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 Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium

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gs78
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:20 am

Tiger Stadium will soon be Long Gone!


What a rotten shame
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:07 pm

Quote :
Fred Rottach (RO-tash), who
oversees the stadium property for the city, says the playing field will
remain intact after the park's demolition.


He
says the foul poles and flagpole also will be preserved. The flagpole
will remain in place, and the foul poles will be taken down and
remounted after the demolition.

This is a plus! No matter what the outcome is to the conserving of the nonprofit group to raise enough funds to preserve the field and part of the stadium between first and third base, they will save the field, foul poles and flagpole!

My feeling is if the city is willing to save this, why not save the seating and dugouts!!!


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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:39 pm

Especially since Babe Ruth hit his 700th HR there! scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:26 pm

Why?


First off, Someone probably will steal the flag and or the flagpole

Have it at Comerica Park; On the Field or maybe outside the stadium by the main gate


Second, The field looks crappy already; Weeds and dandelions all over


No one is gonna water it; When we get a dry spell; it will turn brown



Who is gonna mow it! The city won't cut it weekly or fertilize it


I hate to sound cynical; but taxpayers spent 4 million dollars maintaining the stadium since 99 and it looks like a shithole


Last edited by gs78 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:29 pm

If they can't get the 15 mil to maintain some seats and the field and have proper security, bulldoze it all


Rather see that happen than have a field with three foot high yellow weeds, a crooked, flagless flagpole and a bunch of bums shooting crack and homeless vagrants sleeping in the weeds
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PostSubject: Bleachers start to tumble at Tiger Stadium   Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:07 am

Bill McGraw
Bleachers start to tumble at Tiger Stadium

By BILL McGRAW • MOTOR CITY JOURNAL • July 13, 2008

The jaws of the big trucks that are demolishing Tiger Stadium have started ripping apart the centerfield bleachers.

A gaping hole has opened on the stadium’s north end, along the Fisher Freeway service drive, and those hard, metal planks are hanging in shreds.

The bleachers are a truly historic part of the stadium and probably merit a historical plaque all to themselves. In the upper deck, the scene was part rock concert, part biker rally, part Jobbie Nooner and part Senior Skip Day at Metro beach.

By the 1980s, the fans who sat in the upper deck bleachers became known as “bleacher creatures,” and their wild and crazy behavior caused Tiger management to take the unprecedented step of closing all 10,000 seats for eight games in 1985 and posting signs that forbade obscene chanting.

The Tiger brass at the time was partly to blame. In Chicago, White Six owner Bill Veeck marketed fun and frivolity in the Comiskey Park bleachers and made money off of it. The Tigers didn’t get what was going on and let the crowds — largely young people — get out of hand.

There were bouncing beach balls, marijuana, fist fights, food fights, lots of beer, naughty chants, nudity and humor. When Yankee slugger Dave Winfield came to bat in Detroit after he accidently had killed a seagull in Toronto with a thrown ball, nearly everyone in the upper deck stood and flapped their arms like birds.

The 1980s might have been the wild decade, but it certainly wasn’t the first time trouble brewed in the bleachers. On Opening Day 1974, when streaking was the cool thing to do, many fans — all male — took off their clothes and slid down the banisters (sidesaddle) and ran up and down the aisles. A couple of fans grabbed the bottom of the scoreboard and swung back and forth. The temperature was 38 degrees.

In the 1960s, bleacher fans threw cherry bombs at the flamboyant Yankee outfielder Joe Pepitone. In 1960, a fan was convicted of throwing eggs from the bleachers at Cleveland’s Jimmy Pearsall, who became a target because he was suffering emotional problems.

Beyond the anything-goes vibe, the bleachers were a great place to soak up sun, feel the breeze and watch the game, even if you were more than 440 feet from home plate. And the best thing: They were cheap — 75 cents in the 1960s, and $5 in 1999, the Tigers’ finals season at Tiger Stadium.

Contact BILL McGRAW at bmcgraw@freepress.com.

Extra innings: The Free Press reported last week that city officials will save the 125-foot flag pole that sits in the Tiger Stadium outfield. Now that demolition crews have ripped open a large hole in the stadium’s façade, you can see that the flag pole is flying a brand new American flag. … You can also see that the outfield grass, with almost no maintenance in several years, remains amazingly green.
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:42 am

It is karma that the field has remained intact with no maintenance! It was meant to be there! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:18 am

All the rain we had so far has helped


Lots of shade helps too
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:56 am

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Legends: Farewell, old friends
Stars of yesteryear pay tribute not only to Yankee Stadium, but also falling Tiger Stadium.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

NEW YORK -- They'll miss Yankee Stadium, of course.

