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April 28, 1896: Detroit Tigers Play First Offical Game

Jon Harrison
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On April 28, 1896, the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise in the Western League (pre-cursor of the American League) played its first official game at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull, then known as Bennett Park in honor of former Detroit catcher Charlie Bennett. The game was a 17-2 victory over the Columbus Senators.

Team owner George Arthur Van Der Beck spent $10,000 to build the 5,000-seat ballpark.

The Corner would later become Navin Field (1912), Briggs Stadium (1938) and Tiger Stadium (1961). The last game was played there Sept. 27, 1999. For many Detroiters, however, the place was known simply as the Corner.

Sources :

Zlati Meyer, This Week in Michigan History, Detroit Free Press, April 26, 2009.

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