Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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Although there is no longer a stadium, there still sits a baseball field at the corner of Michigan and Trumble in Detroit, MI. The sights and smells of Old Tiger Stadium have long since vanished from “The Corner”, but there is still baseball being played on the same field where Ty Cobb earned his reputation as the fiercest player in baseball. Some of my first memories of Major League Baseball happened on this very baseball diamond, and thanks to a few “law abiding” citizens known as the Navin Field Grounds Crew, those memories still have a place to call home.
Since 2010, Tiger Stadium enthusiasts and several Corktown residents have been mowing the grass, picking up trash, weeding the infield, and playing baseball on the same diamond that their heroes played on for nearly a century. What they’re doing is technically illegal, since the city of Detroit owns the land. But that fact has not deterred these fine people from their task of preserving baseball history.
You see, most of these people grew up with the Tigers. Seeing this field die before their eyes is every bit as hard as losing a family member. And so, for spiritual healing, the Navin Field Grounds Crew meets every Sunday morning with Ernie Harwell’s voice echoing Detroit scripture in their heads.
“For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth,
The time of the singing of birds is come;
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Thank you to the Navin Field Grounds Crew for keeping part of my childhood alive. I only hope that I can join you some Sunday morning and get my hands dirty right along with you. Until then, keep up the good work, the place looks beautiful.
By the way folks, don’t forget to register for the 2014 Our Sports Report Wiffle Ball Summer Classic that takes place on July 5 in beautiful (and warm) Fredericktown, OH! There are some great prizes up for grabs (cash, gift cards, etc.) and there will be lots of great ballpark food to be had by all (and it’ll be cheap…unlike actual ballpark fare). It’s only $20 for a 2-3 man team, so sign up today! Information can be found on the blog and also on Facebook. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have! See you then!