They all said the right things about it. To a man, they couldn't have been more respectful agreeing with commissioner Bud Selig's description of it as the "most famous sports cathedral."

"The greatest ballpark in the world," Bob Feller said. "The greatest ever built."

For the large contingent of Hall of Famers brought to New York to help celebrate what could be the last moment of center-stage glory for The House That Ruth Built, however, there was another doomed ballpark to consider.

And to remember.

Yankee Stadium isn't coming down yet. It will give way after this season to the wondrous palace being constructed across the street. But the bulldozers haven't begun to rip away its insides, as they have begun to do with Tiger Stadium.

This is Yankee Stadium's last year, but these are Tiger Stadium's last moments. One is being celebrated, the other eulogized.

"I just heard it's coming down," said Harmon Killebrew, sitting near his good friend Al Kaline during Tuesday's media session. "I'm sorry to hear that. I have a lot of wonderful memories of it and some not so wonderful."

Among the "not so wonderful" is the fact Killebrew hit only .234 at Tiger Stadium. But he also hit 35 homers there, including the first ever to clear the roof in left.

Or did it?

First time for everything

The day was Aug. 3, 1962, and the Tigers were playing the Minnesota Twins. The roof in right field always had been reachable, but not the roof in left.

Killebrew, whose homers were majestic high drives that seemed to carry forever, swung at a pitch from Jim Bunning and there it went, carrying in the heat, climbing toward the sky and disappearing over the roof.

"The next morning I had six calls at the hotel from people saying they had the ball," said Killebrew, 72. "They all claimed to have it. But when I went to the ballpark later that day, the groundskeeper had the ball.

"He said he'd gone to the back part of the roof. There was a drain back there and the ball was in that drain. He gave me the ball. I remember asking him, "Is this really the ball? I've had six other people calling and saying they have it.' He told me, 'Yes, this is the ball.' Getting it back was a big thrill."

The home run didn't clear the roof in left, therefore, just most of it. Killebrew didn't hit it clear out of the park.

But he was the first of four to hit it up there. Frank Howard did it for the Senators in 1968, Cecil Fielder for the Tigers in 1990 and Mark McGwire for the A's in 1997. It's unknown, however, if they also cleared the drain.

Killebrew also hit a home run at Tiger Stadium in the 1971 All-Star Game, better known for Reggie Jackson's prodigious blast to right than for Killebrew's winner to left "against the wind," as he recalls.

"After the last out, they came to me and said I'd been voted the Most Valuable Player of the game," Killebrew said. "The commissioner wants to give you the award. So I was standing there with the commissioner in front of the camera and just before the light came on, they said, 'No, no, it's not you, it's Frank Robinson who won it.'"

Killebrew remembers other home runs and one that wasn't.

"Tony Oliva hit a home run to right-center at Tiger Stadium one time. But the runner at first, Cesar Tovar, must not have seen it go out, because he went back to first, tagged up, and Tony passed him on the bases so he was robbed of a home run by his own teammate. Those are my most vivid memories of Tiger Stadium. Quite a place."

Feller, Perry weigh in, too

Now 89, Feller, an Indians Hall of Famer, hates to see it get torn down, too, saying, "That's what we do, though, we tear down all our artwork. It was a hitters' ballpark, but a great ballpark.

"I started the All-Star Game there in 1941. Of course, it was Briggs Stadium back then. ... I pitched to nine hitters.

"Lonny Frey, who's still alive (97) in Idaho, got a hit off me, but I picked him off first. Bill Dickey was my catcher. We won that game on Ted Williams' three-run home run in the ninth."

Gaylord Perry, 69, didn't pitch at Tiger Stadium until his 11th season, but he remembers the glare there -- the glare, that is, he would get for close pitches.

"Especially from Willie Horton and Gates Brown," he said. "They'd look out after an inside pitch like they wanted to fight."

Would Perry glare back?

"Are you kidding? I'd turn my back. I wanted no part of that. I later played with Willie in Seattle, though. We became friends."

But the Kingdome, their park in Seattle, is long gone. Tiger Stadium is going, going, almost gone.

And with the last pitch of Tuesday night's All-Star Game bringing down the first curtain, the days of Yankee Stadium now are numbered as well.

