Navin Field Ground Crew tend to site of old Tiger Stadium

Volunteers say memories fuel their efforts to keep site at Michigan, Trumbull clean

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DETROIT - Can a plot of land at Michigan and Trumbull in Detroit still be a field of dreams without a stadium? One group thinks so -- the Navin Field Grounds Crew.

Made up of volunteers, the project was launched two years ago to keep the site of old Tiger Stadium clean (and a memory).

"When we started this cleanup, this lot looked terrible. Grass and weeds were so high, nobody was maintaining it. Garbage everywhere," said volunteer Tom Derry. "We didn't want it to turn into a big garbage dump."

The volunteers spend their own money on supplies and their own energy on the labor. One volunteer drives every week from Saugatuck.

"We're very passionate about what we do. Sometimes there's five of us, sometimes there's 15," Derry said.

Fellow volunteer Dave Mesrey says the land has more meaning to it than just baseball.

"I've been here on more than one occasion where people have come to spread dead relatives ashes here on second base and on the pitcher's mound," he said.

The city owns the property, and technically anyone on it would be trespassing, but nobody's ever stopped them.

"There's a connection with me to this field that's never gonna stop. I don't care if there is a stadium or not," said volunteer Joe Michnuk.

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