Hank Greenberg headlines first 'Walk of Heroes' class at old Tiger Stadium site

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
The Hank Greenberg Walk of Heroes at The Corner Ballpark.

Detroit — The finishing touches finally are coming to The Corner Ballpark, the site of old Tiger Stadium, where the Detroit Police Athletic League now sets up shop.

PAL next month will unveil its "Walk of Heroes," an educational exhibit set up throughout the concourse of the ballpark, which is six-plus years and $21 million in the making.

Among the first honorees is Detroit Tigers Hall-of-Famer Hank Greenberg, for whom the Walk of Heroes will be named.

The Greenberg family helped finance the project, along with the William Davidson Foundation, the charity established by the late Detroit Pistons owner.

Greenberg was arguably the greatest power hitter in Tigers history, with 331 home runs over parts of 13 seasons in a Hall-of-Fame career that was interrupted by his three years of service in World War II.

The other honorees include: Hank Aguirre, who pitched for the Tigers from 1958-67; Daedra Charles-Furlow, a Detroit native who starred at Tennessee; the Detroit Demolition, a defunct women's football team; Anne Doyle, who was one of the first female TV sports broadcasters in the country; Brenda Gatlin, legendary boys and girls basketball coach in Detroit; Willie Horton, the former Tigers slugger and longtime Detroit ambassador; Will Robinson, the longtime basketball coach at Detroit Pershing; Diane Madsen and Jay Roberts-Eveland, who filed and won a groundbreaking gender-equity suit against the Michigan High School Athletic Association; Norman "Turkey" Stearnes, a Negro Leagues star with the Detroit Stars and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame; and Ron Thompson, who coached Detroit youth in football and baseball.

The "Walk of Heroes" honorees were selected on their ties to Detroit, as well as their "character, innovation and trailblazing spirit in the sports field and the community at large." Detroit PAL says each display will showcase how the honoree exemplifies the organization's core values, "Helping Youth Find Their Greatness."

The Hank Greenberg display.

Other honorees are expected to be added periodically in the coming years.

Detroit PAL will unveil the exhibit Oct. 3 in a private ceremony, with honorees or family members in attendance, and it will be open to the public Oct. 4.

The Corner Ballpark officially opened in March 2018, with a redone playing surface that keeps old Tiger Stadium's dimensions, but now includes a turf field so it can handle the extensive use of youth baseball, football and soccer players. It also seats more than a thousand, with grandstands.

A separate entity, multiple condos and townhouses are going up on the site, with several units welcoming residents this year.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984