You can reach Tom Gage at tom.gage@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:00 am

AUDIO FILE

Ernie Harwell and Garry Spicer's efforts to save part of Tiger Stadium
--07/16/2008
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:14 pm

BILL MCGRAW | MOTOR CITY JOURNAL
Collins right about stadium's racial past

By Bill McGraw • Free Press columnist • July 16, 2008

A number of people who have posted comments today on the story about the deadline for preservationists to save a portion of Tiger Stadium are attacking Detroit City Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins. Some of the comments are vicious and personal.

These readers are angry because Collins, who supports razing the entire ballpark, was quoted as saying she recalls when the Tigers were one of only two teams that refused to sign a black player. She said this: "I know there's a lot of nostalgia for it, and people are crying. I don't have any fond memories of it."

OK, in this season of eulogizing the sacred stadium, Collins broke a taboo and said something harsh.

But what she said happens to be true.

In the orgy of nostalgia over Tiger Stadium, when every heart-tugging moment — from Ty Cobb’s stolen bases in 1907 to Robert Fick’s rooftop homerun in 1999 — is remembered fondly, is the stadium’s complicated and sad racial history off-limits? If so, that’s not right.

The Tigers were indeed the second-last team in the majors to sign a black player. For years the team employed relatively few players of color. Blacks did not always have their choice of seats in the stadium. And, at least in decades past, the management did very little to market the team to the huge black community that gradually formed in the city. Among black Detroiters today, especially older people, it is taken as a truism that onetime owner Walter O. Briggs vowed that no black would play for the Tigers as long as he owned them. He died in 1952, six years before Ozzie Virgil became the team’s first black member.

Not surprisingly, even in 1984, when the Tigers won their last World Series, few black faces could be seen among the 2.7 million fans who crowded the park that summer. It’s not all that different today.

Tiger Stadium and its predecessors, Briggs Stadium and Navin Field, were microcosms of Detroit, and the region’s bitter racial legacy played out over the decades at the ballpark, just as it did on shop floors and in schools and neighborhoods. It’s not a happy story, but it’s an important part of the ballpark’s story just as it is an important part of the region’s story. To pretend that memorializing Tiger Stadium is only about recalling the first sight of that stunning green grass or eating a plump and juicy hot dog is covering up a large part of its history.

People might have issues with Barbara-Rose Collins’ own history, but on this one, the councilwoman is telling it like it was.

Contact BILL MCGRAWat bmcgraw@freepress.com


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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:42 pm

Which again, is why it would be okay to reconstruct it at the Henry Ford. Everybody is happy this way.
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:52 pm

You still don't see a lot of Blacks at Comerica.


More Blacks are selling peanuts, ice cream, hotdogs, pop and beer, ushering and cleaning the bathrooms than sitting in the bleachers.
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:02 pm

This is true.
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:25 pm

Sad; but true


Another thing that sucks about Comerica is the fans aren't into like they were at Tiger Stadium;

Fans only seem to cheer when the scoreboard says Let's get loud or Roar, Roar Roar, etc

A far cry from the days of the bleacher creatures flapping their arms like birds at Winfield
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:26 pm

Then again; That's what happens when corporate bandwagon jumping fans buy the bulk of the tickets
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:33 pm

gs78 wrote:
Fans only seem to cheer when the scoreboard says Let's get loud or Roar, Roar Roar, etc

Of course. People can't think for themselves, they have to be told what to do. Rolling Eyes

Like laugh tracks during sitcoms. People need to be told when to laugh.


bow Z. Miner
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:10 pm

That's one reason why I like Corner GAS on WGN; No Laugh Track!

More Sitcoms should be like that
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:46 am

Thursday, July 17, 2008
Bob Wojnowski: Tiger Stadium demolition
Motown's Mourning glory at Tiger Stadium
Tiger Stadium stirs the region's emotions one last time

DETROIT -- The pilgrimage continues, day after day, carload after carload. They come at all hours, from the Bloomfields and the Grosse Pointes, from Detroit's east and west sides, old and young, black and white, dry-eyed and misty-eyed, all connected by an old building that's empty and falling, but in many ways, forever full.

It's mostly a somber processional, marked by the occasional shout of dismay from an on-looker as a mechanical claw takes another bite. Tiger Stadium has been crumbling for a while, since the last game there on Sept. 27, 1999, but now it's officially dying, and it can be agonizing to watch.

