This clip is from the video “The Story of America’s Classic Ballparks,” hosted by Jeff Daniels which aired on PBS. Tiger Stadium (then known as Navin Field) was opened on April 20, 1912 – 100 years ago this week. The Detroit Tigers played in that park for 88 seasons, until the end of the 1999 campaign.
When first opened, Navin Field could seat 23,000 spectators. A covered grandstand – the largest in the American league at the time – extended down the first and third base lines with bleachers in right field. In center field was the first baseball hitters backdrop in baseball. The first major addition to Navin Field occurred before the 1923 season when a second deck was added between the first and third base and a press box was added on top of the roof. This addition increased the capacity at Navin Field to more than 30,000.
In 1935, Navin Field was renamed Briggs Stadium after owner Walter O. Briggs. Prior to the ’61 season the park was renamed Tiger Stadium, seeing as the Briggs family no longer controlled the team. The final game was played at Tiger Stadium on September 27, 1999.
This video features an interview with Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Enjoy!