DETROIT (WOOD) - Lifelong Tigers fans know the location by its intersection: Michigan and Trumbull
But now, metal entrance gates between home plate and first base are about all that separates the remnants of Tiger Stadium from any other vacant lot in Detroit.
Preservationists lost their battle to save Tiger Stadium in the past decade, but the memories are the one thing the wrecking ball could not destroy.
"When your dad brings you as a little kid, and you hold his hand going up the concourse and it's dark, and then you walk out from that darkened concourse and see this emerald green field, and I'm going to tell you something, it has an affect on you," said Joe Michnuk as he took a break from mowing the infield grass Sunday morning.
Every Sunday, from April through October, Michnuk is there.
A lifelong fan of the Tigers, and a clubhouse guard from 1983 to 1986, Michnuk has fond memories of the team on and off the field.
He likes to show the picture of him sitting next to manager Sparky Anderson during the Tigers' 1984 World Series celebration parade.
"I know it's cold out, but I'm telling you what, for me, this is Nirvana," he said. "This is heaven on Earth and I love being at this place."
Michnuk is part of a group called "The Navin Field Grounds Crew," named after the original park built in 1912. The group preserves the infield, doing the basics like mowing, raking, and painting lines.
It all began when Tom Derry decided to play catch at the site of the old ball park in May 2010.
"I mean you could still see where the field was, but barely," Derry said. "I mean, it looked real bad. There was garbage everywhere and the weeds were really tall."
So for love of the game and love of the place that gave it a stage, they toil.
The grounds crew knows the old ballpark is not coming back. But for every fan who held their father's hand as they walked out of that concourse and saw the field, they're able to save just a small piece of it.
"I made a connection with this place at that time, as a little kid, and I'm gonna tell you, I don't care if there's a stadium here or not," said Machnuk. "I love this field. I love being here."
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Police say snow made roads "treacherous" Sunday and urged people to stay home if possible.