State Historic Marker (gone missing)

 

General Information


Area of fair territory: 113,000 sq. ft.

Area of foul territory: minimal

Fences: 6.5 ft, except CF (5.5 ft)

Elevation: 585 feet

Seating capacity: 46,945
First-season attendance: 402,870 (1912).
Worst-season attendance: 320,972 (1933).
Best-season attendance: 2,704,794 (1984).

Who Played Here: Detroit Tigers (AL)
First Opened: April 20, 1912
First night game: June 15,1948
Last Tigers game: September 27, 1999
Surface: Bluegrass

Architect: Osborn Engineering

Owner: City of Detroit
Cost: $300,000

Dimensions - History

Left field: 345 (1921), 340.58 (1926), 339 (1930), 367 (1931), 339 (1934) 340 (1938), 342 (1939), 340 (1942)

Left-center: 365 (1942)

Center field: 467 (1927), 455 (1930), 464 (1931), 459 (1936), 450 (1937), 440 (1938), 450 (1939), 420 (1942), 440 (1944)

Right-center: 370 (1942), 375 (1982), 370 (current)

Right field: 370 (1921), 370.91 (1926), 372 (1930), 367 (1931), 325 (1936), 315 (1939), 325 (1942), 302 (1954), 325 (1955)

Backstop: 54.35 (1954), 66 (1955)

 

Fences - History

All Fences: 5 ft - concrete topped by screen

Left field: 20 ft (1935), 30 ft (1937), 10 ft (1938), 12 ft (1940), 15 ft (1946), 12 ft (1953), 14 ft (1954), 12 ft (1955), 11 ft (1958), 9 ft (1962)

Center field: 9 ft (1940), 15 ft (1946), 11 ft (1950), 9 ft (1953), 14 ft (1954), 9 ft (1955)

Right of flag pole: 7 ft (1946)

Right field: 8 ft (1940), 30 ft (1944), 10 ft (1945), 20 ft (1950), 8 ft (1953), 9 ft (1958), 30 ft (1961), 9 ft (1962)

Flag pole: 125 in play (5 feet in front of fence in center field, just left of dead center).

 

Capacity - History

1912: 23,000

1923: 30,000

1937: 52,416

Fun Facts

  • Highest home run factor in AL in 1998 and in 1999

  • Highest RHR factor in AL in 1998 and in 1999

  • Lowest double factor in AL in 1998

  • Highest error factor in AL in 1998

 

  • The 125-foot flagpole in deep center, just to the left of the 440 mark, was in play; it was the highest outfield obstacle ever in play in baseball history.

  • Originally called Navin Field (after team owner Frank Navin), the ballpark changed its name to Briggs Stadium in 1938 and finally to Tiger Stadium in 1961.

  • This was the only double-decked bleachers in the majors; upper deck from left-center to center, lower deck from center to right-center.

Seating Chart

Seating Chart

 

Other Facts

 

Briggs Stadium was the first stadium in the world to have an underground sprinkler system and the first to have a tarp to cover the infield. - Source from Detroit Athletic Company.

 

Baseball

At the Corner on July 13, 1934, Babe Ruth hit his 700th career home run. As noted in Bill Jenkinson's The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, the ball sailed over the street behind the then-single deck bleachers in right field, and is estimated to have traveled over 500 feet on the fly.

Ruth also had a good day in Detroit earlier in his career, on July 18, 1921, when he hit what is believed to be the verifiably longest home run in the history of major league baseball. It went to straightaway center, as many of Ruth's longest homers did, easily clearing the then-single deck bleacher and wall, landing almost on the far side of the street intersection. The distance of this blow has been estimated at between 575 and 600 feet on the fly.

On May 2, 1939, an ailing New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig voluntarily benched himself at Briggs Stadium, ending a streak of 2,130 consecutive games. Due to the progression of the disease named after him, it proved to be the final game in his career.

The stadium hosted the 1941, 1951, and 1971 MLB All-Star Games. All three games featured home runs. Ted Williams won the 1941 game with an upper deck shot. The ball was also carrying well in the 1951 and 1971 games. Of the many homers in those games, the most often replayed is Reggie Jackson's literally towering drive to right field that hit so high up in the light tower that the TV camera lost sight of it, until it dropped to the field below. Jackson dropped his bat and watched it sail, seemingly astonished at his own power display.

On April 7, 1986, Dwight Evans hit a home run on the first pitch of the Opening Day game, for the earliest possible home run in an MLB season (in terms of innings and at bats, not dates).

After the Tigers moved, Michigan&Trumbull, LLC. rented the stadium for four separate baseball games (Collegiate Wood Bat League games, vintage base ball games, and a women's baseball game; the women's game was played between the Detroit Danger Women's Baseball Club and the Toronto All-Stars and was hosted by the WBL (Women's Baseball League, Inc.) on August 11, 2001. The Danger beat the All-Stars, 3-2. The women's baseball game become the first-ever all-women's baseball game played at Tiger Stadium in its entire history).

Professional football

Tiger Stadium was home to the Detroit Lions from 1938 to 1974 when they dropped their final Tiger Stadium game to the Denver Broncos on Thanksgiving Day. The football field ran mostly in the outfield from the right field line to left center field parallel with the third base line. The benches for both the Lions and their opponents were on the outfield side of the field. (A "possession" symbol, with its light bulbs, for football games could still be seen many years later on the left field auxiliary scoreboard.)

Films

The stadium was depicted in Tiger Town, a 1983 made-for-television baseball movie starring Roy Scheider, and also Sparky Anderson with a small role, and (as Briggs Stadium) in the 1980 feature film Raging Bull where the stadium was the site of two of Jake LaMotta's championship boxing matches. Tiger Stadium was also seen in the film Hardball starring Keanu Reeves, Renaissance Man with Danny DeVito and in the aforementioned film 61*, where it "played" the part of Yankee Stadium as well as itself.

In the film 61*, Tiger Stadium is shown painted blue, with blue and orange seats, but that was its appearance after a renovation in the late 1970s. In the year 1961, the stadium and the seats were painted dark green.

During the very last days in which part of Tiger Stadium was still standing, scenes for the film, The Irishman, depicting the old Cleveland baseball stadium were shot at the stadium, extending for a day (demolition continued the day after the single day shoot at the stadium on June 5, 2009) the life of Tiger Stadium.

Other events

On June 28, 1996, hard rock band Kiss, performed their first show for their Reunion tour at Tiger Stadium in front of 39,867 fans, with Alice in Chains and Sponge as the opening acts.

It has been postulated by numerous residents that the stadium could be used and converted into a soccer arena, allowing for a potential MLS franchise, but lack of support by government officials has essentially killed this idea.

Northern Irish professional soccer club Glentoran called the stadium home for two months in 1967. The Glens, as the team from Belfast are known played under the name Detroit Cougars as one of several European teams invited to the States during their off/close season to play in the United Soccer Association.

In February 2006, Tiger Stadium's field was used for the 2006 Anheuser-Busch Bud Bowl advertising event, part of the unofficial Super Bowl XL festivities.

 

 

Source: Baseball-statistics.com & Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia