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Bo don't know Ernie

Historical Photos of Briggs Stadium

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This is where I was introduced to the game. Oh, I knew a bit about it before, but at age 11 my uncle took my cousin (the one who wanted to be Tom Mix) and I to a game. T'was 1941 I believe. We sat left field side, about the fourth or fifth row from the front. Sunny day. Hal Newhouser pitched. Greenberg hit a homer. I was fascinated. It led to a lifetime of enjoyment. The last time I was there was about 8 years ago with my son-in-law. We sat way up in seventh heaven, right field, behind a pole. He must have got the tickets late or free. Had a good time anyway, but I don't remember any details of that game. I know it rained some. I had a couple to many beers.

I thought you were able to see Cobb in his prime.

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I re-read the book Cobb by Al Stump and one thing I didn't spot the first time because it was pre-Comerica Park reading is the considerable amount of time that Cobb spent at the Detroit Athletic Club. It's featured quite a bit in the book. I thought it was fitting that it's so dominant in any view from Comerica Park.

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I did not see Cobb in his prime. It was near the end of his career that I saw him. Asked him for an autograph. He said, Sure kid, turn around, I need your back to hold the ball steady while I write on it." Then, as I turned around, he kicked me in the ***. Mean sonuvabitch.

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Checking the Baseball Reference, I find that Cobb played his last game when I was a fetus of about four weeks of age. I had to wait a good eight months, and then when I did poke my head out of that cozy li'l receptacle, it was too late to see him play. No matter. A lot of wonderful Baseball has gone by since then.

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It wasnt an exaggeration at all, at least in my 25 yrs of personal experience with the old ballpark. The short rightfield porch caught a ton of high fly balls that would have been caught on the warning track.

My earliest memory of Tiger stadium was an absolutely numbing Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers. Well I think it was the Pack. My uncle got sick and my dad dragged me down. I was about 6.

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One thing I don't get is all the talk about the RF overhang adding to home runs totals there. If the overhang was only 10 feet, doesn't seem possible? I'm guessing it was at least 50-60 feet above field level ???

PS Great Photos !!!!!!!!

I got my one and only ball from a major league game in the lower deck right about where the picture (the one of the overhang) is showing. During batting practice and hit by Steve Kemp. Dove over 3 rows of chairs to beat two other guys. Hurt like the dickens but worth it.

From what I remember, that overhang is not all that high over the field. I could see it catching many balls that might have otherwise been caught. It's been a long time so I could be wrong.

The rest of the story on the ball. I put it in my trophy case and years later noticed it was gone. Couldn't figure that one out. Then years later my "boys" told me they ran out of balls one time. I had asked about it when I noticed it missing. I had children named "I don't know, and Not Me".

Great pictures by all.

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Here are some aerial photos of Briggs/Tiger Stadium and the surrounding area:

(these are interesting to look at...you can see how Detroit has changed over the years...the main difference for me is the freeways and the decline of building denisty)

1949

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1949/ha-4-82.pdf

1952

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1952/de-21-110.pdf

1956

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1956/ga-1-83.pdf

1961

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1961/fm-30-119.pdf

1981

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1981/17562-13-378.pdf

1997

http://techtools.culma.wayne.edu/media/wayne/1997/55739-25-54.pdf

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I'll archive this in the history section in a couple days if people want to keep it in a safe place so it won't get lost.

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Hello "Bo",

New poster here, but longtime tiger fan. Glad someone started this thread, it's been one of my hobbies searching for old pictures of Navin field and Briggs stadium.

Most of the old pictures of the stadium you see, have been reproductions that flood the market. I have come across some private collections that have popped up on sites such as ebay. Those are most likely the pictures that you would be interested in.

"Bo", I would suggest you try the Burton Historical Collection in the Detroit Public Library. If you live in the metro detroit area, it's worth a try. I have been meaning to get down there at some point, but maybe sometime soon. Also, included is the Harwell collection, something I see that maybe you already know about. Unfortunately, they do not appear to have an on-line photographic collection, so, for now they only way to access those photos is to view them at the library.

http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/burton/burton_index.htm

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I did not see Cobb in his prime. It was near the end of his career that I saw him. Asked him for an autograph. He said, Sure kid, turn around, I need your back to hold the ball steady while I write on it." Then, as I turned around, he kicked me in the ***. Mean sonuvabitch.