But they watch, we watch, in growing numbers, stopping on the I-75 service drive, standing on car hoods and straining to see over the fence, to see what's left, to remember what used to be. Is it gawking? Not really. It's reminiscing, which means the occasional tear is allowed to escape.

Tiger Stadium has stood, in various forms under various names, at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull since 1912, and soon it will be gone. It's disheartening that another of Detroit's one-time treasures will be reduced to trash, that a story of baseball and tradition and family will end with another vacant lot, with no clear plan for development.

Ernie Harwell and the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy are trying desperately to raise money to preserve some element of the ballpark, and it's absolutely a worthy cause. If you have the means and harbor the memories, you should help. If you're ambivalent about saving any of her, I suggest you swing by the lot that's rapidly becoming a plot and gaze at the hole where the center field bleachers once stood, where the flagpole still stands, flying the colors.

From the freeway at dusk, Tiger Stadium looks like some grotesque road kill, spilling twisted metal and frayed aluminum, as clouds hover and the machines gnaw. If you have the time, if you believe that paying last respects serves the mourner as well as the mourned, come spend one more night at the Old Ballpark.

• • •

Larry Whitfield was running errands on Saturday night when the lure became too great. He turned and headed toward his favorite corner, got out of his car and just stared.

"The more I look, the more I talk about it, the more emotional I get," he said. "I've been coming here since the '60s. My grandmother used to bring me here for bat day. Remember bat day? Oh my God, bat day was great."

Whitfield, 53, from Detroit, blinked through his frameless glasses. He still has the sod from 1968, when he ran on the field after the Tigers won the American League pennant. He still has the memories of sitting in the frigid stadium with his dad, sipping hot chocolate, watching the Lions.

It all returns now, as the big crane swings and another chunk tumbles.

"I've been wanting to come by for the longest time," he said. "It's kind of sad, but I like Comerica Park. I just wish they could've done something with this, renovate it or something. It's part of our history, part of my family's history. Now it just looks spooky."

For a moment, there's a flash of annoyance.

"Why do they have to put up that plastic to block people's view? Isn't the fence good enough?"


Through the opening, you can see the distant blue and orange seats. You can see the light tower on the right field roof, where Reggie Jackson hit a ball during the 1971 All-Star Game. You can see once-forgotten games and fathers and mothers sitting with sons and daughters.

"Fond memories, man, fond memories," Whitfield said. "It's like you're losing somebody, you know?"

• • •

Jim Reno drove over from Grosse Pointe Woods with his wife and two sons, and they came not to mourn, but to reminisce. This is how it is during the final nights at the ballpark, like it is at funerals. You tell stories, you smile.

"My first job was right here, as a seat wiper," Reno, 51, said. "Well, I was an usher, but all we did was wipe seats. Most I ever made in tips was 50 cents."

His sons, James, 25, and Marc, 19, laughed. They joked about Tiger Stadium's famously daunting bathrooms with the massive urinals, where as kids they were lifted up for the first time by their dad.

It's funny what you remember at the end. It's funny too, while spending four hours over three nights outside Tiger Stadium, I heard only warm stories, nothing about the losing seasons or the obstructed views or the dark, narrow concourses.

In the dying light, all is bright.

"My dad saw Babe Ruth play here, right on this field," Reno said. "It's sad to see it come down, piece by piece. Couldn't they just do one big boom?"

His family nodded. More cars pulled up. More people wandered over.

"It's really shocking to look at," Reno said, "like a decaying corpse."

It's unfortunate Tiger Stadium never garnered the national appeal of Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, but it was every bit as wonderfully distinctive, from the right-field overhang to the closeness of the seats to the field. There was an intimacy about it, despite its size. It was completely enclosed, a placid scene in the middle of a rugged city, a world suddenly, obscenely opened to the outside now, as the walls fall.

• • •

The security guard didn't want to give his name. He patrolled the sidewalk, reminding people not to climb on the chain-link fence, not to tear away the plastic. He says he's had to call the police a few times but they've stopped coming. Since the demolition began a couple weeks ago, he has caught two people inside. One was a young lady he handcuffed to a post. When he returned, she was gone, leaving the bloody cuffs behind.

The guard shook his head.

"The more they tear down, the worse it gets," he said. "I get grown men crying, begging me to let 'em get a chunk of grass or a brick. These people really love this place. It's making them sad, so just tear it down already."

