Filed under: Non-plastic related | Tags: baseball, detroit tigers, google, history, michigan, MLB, nfl, occupy, sports
It’s a vacant lot unlike any other in a city filled with vacant lots.
The backdrop of revitalization continues to be overshadowed by the ever dominating presence of partially razed neighbors, boarded up and deteriorating homes, eroding factories and empty schools. These are the landmarks most often associated with Detroit. These are the landmarks the city wants to forget, but can never seem to get rid of.
At the corner of Michigan and Trumbull there exists a vacated lot like no other in the city, state or even country. It’s vacated only by structure. Never by memory. The high walls and grandstands are gone, but a field, seemingly so out of place with it’s current surrounding, remains.
From a vantage point thousands of feet above the city, the green grass and clean lines standout like an emerald island in a concrete ocean. A foul stripe still runs 340 feet down the left field line. Another down the right field line, 15 feet shorter. A 125-foot flagpole, still donning the stars and strips, stands 440 feet from home plate in fair territory. The grass at the warning track edge of right centerfield appears moderately discolored, as if to honor a stadium overhang that so famously caught home runs. A path is worn from homeplate to the pitcher’s mound, where the pitching rubber is still embedded in the historic ground.
Vacated by its team in 1999 and then by it’s surrounding structure by 2009, the field sits as both a sad memorial of history abandoned and a glorious reminder of memories captured. The stark contrast of this single lot, which once shook with the cheers of thousands, perhaps provides the greatest metaphor for the city it calls home. Beauty amidst abandonment.
The echo of those cheers is only eclipsed by the moments that induced them. If you stare closely, so can still see them … a double play being turned, a home run leaving right centerfield, a slide into second with steel spikes lifted high, a pitcher reshaping the pitching mound dirt.
At the corner of Michigan and Trumbull there sits a vacant lot unlike any other in a city filled with them. The centerpiece of that lot is a field that will celebrate its 100th anniversary this April. That field has given birth to generations of baseball fans. It provided a home to a team so beloved by it’s city that it lifted their spirits even when the rest of their world was crashing down.
It’s a ridiculous dream, but I want to see that field host one more game. I want to see that vacant lot filled. I want to see it’s team return on the 100th anniversary to not just play a game, but to say thank you. Thank you for providing a home for this team, for baseball and, most importantly, for generations of fans and those endearing memories.
To the Tigers organization, MLB baseball, Detroit citizens and Tigers fans alike, on April 20, 2012, Occupy the Corner.Author’s note: Total Plastics has a Detroit-area branch located in Rochester Hills. While verifying the general location of Michigan-based customer, I zoomed in on Detroit with Google earth and came across the above image of the former Tiger Stadium. At first, I didn’t realize what I was looking at. The well-kept field in such an odd surrounding caught my eye. My jaw dropped when I realized it was the home of Tiger Stadium. The post provides you and I a break from the standard TPI, plastics and B2B related news and observations. It’s meant as a light-hearted break. I hope you enjoyed it.