Memories of Enron Field and Loose Tigers Connections

FireballXSmall.jpgFor a two unfortunate years, I was a resident of the greater Houston metroplex. In fact, it’ll be 10 years this December that I moved there (and it was seven years ago this week that I escaped).

My stay in Houston coincided with the April 2000 opening of a new baseball stadium, then Enron Field, site of this weekend’s interleague series between the Tigers and Astros. Meanwhile, the Tigers were moving into Comerica Park.

Continue reading Memories of Enron Field and Loose Tigers Connections

You Can Help Save Tiger Stadium

SaveTigerStadium.jpgFirst, the news:

The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation have reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding that will ultimately transfer title to the stadium to the Conservancy and grant a long-term lease of the playing field. We want our supporters to know that we are encouraged by this development and are continuing to pursue our goals of preserving and redeveloping the historic Navin Field grandstand and upper deck, restoring the playing grounds as a first-class youth baseball facility and revitalizing Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighborhood.

Now, the pitch: If you’ve been wondering what you can do to help save what’s left of Tiger Stadium, or even if you haven’t been, there is in fact something you can do right now to help support the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy‘s plan to save a portion of the ball yard: donate any amount you can afford.

From the Conservancy’s Web site:

The Conservancy’s central goal for the site involves the preservation of the field, home to the Detroit Tigers from 1896 through 1999, as a public park for recreational and cultural programs, primarily youth and amateur baseball. We are also working to preserve a significant portion of the stadium for various uses, including a banquet hall, museum exhibits, and office space.

Also, you can download the Conservancy’s plan here.

Clock Ticking — Again! — for Tiger Stadium

What’s left of Tiger Stadium may soon become a pile of rubble just as the other 75 percent of the ballpark did this past summer. According to a Free Press story:

The Detroit City Council’s planning and economic development committee decided today that a preservation group must pay $219,000 to the city by Tuesday morning.

If that payment isn’t made, the council may vote the same day to fully demolish the old ballpark.

Is it just me or are these “deadlines” a little specious?

Tiger Stadium Seats: A Public Service Announcement

The wrecking ball at Michigan and Trumbull has caused Tigers fans across the nation to freak out. Or, to be precise, to express a desire to find a pair of Tiger Stadium seats.

How do I know this? Because of a stream of comments, pleas and offers for seats on a post I wrote last October.

If you’re looking for seats, browse the comments here. Of course, I’m doing this as a courtesy to fine Fungo readers everywhere. I have no personal interest in the sale of these seats, nor do I know the people offering them or looking for them.

Caveat emptor.

Breaking: Mich. Senators Secure $4 Million Earmark for Tiger Stadium

At last some good (possible) news for those who want to save part of Tiger Stadium.

According to a news release on Michigan Senator Carl Levin‘s Senate Web site:

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today announced the inclusion of $13,500,000 for Michigan transportation and community outreach projects in the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations Bill, which the Senate Appropriations Committee approved yesterday.

The real news Tiger Stadium fans want to hear is down in the details about the HUD projects, which includes:

$4,000,000, Preservation and redevelopment of a public park and related business activities in the Corktown neighborhood (Detroit)

Of course:

The bill still needs to be approved by the full Senate and a House-Senate conference committee before being given final approval by Congress and being signed into law by the president.

I’m not aware of any other “preservation and redevelopment of a public park” in Corktown, so it’s safe to presume this money is tagged for Tiger Stadium and, one would hope, the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy‘s plan for saving and renovating portions of the stadium.

Surprisingly, this new hasn’t been announced to or in the media, but it’s readily available on Levin’s site and it’s listed in the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Appropriations Bill site. The site is clunky so I’m not able to link directly to the bill — the PDF comes up as gobbledygook — but you can access it by visiting the U.S. Government Printing Office Web site and searching for “S.Rpt.110-418 TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES” (without the quote marks).

Stay tuned.

Clocking Ticking Louder on Tiger Stadium Decision

While Friend of the Fungo Gary Gillette and the non-profit Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy work feverishly to raise funds to avoid, ahem, razing the ballpark, the City of Detroit’s demolition wheels are in motion.

At the very least, a demolition team is likely to start razing about 75% of the ballpark in May or June, as soon as the contract approved today is signed and the contractors get their effort in place.

I realize that Detroit has enough notable eyesores to top off 10 landfills, but what is the sudden rush to tear down the stadium? We’re at about nine years since the last game, what’s another three months?

Yeah, yeah, I know. First it’s three months, then it becomes another three months, and so on. Still, I’d like to see the City give the conservancy a little more time to make this work. After all, if some of Tiger Stadium is preserved, for once Detroit could be seen at the forefront of a preservation effort.

Stay tuned.

Tiger Stadium Seats, Continued

On Oct. 17 of last year I wrote about the arrival of my Tiger Stadium seats. Since then we’ve received almost three dozen comments from Tigers fans in the Detroit area and beyond in which they talk about everything from the condition of the seats when they arrived (almost universally dirty) to finding blue paint for touch ups to where the owner will place the seats.

If you’ve received your seats and have questions about anything from paint to brackets, visit the post here and browse the comments.

Breaking News: My Tiger Stadium Seats Arrived

I haven’t been able to un-box them, but my Tiger Stadium seats arrived today. If you’ve ever wondered how much two molded plastic stadium seats weigh, I can tell you: 90 lbs. At least that’s UPS’s estimate.

I’ll upload some photos soon but in the meantime, here’s some quick info on them:

  • Filthy. A good hose-down and a sponge bath should get them sparkling new. Well, you know what I mean.
  • Blue. I held out hope that orange seats would arrive but the more I thought about it, I rarely sat in the orange seats, so these will do just fine.
  • Damaged. Not much, but the rivets on the left seat have popped off, presumably in shipping. They look simple enough to repair.
  • 10 and 11. Those are the seat numbers. Man, do I wish I knew what section, row, etc., these seats came from.

I helped the UPS driver lift them off the truck. He was intrigued when I told him what was in the case. Of course, he wanted to see them. He thought it was neat but didn’t gush.

Perhaps he’s a bruised Diamondbacks fan.

Now, where to put these things…