The guard, who appeared to be in his mid-20s, admitted he didn't quite get it. He went to a few games there and he loves sports, but not enough to weep over a relic.

As the cars kept coming and the pleas grew more insistent, he understood a bit more.

"I wish I could open it up for people, but I can't," he said. "I got a job to do."


• • •

Scott Sitner, 43, clicked away, poking his camera over the fence to take random photos. They came out amazingly sharp, the grass amazingly green inside.

He wasn't sure he wanted to come because he had driven past many times and the old stadium saddened him. But he knew he had to see.

"As I pulled up, I was thinking it's time for the place to come down," said Sitner, from Birmingham. "But then you walk up and you get that feeling in your stomach and you see the hole and it's just the finality of it. It's jarring."

Joe Grutza and his friend, Val MacIsaac, stood nearby. They drove up from Trenton, and like many, felt compelled to visit.

"I don't feel sad, because right now, all the good times I had here are flooding back," Grutza said. "It would've been nice if they could've saved it, but it's time."

No tears?

"Nah, we paid our respects at the last game in '99," he said. "Only two events in my life I cried at -- when Yzerman raised the Cup and the closing of Tiger Stadium. I said my good-byes then, and I don't mind saying, I cried like a baby."

• • •

For the most part, there aren't tears, at least not yet, with one corner of the stadium knocked down. But the crowds will increase in the coming weeks and people will discover what many already have found.

The lump in the throat returns, no matter how long it's been gone.

"When I saw that hole in the wall, it was like somebody punched me in the gut," said Dan Centers, 32, of Taylor, who drove over with a couple buddies, one sporting an Olde English D tattoo on his right forearm. "I remember seeing Cecil Fielder, sitting in the bleachers with my friends. I remember just the smell of it, you know what I mean?"

Everyone knows what he means. It was the smell of old cigars and fresh grass and grilling hot dogs and musty bathrooms. It was the smell of tradition passed through the ages, of generations connected.

"I was gonna watch the All-Star Game (Tuesday night), but then I heard them talking about the nostalgia of Yankee Stadium and I said the hell with that, I'm going down to Tiger Stadium," said Ric Vivyan, 39. "This is killing me."

The Tigers won four World Series here -- 1935, 1945, 1968 and 1984 -- and the Lions won their last championship here in 1957, when it was known as Briggs Stadium.

But it's not just about the games. It never really was.

"I'm feeling a lot of hurt right now," said Edward Lee, 60, of Detroit. "I probably spent 50 years of my life down here. One of my father's last requests was to see a game here and we did, back in '97, just before he died."

Lee's gaze never left the old building. He stood next to his car, the door open, but couldn't leave, not yet.

"I can't think of one bad thing about this place," he said. "Remember the hot dogs? Oh man, I don't even eat hot dogs, but when I came here, I had two or three, right off the grill, mustard only of course."

He laughed good and hard. And then he stopped.

"I'll never, ever forget this place. I know it's outdated, but how come in Europe, they save all their old buildings and here we tear 'em down and put in parking lots?"

He didn't expect an answer, and there isn't a simple one. Some tried to save Tiger Stadium but there wasn't enough money, or solid-enough plans, or enough motivation from the city or from the Tigers. And eventually, there wasn't enough time, even after a decade of dormancy.

On this night, the crane tore into the white aluminum and as each layer peeled away, it revealed an older layer. The mechanical claw clutched a steel beam and battered away at the siding, literally using pieces of Tiger Stadium to beat itself to death.

"Aw man, that's terrible, like they're making it suffer," Lee said, wincing, staring, shaking his head slowly.

In the fading light, the old building was succumbing, its guts spilling out. Amid the loud crunch of metal, you could hear the soft click of cameras. In the growing crowd, nothing was said, and no one turned away.

You can reach Bob Wojnowski at bob.wojnowski@detnews.com


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:44 pm

They should have imploded it

That would have been cool
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:45 pm

At least it would be overwith quickly. Here, it's like a slow torture.
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:46 pm

Exactly
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PostSubject: Tiger Stadium yet worth saving   Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:10 pm




Monday, July 21, 2008
Terry Foster: Terry's Town
Tiger Stadium yet worth saving

You might not know Jeff Wattrick. But he wrote an important letter regarding a Tiger Stadium issue I would like to share with you. He is the former project manager of The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy, a group fighting to keep part of Tiger Stadium intact.

