There it sits.
An empty field with a flagpole surrounded by a cyclone fence. This is what used to be Tiger Stadium.
Last year, Detroit Economic Development Corporation, Mayor Dave Bing, and Detroit City Council refused to let the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy go forward with their plan to preserve part of the structure and the field despite the fact that they had secured through the leadership of Senator Carl Levin, $3 million dollars in federal money and were making significant progress in raising historic tax credits and other funding.
Yet no other developer has come forward to develop the site.
He may be blind, but singer Jose Feliciano has his own vision for the Tiger Stadium site.
In an interview with Feliciano on Sunday prior to his Monday night appearance at Comerica Park where he sang the National Anthem as part of the pregame ceremonies honoring Ernie Harwell, the Grammy winner shared his thoughts:
“As a baseball fan, I feel the inner cities in Michigan should have more ball fields for African Americans because I feel baseball is being cheated in not getting young people interested in the game. It would nice if a decent baseball field could be built for the young kids to play in at what was Tiger Stadium. Those kids would be playing where history was made.”
Ok, so now that there is no historic structure standing at Michigan and Trumbull that could seat several hundred fans to watch baseball played at one of the most significant baseball diamonds in American history, the Detroit Tigers should not feel threatened about any possible competition, as bizarre as that thought might be. The DEGC specifically required the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy to sign an agreement that in part stated that “no professional baseball shall be played at the site.”
I agree with Jose Feliciano. Why not refurbish this historic diamond and let baseball be played there again?
It would be even better than that farm field movie set in Iowa where thousands flock every Summer to see where the movie “Field of Dreams” was shot and where the voice said, ”If you build it, he will come.” Heck, the real Shoeless Joe Jackson played in the very first game at Navin Field in April of 1912 as a member of the Cleveland Indians.
Rebuild the field at Tiger Stadium and at least the kids will come.