Since 2010, a group of volunteers calling themselves the Navin Field Grounds Crew
has dutifully maintained and restored the old Tiger Stadium site. They've removed rubble, demolition debris, and weeds as they've lovingly tended to the historic baseball field every week. Now they're building a second baseball diamond.
The hard work of several volunteers has provided communities near and far a well-maintained public greenspace for five years now. While baseball remains at the heart of the site, from pick-up games among families and friends to organized little league games, the field has also become a place for picnics and pop-up dog parks. The park is so popular, in fact, that different groups often show up to use the playing field at the same time.
In addition to its regular maintenance work, the Grounds Crew is now building a second baseball diamond, this one situated in the northwest corner of the historic site. Through volunteer work and a donation of 50 tons of dirt, a smaller baseball diamond with youth baseball dimensions will eventually be completed.
At nearly 10 acres, the park is certainly big enough to accommodate two baseball diamonds. And while adding a second diamond should alleviate some of the congestion that occurs at the field, Grounds Crew founder Tom Derry readily admits that it's also to demonstrate that the site can be used for youth baseball while also preserving the historic diamond.
A recent development proposal
for the site would utilize the historic playing field for youth baseball. It's not clear whether that means altering the dimensions of the diamond to suit smaller players, like shortening the distance between bases and reducing the size of the infield.
"Whatever happens, we hope that the field is accessible to the public," says Derry. "Everything is up in the air. We don't know what will happen."
No development is currently confirmed for the site.
Source: Tom Derry, founder of Navin Field Grounds Crew
Photos: Navin Field Grounds Crew
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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