Saturday, February 13, 2016

Might the New Albany Parks Department annex the former Tiger Stadium's artificial turf?

Thankfully, spring training games begin in less than three weeks.

While reading this essay, which places a beam of sunlight on controversies attendant to the use of artificial turf, I couldn't help remembering the mayoral debate at Silver Street Park's sumptuous indoor training facility, and warnings that women in heels weren't allowed on the playing surface.


The Plan for Detroit’s Former Tiger Stadium Ignores History—and Potentially Safety, by Michael Betzold (The Nation)

... Historic preservation is almost always a losing cause in Detroit, because city leaders would rather obliterate the troubling past than honor it. This attitude made a new ballpark an easy sell, since African-Americans have passed on stories of mistreatment at the Corner through several generations. Walter Briggs, the auto magnate who expanded the stadium after the Tigers’ first world championship in 1935 and owned the team into the 1950s, was notoriously racist, and the team didn’t integrate for a decade after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. To add to the insult, the greatest Tiger in history is Ty Cobb, the outfielder known today not only for his outstanding career in Detroit but also for his penchant for violence and racism. (A recent book tries to redeem his reputation and soften that caricature, but the truth about Cobb remains murky.)

History is a messy and contentious thing. And, in Detroit, it’s too often a battleground. But it’s unwise and unfair to cover up the complex past of Michigan and Trumbull.

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