Detroit Day Trip: Tiger Stadium


Sorry for the radio silence this week.  It was my last full week of maternity leave and I was spending more time hanging out with Len than I was online.  Also shopping for back to work stuff, dreading menu planning and fighting City Hall.  But more on all that later.  In the meantime I wanted to share some pictures with you from our whirlwind trip to Detroit last Friday.

First stop: Tiger Stadium!  What's that, you say?  They stopped playing baseball at Tiger Stadium in 1999? Why, yes.  They did.  However, it took 10 years for the stadium to be demolished and since then, the lot has remained.  An overgrown, empty, haunting relic.

Here it is before:

Here's what the space looked like last Friday:

The most surprising thing was how small it looked.  And then I checked and the gates were open. So I walked right in and stood where I imagine the visitors dugout was and thought about how this is the spot where Lou Gehrig benched himself in 1939 (when it was still called Brigg's Stadium).  Here he is, in that moment, in that place, all quiet dignity.

I stood there and I looked at home plate.

It was incredibly moving.  In baseball, we know, the ghosts always show up eventually.

The flagpole is still there.  I imagined thousands of Tiger fans standing up and singing their national anthem.

The most amazing thing about all of this is the fact that recently neighbourhood activists and baseball fans have started cleaning the field up, getting rid of some of the weeds and dusting off home plate.  And every Sunday they come and play ball.  They've named it Ernie Harwell Park.

Talk about a Field of Dreams...

Back soon with some more pics from our busy day in Detroit!


  1. Do you recall the story of your grandfather Patrick and his summer in Detroit sometime in the 20s? He had gone there with one of his brothers (maybe Tony) for a summer job at some car works. Tony got fed up after a couple of weeks and went back to Nova Scotia. Paddy said that as long as Charlie Gehringer was playing for the Tigers, he'd tough it out to the end of the season.

  2. Dude! I don't recall that story cause I never heard it. Remember I only knew about his Toronto year with St. Pat's because a co-worker found it online? I seriously know nothing. Thanks for sharing. Makes last Friday even more interesting...

  3. First time I've heard that story too! Paddy, please share any other gems you think we already know, cause odds are we don't!

  4. The Blue Jays had shall we say some of their most interesting games in Tiger Town. Ahhh, that left field fence!
    I followed the Expos back in the old days and experienced many a national league stadium...big, huge, artificial ballparks. So when the Jays had a series with the Tigers it was always a treat. You just never knew what might happen. Lets give a round of applause to Sparky Anderson, a manager with personality plus.


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