Visiting Tiger Stadium

by billfer on November 2, 2007 · 10 comments

in Fan Experience,Tiger History

Tiger Stadium Dugout
Over the last couple weeks fans who purchased items in the Tiger Stadium auction were able to head down to the Michigan and Trumbull and pick up their items. There were some items that weren’t bid on, or discovered after the auction ended that were also available so I went to check it out. The items available didn’t tempt me, but the field was open and that was too much to resist.

I wandered out onto the centerfield grass and tried to soak the stadium in one last time. She wasn’t the same at all as the evening in 1999 when the Tigers brought all the greats back to roam the field one last time. We’ve all seen the pictures of paint peeling, rust, and other evidence of decay. Many of the seats had already been removed.

Still, I couldn’t help but get chills. I’d never been on the field at Tiger Stadium. Sure it was a mix of weeds and grass now, with the weeds winning, but it was still the same plot that so many baseball greats had roamed. I looked up into the stands to see what they saw while they were playing.

I looked up into the overhang in right field, that was warm with the glow of the setting sun and remembered right where I stood for the last game.

But the biggest thrill came when I was about to leave, and Dan, the guy who oversaw the auction came out and offered to take my picture in the home dugout. So I wandered across the infield and crossed over the warning track which is basically all mud at this point. I got to duck my head as I crept into the dugout and peered down the dark tunnel to the locker rooms. It was simply awesome.

I never knew if I’d want to see the stadium again. My last memories were so perfect. And yet I’m glad I went, that one more goose bump inducing time. Seeing it decaying made it a little easier for me to prepare for the wrecking ball.

 
 

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JML November 2, 2007 at 10:36 am

Wish I had known people could just wander in there! I’ve never been to the stadium, and it looks like I never will be able to now. Ah, well, back to reeling over Zumaya.

David November 2, 2007 at 11:45 am

That is really cool Billfer.

Do you have any idea if that is still available.

We have went the past few years and like everyone else – not allowed in.

Could it be open for this weekend? please!!!

ron November 2, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Bilfer, great picture of you in dugout. Very poignant observations of the old girl. I was on the field in 95′ and have a fistful of dirt from the warning track.

Chris Y. November 2, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Got chills myself while reading your post.

Wish it could’ve been me.

Brad November 2, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Great post. Thanks. As Chris Y. said, I got chills — almost a little choked up, really. That place gave so many memories to so many of us.

Deaner November 2, 2007 at 5:22 pm

It’s great that you were allowed on the field and in the dugout. Thanks for the post!

Sam November 2, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Catdammit, I didn’t know they just had the place open like that… grumble grumble etc.

Extra points to you for matching the shirt and tie to the dugout. ;)

Lee Panas November 2, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Cool photograph Bill. Great observations on the old stadium as well.

Sam, if you hung around motownsports more often, you have known what was going on at Tiger Stadium.

cib November 3, 2007 at 6:41 pm

Congrats, you of all people really deserved to be able to get this memory. Thanks for sharing.

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