Tag Archives: baseball

Shorpy Saturday – Play Ball: 1902

By Jeffrey Buck

Not unlike today, an open field was a good spot for a pick-up baseball game even back in 1902. Sports clothing has come a long way but so has clothing in general. What’s your favorite sport’s memory as a child? Leave it in the comment’s section below.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Play Ball: 1902“:

Play Ball - 1902

 

Detroit circa 1902. “Photochrom Company building, side view.” In the early 20th century, the Photochrom chromolithography process was licensed by William Henry Jackson and his partners to make millions of color postcards from the black-and-white Detroit Publishing glass negatives (like this one) seen here on Shorpy. The lot next door was a good spot for pickup ballgames.

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Labor Day Weekend Fun

By Jeffrey Buck

Looking for something fun to do this Labor Day Weekend? Look no further, here is a handful of ideas to get you outside and enjoying the long weekend! Leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions for readers looking for some fun.

  1. Detroit Jazz Festival– Several downtown Detroit blocks will be taken over this weekend for the 33rd annual Detroit Jazz Festival. 100 acts will perform on five stages over the four day jam session. Music is not the only thing visitors will enjoy with offerings such as educational activities for both children & adults and fireworks.
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    Dates: Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3. Hours: Fri. 4-11 p.m. | Sat. & Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. | Mon. Noon to 8:30 p.m. Admission: FREE
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  2. Ford Arts, Beats & Eats – Downtown Royal Oak will once again be rocking as Ford Arts, Beats & Eats celebrates its 15th year. Visitors this year have choices to make as more than 200 artists perform on ten stages and several local restaurants dish out some fantastic cuisine. Oh and don’t forget to stoll around and taken in all of the art!
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    Dates: Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3. Hours: Fri. to Sun. 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. | Mon. 11:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: Fri: Free until 5 p.m., $5 after | Sat. to Mon. $3 until 5 p.m., $5 after
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  3. Tigers Home Stand – In what could be one of the most important series of the entire season, the division leading Chicago White Sox travel to Comerica Park this weekend to take on the Detroit Tigers. Sunday’s day game time was recently changed to 8:06 p.m. because it was selected as ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball game.
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    Dates & Times: Friday, August 31 @ 7:05 p.m. | Saturday, Sept 1 @ 7:05 p.m. | Sunday, Sept. 2 @ 8:06 p.m. Admission: Varies, visit tigers.com
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  4. Michigan Renaissance Festival – It’s that time of the year again! You can go as you are or you can dress up in your best Renaissance outfit. Throw tomatoes, watch full contact jousting or bite into a big juicy turkey leg. There are games, food and music for all ages!
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    Dates: Open Weekends & Labor Day, Plus Friday Sept. 14 Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. | Rain or shine Admission: Varies, Adults: $20.95 | Child: $11.95
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  5. Great Lakes State Fair -The Suburban Collection Showplace plays host to a tradition that’s been absent from the state. Moving north and taking on a different name Michigan agriculture will be the center of attention once again at this weekends Great Lakes State Fair. There will be Michigan made products on display, livestock & agriculture areas, beer gardens and much more.
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    Dates: Friday, August, 31 through Monday, September 3. Hours: Varies, Fri. – Sun. 8 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.| Mon. 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: Varies, Adults $6-$25 | Children $5-$20
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Tiger Watch: Drew Smyly

As Opening Day quickly approaches, April 4th, we’ve turned to our sports contributors to get their insight on just who we should keep an eye on in what we are dubbing “Tiger Watch.”

Drew Smyly

By Collin Porteus

Odds are that at this time last week the average Detroit Tigers fan didn’t even know who Drew Smyly was. Less than 24 hours away from the Tigers regular season opener, odds are that Tigers fans now know him as the fifth starter of this uber-hyped 2012 ball club, they still don’t know much about the young southpaw. Going into this past offseason, it was assumed that the Tigers would sign a free agent to fill out their rotation, in what has become the teams annual search for a lefty starter. As the offseason came to a close and spring training began, it was expected that Tigers top overall prospect, Jacob Turner, would eventually beat out a field of Andy Oliver and Duane Below, another top five prospect and a lefty who performed well while with the team last year respectively, to assume the role of fifth starter. Alas, as the dust settled in Lakeland, Drew Smyly stood alone.

It is with all of that in mind that The Woodward Spine would like to shed some light on the latest edition to the Tigers rotation. Just two years removed from coming within two outs of throwing the first no-hitter in NCAA Division 1 championship tournament history as a redshirt freshman at the University of Arkansas, Smyly will make his first appearance in “The Show” on Wednesday, April 11th at home against the Tampa Bay Rays. Over the span of those two years, Smyly, enjoyed success in the Tigers minor league system to the tune of an 11-6 record, a 2.07 ERA (earned run average), a 9.3 K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) ratio and a 3.61 SO/BB (strikeouts per walks) ratio. He pitched brilliantly in this past offseasons Pan American games, posting a 2-0 record with 17 strikeouts in 17 innings of scoreless work for Team USA. These experiences translated into a productive, composed, 2012 spring training. “I took the guy that I thought had good stuff, a good delivery and threw strikes. How that plays up here, we’ll wait and see. That usually plays pretty good anywhere.” said Manager Jim Leyland.

