Tiger Stadium memories still linger strongly in the Detroit skies
On this date in 1999, Detroit Tigers fans said goodbye to Tiger Stadium
The definition of nostalgia goes as follows: ” a sentimental longing of wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations”. The sentimental longing for Tiger Stadium will always be there for some Detroit Tigers fans. Their first memory may have been going with their family for the first time. The uniqueness of the right-field porch, how centerfield is 440 ft with a giant flag poll, all the nuances gave it a true home-field advantage.
My first experience at Tiger Stadium was with my father and my two brothers. The year I am now fuzzy on (1987 or 1988) but it was against the Kansas City Royals. I burned the roof of my mouth on some hot chocolate, watching Bo Jackson play. As baseball headed into the 90’s,we loved seeing AL West teams come to town. Hell, I joined the Triple A School Safety Patrol because I got to go to one free game.
The amount of Hall of Famers of my generation I got to see play were players with larger-than-life presences to them. Names like Alan Trammell, Jack Morris, Rickey Henderson, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr, George Brett, and Frank Thomas were players I got to see live. Those late 80s, early 90s Tigers squads were always fun to watch, especially because the Tigers offense was then a juggernaut. Anytime we got to see Cecil Fielder, Mickey Tettleton and Tony Phillips play, we all made sure at some point during the game, we move down to get better seats.
We all have our own individual ties to it. Admittedly, it was painful to me to see the plan to preserve the lower deck of the ballpark fall short. However, through the efforts of Detroit PAL, The Corner Ballpark was born. The field itself, named the Willie Horton Field of Dreams, is making new memories. For myself, I allow nostalgia to set in once in a while. Comerica Park has created a new generation of memories. But Tiger Stadium kickstarted a few habits that still stick with me to this day. 1. Blow on your hot chocolate and sip it slowly while drinking and 2. Bring layers to any event you go to. But in all seriousness, Tiger Stadium was more than just a building. We all had some sort of emotional moment to it that we still smile about to this day.
Rogelio Castillo-Woodward Tigers beat reporter
Feature image courtsey of CC Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0