Longtime baseball fans in Detroit, Michigan remember Tiger Stadium with great fondness. The stadium stood at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull in downtown Detroit, and the Tigers played there from the late 19th Century until the end of the 2000 baseball season, when the Tigers began playing at their new home, Comerica Park.
Tiger Stadium by then was considered a relic of a bygone era, a crumbling old ballyard that had outlived its usefulness. Tiger fans had a huge attachment to the facility though, and for several years there was an ongoing debate about what to do with the old stadium. Ideas included everything from tearing it down, to converting it into a sort of theme park. In the end, the stadium was condemned, and it met with the wrecking ball in 2008.
For a couple of years the lot at Michigan and Trumbull sat vacant. Then a local man paid a nostalgic visit to the site of the now-demolished stadium. He was horrified to find it overgrown with weeds, and filled with litter and other trash. He took it upon himself to return with his lawn mower and begin the laborious task of bringing that overgrown lot under control. A few others joined him. It took a few years, but these self-appointed preservationists, who eventually dubbed themselves the Navin Field Grounds Crew after Tiger Stadium’s original name, brought the old ball field at Michigan and Trumbull back to life. Now, several years later, new plans to develop the property and preserve its historic baseball character are in the works.
Addison Green is one of the self-appointed members of the Navin Field Grounds Crew. He spends most summer afternoons at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, helping to mow the lawn, rebuild the pitcher’s mound, pull weeds from the infield grass, and pick up trash. And he loves every minute of it.