"The American National Game of Baseball, Grand Match at Elysian Fields," by Currier and Ives, 1866. From the Library of Congress.

For One Week in 1867, Detroit Was the Center of the Baseball World

Long before it was known as the Paris of the Midwest, and more than a decade before it claimed its first major league team, Detroit set its sights on becoming the center of baseball—at least for a week. Just two years after the end of the Civil War, the city made its mark on the new sport by hosting the “World Base Ball Tournament.”

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Allou Trammaker

They were mirror images of each other, Trammell and Whitaker, Whitaker and Trammell, one white, the other black; one a left-handed hitter, the other right; one a second baseman, the other a shortstop; one as quiet as a tree, the other, as the old line goes, would talk to a tree–different but exactly the same, too. Good fielders, good baserunners, underrated, beloved, lifetime Detroit Tigers.

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Empty seats in the upper deck at Tiger Stadium, 2007

Joe Falls: What I’ll Miss About Tiger Stadium (From 1999)

The thing I will miss most about Tiger Stadium are all the empty seats. Not on game day. But when the game is over. How many days, how many nights, did I sit in the press box when the game was over and our work was done and look out at the empty stadium. The ushers and guards had gone home and the groundscrew was finished with their work and all that remained were those empty seats. Those lovely empty seats.

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Were the Page Fence Giants Major League Caliber?

While in 2006 the National Baseball Hall of Fame inducted nearly two dozen long ignored and deserving black players into the shrine, others today remain on the outside looking in. Members of the 1896 black world champions Page Fence Giants club are stuck in the era where very few game statistics exist, and black players were relegated to a few teams. However, a look at anecdotal evidence indicates that major league caliber ball players existed on this long ignored black club. 

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