‘Naven Field Ground Crew’ Keep Memories Alive At Site Of Old Tigers Stadium

DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Tigers play game two of the 2012 season Friday afternoon at Comerica Park — just down the road from the vacant and “vastly underutilized” former site of the old Tiger Stadium.

All that remains today is a field, which has been unofficially re-named by a group of community members who maintain it.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Back In Time At Old Tigers Stadium

“It’s Naven Field now because there’s no stadium left, but it’s the original field that opened almost 100 years ago. In fact, that anniversary is coming up on April, 20, the same day as Fenway Park opened, in 1912,” said Joe Michnuk.

Michnuk is part of the Naven Field Ground Crew, a group of about a dozen guys who call themselves the caretakers of the old ball diamond. He said two years into maintaining the field for anyone’s use, he still doesn’t know what is to become of the property at what arguably once was Detroit’s most famous corner, Michigan and Trumbull.

“That’s our whole idea, is to make this space useable for any Detroiter of out-of-town-er who wants to come and play, walk their dog, ride their bicycle, throw a baseball, it’s just for kids of all ages to enjoy when they’re in Detroit,” he said.

Michnuk said until something is done or he’s told otherwise,  he and other members of the Naven Field Ground Crew will continue grooming the field, cutting the grass and picking up trash once a week for use by any and all who want to use it.

  • Frank

    I still say they could have made some good money before they tore Tiger Stadium down by renting it out to people who would have wanted to play sandlot baseball. I know my buddies would have pitched in.

    • A Native Detroiter

      A specific classification of former Detroiters moved out and abandoned all future opportunities for this city. The loss of Briggs-Tiger Stadium is just one symptom of the exodus. A city survives with all kinds of people living, working, playing, building from within the borders.

  • June Derin

    My grandmother, Lenore Strauss, was Frank Naven’s secreatary. She was very genteel and couldn’t stand Ty Cobb’s behavior, so wouldn’t allow him in the office to pick up his check-she would mail it to him.

  • Kid Fidrych

    The group’s name is the Navin Field Grounds Crew.

    Not the “Naven Field Ground Crew.”

    Tom Derry is its leader and head groundskeeper.

  • Kid Fidrych

    Also, it’s TIGER Stadium.
    Not “Tigers Stadium.”

blog comments powered by Disqus
Best Winter Festivals In Metro Detroit
Thanksgiving Parade Guide

Watch & Listen