It's a shame that I missed this the first time around. I would have liked to ask him if this is a true story.

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Its really too bad street cars died out.

Actually street cars didn't die out as much, as they were chased into extinction by General Motors. Back in the 40's GM decided that they would give cities huge discounts to switch their transit services to buses (of course built by GM), so each and every city began to switch. Sadly, this was short-sighted as buses while more flexible in terms of being able to change routes with a minimum of fuss, consume fuel, create pollution and create additional traffic into our already crowded roads. That's why you have all the talk of "light-rail" systems today, but Detroit (along with almost every other major U.S. city) already had that type of infrastructure once before and watched it all be destroyed.

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WMHS_Band-Tiger_Stadium_1963.jpg

Lions game in 1963

Thanks for this Bert:classic: I've been looking for shots of Tiger and Briggs Stadiums when the Lions played there. Do you have any from the 50's or earlier? Thanks again.

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Hello "Bo",

New poster here, but longtime tiger fan. Glad someone started this thread, it's been one of my hobbies searching for old pictures of Navin field and Briggs stadium.

Most of the old pictures of the stadium you see, have been reproductions that flood the market. I have come across some private collections that have popped up on sites such as ebay. Those are most likely the pictures that you would be interested in.

"Bo", I would suggest you try the Burton Historical Collection in the Detroit Public Library. If you live in the metro detroit area, it's worth a try. I have been meaning to get down there at some point, but maybe sometime soon. Also, included is the Harwell collection, something I see that maybe you already know about. Unfortunately, they do not appear to have an on-line photographic collection, so, for now they only way to access those photos is to view them at the library.

http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/burton/burton_index.htm

Thank you. I'll have to check out that collection next time I am downtown.

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Note about Burton Historical Collection: It's going to cost you $10 a day if you are a non-resident of Detroit (or $100 for a non-resident library card):

ATTENTION NON-RESIDENT CUSTOMERS

You will need a Library Card or a daily use pass to access materials in the following collections :

Burton Historical Collection

E. Azalia Hackley Collection

National Automotive History Collection

FEES:

A Non-resident library card is $100

A Daily Use Pass is $10.

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The ball would almost have to be impossibly high for it to hit the overhang and be a home run that would've otherwise been caught.

Yeah, that is definitely a myth, agreed.

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The ball would almost have to be impossibly high for it to hit the overhang and be a home run that would've otherwise been caught.

I've always wondered exactly how high a ball would have to have been hit for the overhang to really steal one from an OF. I'm surprised that such a study has never been done. Aren't there a few physics folks in here? Can you help us out on that?

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I've always wondered exactly how high a ball would have to have been hit for the overhang to really steal one from an OF. I'm surprised that such a study has never been done. Aren't there a few physics folks in here? Can you help us out on that?

There are several variables at play here. It depends on the linear distance from home plate to the overhang, the velocity of the pitch, the velocity of the ball after contact, and the height of the overhang.

The first two are somewhat well known but the other two are variables that would be hard to solve.

Also think about the actual flight of a ball that is struck hard enough to go 300+ feet. The ball has velocity in the vertical and the horizontal directions.

Judging from the picture we have been provided for scale I would say that at most you have 10 feet of overhang. That means that in order for a ball to fall into that overhang that would have fallen on the field of play the velocity would have to be almost straight down with little to no component from the horizontal direction.

The figure provided in this pdf document explains the physics behind a homerun well:

http://webusers.npl.uiuc.edu/~a-nathan/pob/AJP-Nov03.pdf

I am going to say that I would be pretty surprised if there were very many balls counted as homeruns in Tiger Stadium that would have been outs without the overhang. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually researched it, that they would find that 0 balls have ever been hit that way.

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I am going to say that I would be pretty surprised if there were very many balls counted as homeruns in Tiger Stadium that would have been outs without the overhang. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if someone actually researched it they would find that 0 balls have ever been hit that way.

I'd guess the number would be zero. But it does make for a good legend, a fun part of the history of the corner.

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