The Man tore down what remained of Tiger Stadium the other day, much to the chagrin of local yokels and Ty Cobb fans the world over. It was the kind of old-timey stadium that made you want to eat Cracker Jack from a box, bring your little-league glove (just in case of that pop fly) and pray that someone someone SOMEone would hit a homer into the lights; showering sparks and glass over the outfield.
Me? Yeah, I mean, I was a little disheartened to hear the news. But it was a foregone conclusion the building of Sparky Anderson and big-ass Cecil Fielder would fall. It had become an eyesore and a space-wasting reminder of inactivity in Detroit. What happened within the confines of those walls can’t be destroyed, so at the end of the day it was just another abandoned building; boarded up and barb-wired. It was still the locale for blocked views from huge steel beams supporting the upper deck. It was still in the middle of nowhere Corktown, where having a parking space meant paying a man with a twitch in his eye and a hitch in his giddy-up to not steal or damage the vehicle while you were away for three hours of take-me-out-to-the-ball-game. Sure… it had memories, for better or worse.
Now, The Man is threatening to tear down my favorite building — the old train depot — as well. The station is across the street from the old Tiger Stadium in the wasteland, so its decimation seems eminent. But the city hasn’t provided another, newer, better option (a la Comerica Park). So until Detroit can find a way to embrace mass transit and the future, and build a reeediculous train station in the stead of the old one, I’ll continue to wonder why they let the owner of the building control the city’s fate, face and design.
Tiger Stadium 1912 – 2009