supercharged atmosphere Saturday at the Palace.
Michigan, just 36 miles from its Ann Arbor campus, started the celebration, dissecting Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted press 78-53 in the opener.
Michigan State, 81 miles from East Lansing, made it a historic day, slamming the front door on Memphis 70-48.
They were also the first two teams into the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan will face #1 seed Kansas on Friday while MSU squares off against #2 Duke.
Robbie took this shot at a March 3rd meeting between Michigan and Michigan State in which the Wolverines eked out a 57-56 win thanks to a game-saving steal & slam by Trey Burke. (click that link for Robbie’s photo) Check this out background bigtacular or view a great gallery from the game at robbiesmallphotography.com!
More basketball on Michigan in Pictures.
December 24, 2012
“He’s unreal … I’m just proud to be associated with him.”
~Lions QB Matthew Stafford
With 11 catches for 225 yards against the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson strode into the record books to set the single-season yardage record for a wide receiver with 1892 yards. ESPN reports:
Johnson surpassed Jerry Rice’s single-season yards receiving record of 1,848 with his 10th catch in the fourth quarter Saturday night. That put Johnson over the 200-yard mark in the game against the Atlanta Falcons. He needed 182 to surpass the mark Rice set in 1995 with the San Francisco 49ers.
Johnson had more than 100 yards receiving for an eighth straight game, breaking an NFL record set by Charley Hennigan in 1961 and matched by Michael Irvin in 1995. Johnson broke another league mark with 10 receptions in a fourth game in a row.
It was Johnson’s 11th game with 100 yards receiving this season, tying Irvin’s NFL mark.
In the first quarter, Johnson surpassed Herman Moore’s single-season franchise record of 1,686 yards.
You might also enjoy Mitch Albom’s column on Calvin Johnson, who seeks the 2000 yeard milestone this Sunday against the Bears. View more photos from Megatron’s record-setting game and also see shots of Calvin and his dad post-game. You can get a Facebook cover of the catch from the Detroit Lions Facebook page, and there’s video of the catch as well.
More Detroit Lions on Michigan in Pictures.
November 16, 2012
In Michigan native Brad Keselowski on the verge of NASCAR glory, the Freep Mike Brudenell writes:
Keselowski, the tough-as-nails, unflinching NASCAR driver from Rochester Hills, is one race away from making sports history in this state.
Should the hard-charging 28-year-old driver survive a torrid 400-mile stock car race in south Florida on Sunday afternoon — against some of the most unforgiving drivers in the world — he will become the new NASCAR Sprint Cup champion for 2012, the first person born in Michigan to do so.
…Keselowski races for Penske, the legendary Birmingham team owner, and needs only to finish 15th or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the last race on the Cup schedule to capture the title.
November 14, 2012
Boxing legend Emanuel Steward, one of the greatest trainers ever, was remembered yesterday in Detroit. The entry for Emanuel Steward at the International Boxing Hall of Fame begins:
Steward, who was born in West Virginia in 1944, has been one one of the most successful trainers and managers in the last two decades of the 20th century.
Like many young men, he started boxing after receiving a pair of boxing gloves as a gift. The youngster boxed in informal matches that his father set up. When his parents separated, he moved with his mother to Detroit. By age 12, he was training at the Brewster Recreation Center, which had been the boxing home of Joe Louis and Eddie Futch. As an amateur, he ran up a record of 94-3, which culminated with a 1963 National Golden Gloves title. Steward than began training amateur fighters, but eventually gave that up and found full-time employment as an electrician.
But boxing was in his blood. In 1971, he was asked to look after his half-brother James, who was 15 at the time. Steward took him to a nearby gym called, the Kronk. It wasn’t long before Emanuel was coaching again. In 1971, his charges dominated the Detroit Golden Gloves, winning seven championships. A year later, he left the security of a full-time electrician’s job, and turned his attention to boxing, and the Kronk.
By the mid-70s he had built the gym into a national power, and two of his charges, Thomas Hearns and Hilmer Kenty came close to making the ’76 Olympic Team. A year later, the two turned pro with Steward serving double duty as their trainer and manager. On March 2, 1980, Kenty became Steward’s first world champion when stopped Ernesto Espana in the fourth round to win the WBA lightweight crown.
Five months later Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns stopped Pipino Cuevas with a blistering second-round kayo to become champion No. 2.
Wikipedia’s Emanuel Steward entry lists some of the fighters he trained including Hearns, Evander Holyfield, Wladimir Klitschko, Lennox Lewis and Julio César Chávez. It adds that his heavyweight fighters had a record of 34-2-1 combined in title fights. The Freep has a nice video with boxers Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Lennox Lewis remembering Steward that also includes a bit of Aretha Franklin singing. You may also want to read this article in the New York Times or watch this ESPN tribute to Steward.
August 8, 2012
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.
May 4, 2012
“Ernie (Harwell) is probably the most beloved person who has ever been in Detroit with the Detroit Tigers. He is loved by everybody and rightfully so. He’s a great broadcaster but even a better person. That comes across on his broadcasts.”
~ Detroit Tiger Hall of Famer Al Kaline
Two years ago today, one of the greatest members of the Detroit Tigers organization passed away. It’s no coincidence that Ernie Harwell received a baseball announcer’s highest honor by winning the Ford Frick Award from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Here’s his Hall of Fame induction speech, set to a scrapbook of photos. There’s much more about Ernie Harwell on Michigan in Pictures.
We’ll close with words from Harwell’s farewell address that you can read in full at the Baseball Almanac. Click head over to “Ernie” on Absolute Michigan to read about the play about him by Mitch Albom and to see Ernie with thousands of the fans he talks about here…
“Thank you for letting me be part of your family. Thank you for taking me with you to that cottage up north, to the beach, the picnic, your work place and your backyard.
Thank you for sneaking your transistor under the pillow as you grew up loving the Tigers.
Now I might have been a small part of your life. But you have been a very large part of mine. And it’s my privilege and honor to share with you the greatest game of all.”
April 13, 2012
Wikipedia says that Trash the Dress is:
…also known as fearless bridal or rock the frock, is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion and glamour photography. “Trash the dress” is the art of destruction or deconstruction of a brides wedding dress to create a new “artwork” that the bride would be proud to display on their wall. This new “masterpiece” is formed in the creative destruction of the dress. This will normally be portrayed in a sequence of images or simply a single image…
It may be done as an additional shoot after the wedding, almost as a declaration that the wedding is done and the dress will not be used again. It is seen as an alternative to storing the dress away.
April 11, 2012
The Detroit Red Wings open the 2012 NHL playoffs at 8 PM tomorrow night in Nashville. As the game preview on the Red Wings site shows, the two teams finished with just 2 points separating them. The Predators have Pekka Rinne, the NHL’s leader in wins in the net and home ice in the series. The Wings have Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and 2004 and 2008 playoff series victories over Nashville with 2008 resulting in a little thing called Lord Stanley’s Cup. Should be a great series – get more in Five Things you need to know about the Detroit Red Wings on Absolute Michigan.
Seth shot this great shot of Jimmy Howard from his seat in row K after being kicked out from by the glass. He has a better plan next time that involves not wearing the away teams jersey to the game. Check it out bigger and in his short but sweet Detroit slideshow.
Much more Detroit Red Wings action on Michigan in Pictures.