All I can say is I am so glad that there will not be a Wal-Mart standing at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. That being said, I feel as though the wind has been knocked from my chest to hear the finality of Tiger Stadium. We all knew (or we were about 99.99% sure) that Tiger Stadium was not going to see the light of day as a ballpark in the future. What we did not know was if anything would remain to show the rich history of "The Corner." According to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's plan about 10% of the stadium may remain. The field, locker room, press box, and some of the seating would remain if this plan is approved. A ring of residential housing and shops would surround the field. A historic salvage consultant will be evaluating what parts of the stadium and seating could be sold to the public (Yes! Sign me up for a couple of seats!) as a form of fundraising.
Say so long, to Tiger Stadium this fall. The next baseball game you will see played there will probably be a Little League game as that is what planners are going to gear it towards. How lucky would those kids be?
Numerous memories and thoughts are flickering through my mind. I just read about this in the Detroit Free Press and have yet to fully process the news. So, I will end this post with some random histories and memories of Tiger Stadium.
- Lou Gehrig ended his playing streak at 2,130 games at what was then Briggs Stadium in 1939
- The championship seasons of 1968 and 1984
- Dramatic late season comeback of 1987
- Unfortunate loss to underdog Minnesota Twins in 1987 ALCS (Tigers last postseason action)
- The flagpole in-play just left of dead-center field
- 11,111 home runs with the final home run a grand slam by Robert Fick that hit the top of the roof in right field. It was also the last hit at Tiger Stadium
- Sign above the visitors' clubhouse used to read: "Visitorsâ€™ Clubhouse - No Visitors Allowed."
- They put in lights in 1948. The last old ballpark to do so before Wrigley Field.
- Ernie Harwell, longtime Tigers announcer