His letter was addressed to Detroit City Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins who is under heat for remarks she made about the demolition of Tiger Stadium. Collins, who is black, remembers Tiger Stadium as a building divisive and not inclusive for blacks.

Many fans have made pilgrimages to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull to shed tears over the first stages of demolition. They are mostly white and their memories are mostly good. However, there is another side to this story and Collins made harsh remarks about the Tigers' racist past.

"I know there's a lot of nostalgia for it and people are crying. I don't have any fond memories of it," she said.

Wattrick read those remarks and in response wrote her a letter asking for blacks and whites to bond together to ensure the future of Tiger Stadium is inclusive and right for everybody.

Here are parts of the letter.

"The Conservancy's plan to use Tiger Stadium's historic field as a venue for Detroit-based youth baseball runs contrary to the ballpark's  racial legacy. Total demolition risks throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Why should we deny Detroit's young people a world-class and historic recreation venue because of an ignoble past? We are better off as a city if Tiger Stadium can be re-claimed as a place for everyone."

Some not so welcome

Many of you remember Tiger Stadium as a place where you saw world titles, pennant races, Babe Ruth, Norm Cash, Willie Horton and Al Kaline. It is where you got that first boiled hot dog and Coke. It is where your dad explained the game to you or you explained it to your child.

Collins and many black citizens see a different side.

It was not a place that warmly welcomed black fans. The Tigers had armed guards patrol the place during Negro League games and black fans remember the promise former Tigers owner Walter Briggs made. He said no black player shall play for the Tigers as long as he was alive. None did until 1958, six years after his death, and the Tigers were the second-to-last team to integrate.

My grandfather, Floyd Ratliff, was a hard-working postman who worked out of the Hamtramck branch. He loved baseball but sat in the lower-deck bleachers because it was the only spot he said he felt comfortable. Even if he could afford box seats he was not allowed to sit there. My Aunt Margaret instinctively sat in the right-field seats when we attended games.

While the Tigers hosted Polish night and Italian night, they refused local efforts to have an Afro American night for many years.

It is part of our ugly past people want to ignore. However, it explains why few black people my age can wax poetically about seeing the green seats of Tiger Stadium as a child hanging onto the hand of their father. There are few who did. I was the only kid in my neighborhood who attended more than a handful of games.

The past is the past and it is now time to fight for this site to become something we can all visit and be proud of. It would be great to see youth baseball games, condos, banquet facilities and a museum.

It would help a Corktown neighborhood that has seeds of hope sprinkled in. A black hole at Michigan and Trumbull would not help that growth.

Preservation effort needs help

Broadcaster Ernie Harwell has not given up the fight. He's driven past the site and keeps hope alive even though the wrecking ball is at work.

"I was just hoping we could save part of it," Harwell said. "That was the original plan. I know it is a tough job and we don't have much time left."

My fear is the Tiger Stadium site is going to become another vacant lot where weeds grow and dreams die. The city of Detroit does not have a game plan beyond demolishing the stadium. That means when the walls come tumbling down, we won't see progress for a long time.

If we can keep a heartbeat at The Corner, it will help the rest of the neighborhood. That is why I encourage you to go to www.savetigerstadium.org and read all you can about those efforts. If you want, you also can make a donation to the cause.

"Councilwoman Collins, I urge you to help the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy reverse Tiger Stadium's exclusionist legacy," Wattrick wrote. "Let us remake this historic ballpark as a place for inclusion. Let us make Tiger Stadium a place to learn that for too long America's pastime was not fully open to all Americans. Let Tiger Stadium become the place where the next Willie Horton or Curtis Granderson learns the game. And let's do this, not only for the benefit of future generations, but also to honor those who unjustly suffered the indignity of racism at Tiger Stadium."

Let's hope this letter is passed along and the old stadium site can become a field of dreams for all.

Terry's Town You can reach Terry Foster at (313) 222-1494 or terry.foster@detnews.com
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:48 pm

Save part of the Stadium
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:05 pm

Sounds like a good point on which to build. Everyone has to work together to not only save Tiger Stadium but also Detroit....
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:01 pm

Let's Hope
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:41 pm

Light Towers starting to come down
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:36 pm

hopefully most of it will be gone by the time we go up on 8/14. So sad! and I never even went to a game there!
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:50 pm

They should have imploded it

Be a lot easier on everyone
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PostSubject: Re: Demolition has begun at Tiger Stadium   Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:55 pm

It really is awful to watch!
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