Now, it remains to be seen if any of these statistics translate to the major league level, but that at least seemed to be the case through spring training. It would be unfair to expect Smyly to perform on the same level as Justin Verlander, or even Doug Fister and Max Scherzer for that matter, but the Tigers don’t need him to. Stability is what’s needed most at the back end of this years rotation. The 2012 Tigers lineup should provide no shortage of run support, which Smyly will be able to take advantage of if he can control his pitches and limit mistakes. This is going to be an exciting summer of baseball in the Motor City and as of Opening Day it looks like Drew Smyly’s coming along for the ride.

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Smyly's (@SmylyD) twitter response to receiving the news that he was the Tigers fifth starter

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Tiger Watch: Delmon Young

As Opening Day quickly approaches, April 4th, we’ve turned to our sports contributors to get their insight on just who we should keep an eye on in what we are dubbing “Tiger Watch.”

Delmon Young

By Patrick Smith

The Tigers two best hitters are well known, and they’re going to power the offense. Whether you believe in the value of protection that Fielder and Cabrera will supposedly provide one another, the two big boys can mash and they’re going to be great. But in order for the Tigers offense to score enough to be an elite team (and make up for their sure-to-be terrible team defense) they are going to need a lot of special hitters. Delmon Young has the potential to be that.

He is of course also a main reason the Tigers will be terrible defensively, and not having Delmon DH makes absolutely zero sense, but if Leyland has struck some sort of a deal with the devil that DY can play the field as long as he keeps mashing I’m ok with it. Spring training stats don’t mean very much, but Young’s .436 average is eye-popping and eyewitness accounts have him hitting the ball better than ever.  While he still can’t field, it is promising he came into the spring noticeably slimmer. He looks at least a little quicker.

Skeptics of spring training studs can look to Delmon’s .131 drop in OPS last year as a good indicator of a bounce back year. And for every pundit predicting the demise of Alex Avila because of his high BABiP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) last year, the reverse should be noted for Young, whose career-low BABiP of .286 with the Tigers last year should move closer to his .328 career average, and bring his batting average up to his typical .280 or .290. And for those skeptics of statistics, how about the power of a new environment, if Delmon can keep up the .458 slugging percentage he held as a member of the Tigers at the end of last season he’ll provide just the power the Tigers need at the fifth spot.

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Grand slam grants to help local schools & community

By Mike Fossano

Comerica Bank is offering two $10,000 grants to help local schools and the community by cultivating baseball and softball teams in southeast Michigan.

The grants – one in metro Detroit and one in the Central/Western Michigan region – are a part of the Grand Slam Program, which sets out to create, expand or improve area high school baseball or softball programs.

“As many school districts continue to face budget cuts, the Grand Slam Grant helps ensure our future all-stars have the resources they need to experience the game of baseball,” said Thomas D. Ogden, president, Comerica Bank-Michigan. “After 162 years in Michigan, Comerica remains committed to supporting its hometown teams.”

Applications will be reviewed for a variety of criteria including overall need, creativity and school and community impact. The grant recipient will be selected by the Comerica Bank Grand Slam Grant Selection Committee, consisting of representatives from Comerica Bank and Detroit Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch.

Grant recipients will be recognized on the field during the Detroit Tigers’ 2012 opening weekend game on April 7 vs. the Boston Red Sox. Each winning school will also receive 60 tickets to the opening weekend game.

The funds can be used for field improvements, equipment, training camps, or other baseball or softball-related expenses.

Last year the Grand Slam Grant Program awarded a $10,000 grant to Renaissance High School in Detroit.  The school used the funds for equipment, a new scoreboard and a travel showcase youth clinic.

Eligible schools can complete the grant application online at www.comerica.com/grandslamgrant. Once complete, the application, along with supporting materials such as photos or videos must be submitted via email to grandslamgrant@comerica.com by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

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Comerica Park beginning to show age but still shines

By Jeffrey Buck

Woodward Spine © 2011

Comerica Park opened its doors in April 2000. It was a visual masterpiece with a touch of Tiger charm from its unobstructed views to the large tiger head lights surrounding the outer perimeter of the park. As the years have ticked away, season after season, the park has slowly transformed. Seats in certain sections have been replaced, outfield walls brought in, bullpens relocated, LED boards added and restaurants swapped. Mike Ilitch has done a decent job of keeping the stadium feeling fresh for a fan experience one won’t forget.

However, these changes have only been a few of what overall needs to be changed. After recently visiting the homes of the San Francisco Giants and the Baltimore Orioles I’ve come up with a list of the top five things that the Detroit Tigers front office needs to address regarding Comerica Park. Continue reading

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Shorpy Saturday – Sugar and Spice: 1900

By Jeffrey Buck

It has gone through a bit of a rough patch, but Clark Park is truly to be a jewel for the city of Detroit. The park, located in southwest Detroit, is home to many sports year round, including a unique offering of hockey and ice skating leagues on an outdoor ice rink. With help from the community and the Clark Park Coalition, the park has been well maintained and continues to serve youth with several programs that would have surely disappeared without their support. In recent years, Jack White (born Jack Gillis), formerly of the now-defunct White Stripes, donated $170,000 to help rebuild and maintain the baseball field where he played as a kid. Clark Park has come along way since this photograph was taken.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Sugar and Spice: 1900.“:

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