For generations of Detroit Tigers’ fans who came of age watching the team play within the hallowed walls of Tiger Stadium, today is a good day.
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That is because the City of Detroit and Bloomfield Hill’s Larson Realty Group has reached an agreement to redevelop the site, located at the famed corner of Michigan and Trumbull avenues.
Around the field, Larson will introduce some retail shops mixed with housing for both rent and for sale. Along with the retail and residential properties, Detroit PAL will build its new headquarters on Cochrane Avenue. In addition to their headquarters, the organization will maintain the playing field for little league, high school and college baseball games. This is something that the wonderful volunteer group, Navin Field Grounds Crew does so well.
To see some pictures of the redevelopment, head over to the Detroit Free Press.
Many of my earliest memories of baseball arise from the blue walls at Tiger Stadium, watching in person and via George Kell and Al Kaline on Channel 4. I will never forget the smell of hot dogs, stale beer, and popcorn while walking through the concourse for the first time. And feeling the palpable spirit of the ghosts of legends past as I took the walk from the concourse through the bridge and into the incredible sight of the emerald green field below.
My first game was in the third game of the 1987 ALCS, the only game the Tigers won in that series against the Minnesota Twins. I like to say they won because I was there and that I was their good luck charm–in fact the Tigers didn’t lose a game I attended until Opening Day 1994.
Today is a good day, but it follows many sad days while the structure came down in 2008. While I wish a piece of the infrastructure (or the whole thing) was still around–the flag pole in play, the double-decked bleachers which hung over, the massive left field wall which saw so many Cecil Fielder homers soar pass, and all the relics of baseball past, the fact that the diamond will live on for years is still a good thing.
Long Live Tiger Stadium.