Scenes from a city, beginning anew
Baseball diamonds don’t come to mind as developments that are helping to remake Detroit, but workers are putting the finishing touches on the city’s second new million-dollar ballpark for young players. Named William C. Ford Field, it’s on the northwest corner of W. Canfield and the John Lodge Freeway service drive, in a neighborhood that combines low-income housing and the middle-class Woodbridge Estates. This Ford Field is an enclosed mini-stadium with lights, brick dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, and a lush grass infield. (Even in Detroit’s heyday, virtually all city ball diamonds had hard dirt infields.) The fences are 240 feet in left and right and 250 in center.
The park will cost $1.4 million, and it’s being financed by the UAW-Ford, which opened a similar facility in Balduck Park on Detroit’s east side this past summer. UAW Vice president Jimmy Settles, director of the union’s Ford department, said the UAW is helping to build ball fields because of its commitment to social responsibility and Detroit’s youth. “The kids deserve it!” he wrote in an email. Ford Field’s grand opening is scheduled for June.
- Bill McGraw