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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Feeling nostalgic for the corner of Michigan and Trumbull? Jack Morris isn't ...


DETROIT — While Wednesday’s first-pitch honoree, Lou Whitaker, raved on about his good memories back at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, of venerable old Tiger Stadium, Thursday’s guest hurler wasn’t so effusive in his praise.

Jack Morris had vastly different memories than Whitaker.

Then again, he gave up a lot of home runs there, while Whitaker was one of the ones hitting them out for the Tigers.

“I was the guy that wanted to push the plunger,” Morris said, when asked if he was nostalgic for the park, demolished in 2008. “They built the dugout for Ty Cobb, and he’s about 4-foot-6. Every time I went in there, I hit my head, and I’ve been a wreck ever since.”

Morris pitched 14 seasons for the Tigers, and won 100 games at Tiger Stadium, but didn’t miss having to pitch there.

“This field (Comerica Park) is much more enjoyable for everybody. Tiger Stadium was unique. The first time I walked into it, I thought it was pretty cool, because of what it was. It was a historical ballpark, where some of the greatest players of all time played. And that in itself is kind of cool, because I think as we get older as players, we appreciate the history more than we did as current players,” Morris said. “But I had to learn how to pitch there. Center field was the only place you could survive with fly balls. That’s why Sparky (Anderson) let the grass grow six inches longer, because we needed ground balls to get outs.

“It was not an easy place to pitch.”

Morris did not mince words about the need to preserve the site, either.

“I’m not running for governor, mayor. I don’t know what people want out of it. It’s documented, all the pictures, and history of what it was. There’s video of players playing there, and baseball games being played there,” he said. “I would say the beautiful things in the world are created by God. Man-made things come and go. We’re going to see more of that as weather changes. And so it’s time. It was time.

“And Comerica is a great place. Who doesn’t like this place?”

1 Comments:

Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Morris might not have liked Tiger Stadium, but a lot of people found it beautiful. And his take is twisted.
Ty Cobb was 6-foot-1. Jack Morris was 6-3. By 1937, Tiger Stadium renovations finished that gave it the look it retained until it was vacated. So when Morris started pitching, the old place was just 40 years old.
I wonder how many Tigers and Red Sox are hitting their heads on the Fenway Park dugout during the ALCS. Somehow, the Red Sox manage.

October 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM 

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