Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tiger Stadium is "Long Gone"

DETROIT, Wednesday, June 24, 2009 -- The slow, grim, tortuous death of Detroit's historic Tiger Stadium is over. The point of no return came Monday afternoon, June 22nd, when the upper deck along the first base line became so weakened by the continuing demolition that it collapsed upon itself. All that remains is a dugout-to-dugout pile of rubble.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has finally succeeded in preventing the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy from saving the Navin Field portion of the beloved old ballpark. Another piece of Detroit's history and architectural heritage has been ruthlessly and needlessly pulverized into oblivion.

(I think the "D" in DEGC actually stands for Destroying or Defeating Economic Growth.)

Read about the Conservancy.

See the Conservancy's plans for the old ballpark.

Then read the Conservancy's statement about the ultimate destruction of Tiger Stadium.

Our beloved Tiger Stadium is gone, but it will never be forgotten, nor the crime of its demise forgiven.

(Click photos to enlarge in a new window.)

September 21, 1995

The Tigers' final home game of the 1995 season was also Lou Whitaker's final game ever before the home crowd. He would retire at the end of the season, thus ending arguably the best double-play duo in Tigers' history. No one knew if Alan Trammell would return in '96, so the crowd gave him a standing ovation as he came up for his last home at-bat of the season, which he humbly acknowledges. (As it turned out, Trammell did return the next year, making 1996 his final season as a player.)

Friday, September 24, 1999

"The Corner" glowed under the stadium lights for the last time as the Tigers played the Kansas City Royals in the final scheduled night game.

Monday, September 27, 1999

The last batter of the last inning of the last game ever played at Tiger Stadium.

Todd Jones' final pitch snapped into catcher Brad Ausmus' glove at 7:07 p.m. striking out the Kansas City Royals' Carlos Beltran for the final out of the final game at Tiger Stadium.

This is how broadcasting legend, Ernie Harwell, called the end of baseball at Michigan and Trumbull on WJR Radio:

"Tigers lead it 8-2. Two down in the ninth inning. Jones is ready. He delivers. Here's a swing and a miss, the game is over, and Tiger Stadium is no more."

August 11, 2008

The center and right field stands had been demolished.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The plan was to preserve this "Navin Field" portion of the stadium from first base to third base.

Sunday, 21 June, 2009

View from center field (the flag pole was 440 ft. from home plate).
Destruction resumed after a TRO halting demolition was rescinded.

Monday, 22 June, 2009
On Monday afternoon the continuing demolition weakened the structure so severely that the upper deck along the first base line collapsed and fell in on itself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Same center field vantage point about noon.

In a matter of days the rubble will be hauled away and Tiger Stadium will be, as Ernie Harwell called home runs, "Long Gone!" and Detroit will be scarred with another unwanted, unneeded, ugly, overgrown, vacant city block.

All photos above Copyright (C) 1995-2009 James C. Ritchie

Click below for Don Coles' aerial photos of the demolition
July 5, 2008 - October 18, 2009

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Amy Campbell said...

This breaks my heart. I was there Saturday night and got some wonderful early evening shots. Jim, thank you for sharing this.


Anonymous said...

Truly sad. I was at Tiger Stadium a few times back in the mid 80s.
Felt the same way seeing Texas Stadium in Irving being imploded.

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