Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tiger Stadium

Tiger Stadium field, foul poles to be saved

DETROIT -- Tiger Stadium may be coming down, but Detroit officials say the historic ballpark's field will be saved.

Fred Rottach, who oversees the stadium property for the city, says the playing field will remain intact after the park's demolition. He says the foul poles and flagpole also will be preserved.

Two Detroit-area contractors began demolition of the ballpark last week and spent Wednesday tearing into the outfield walls.

The ballpark opened in 1912 as Navin Field and hosted thousands of Tigers games, Babe Ruth's 700th career home run in 1934 and a speech by South African president Nelson Mandela in 1990. The final major league game was played there Sept. 27, 1999.

Outfield walls cleared by baseball legend Mickey Mantle as well as Detroit Tiger sluggers Norm Cash and Cecil Fielder began to come down as contractors intensified their efforts to bring down the venerable park.

Backhoes and excavators, sometimes hard to see through dust and spraying water, whizzed around the site, picking up debris and dumping it in oversized bins. During one flurry Wednesday morning, an excavator smashed through the exterior wall beyond left field, throwing support girders to the side.

The rest of the story here.

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