The old baseball adage, "it ain' t over till it is over" seems to be at work at the Corner. Today there is a peoples movement at work in Detroit. That movement began with people quietly coming together to love their old ballpark on Sunday afternoon. They cut, cleaned, chopped weeds and slowly brought the baseball field back to life. Then one day a sign magically appeared on the fence of Tiger Stadium which said, "Ernie Harwell Park".
The idea of transforming the Tiger Stadium site into a public park is now more than a nice thought. It is taking shape. The dream of all the people of Detroit playing baseball and football on this sacred ground seems to be gaining ground. Why?
Detroit's love affair with two icons is not over. The ballpark is gone but the place, Michigan and Trumbull is scared ground. Yes, it is a place where records were set and championships won. More importantly, it represents all that is Detroit. A blue collar town full of people who built America. It was a place to connect with your son or escape for just a few hours and dream. That love affair can't be terminated by a wrecking ball. It is in the DNA of Detroit.
When we were not at the ballpark there was a voice that brought us to the ballpark. Ernie Harwell painted pictures of our national pastime and excited our imaginations. For the people of Detroit he was our friend and companion as we traveled on a journey with our Tigers through every season.
Today Detroit has a unique opportunity. It can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The Tiger Stadium site can be transformed in a peoples park that serves Detroit's citizens and provide a fitting tribute to baseball and our beloved Ernie.This is a win, win idea. The land is owned by the city. The project could be completed in phases. Additionally, I will bet that private funds could also be raised to help out.
Come on Detroit, let's make this happen! Show the world that there is a vision. I hope and pray that some day that I can take my grand children to Ernie Harwell Park for a little league game or just to play catch.