The Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of llitch Charities, awarded a $40,000 grant to the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at the former Lipke Recreation Center to help renovate a baseball field named after Judge Damon J. Keith, a childhood mentor of 1968 World Series Champion, Willie Horton. The Tigers Foundation grant, in addition to money awarded by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF), helped renovate the playing surface, drainage, irrigation, backstop, dugouts and fencing, and provided maintenance equipment.
The Detroit Tigers Foundation is the official charity of the Detroit Tigers baseball club and is an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, a 501(c)(3) public charity. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance lives through the game of baseball, with a focus on youth, education and recreation. From ticket donations and field renovation projects, to youth baseball programs and college scholarships, the goal of the Foundation is to aid in the development and funding of innovative programs that reach Tigers fans with positive messages and promote the good citizenship embodied in the storied history of the Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers Foundation brings new life to baseball, softball and tee ball fields weathered by time, financial hardship and neglect. Field renovation projects create safe and playable diamonds for the youth of our community. Over 70 fields have been improved in cities across Michigan.
On April 18, 2017, the newly renovated Wayne State Baseball Field was dedicated in the name of legendary Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell. Made possible in part by a grant from the Detroit Tigers Foundation, the field has many historical baseball remnants significant to Mr. Harwell, including a replica Fenway Park outfield wall, the old Tiger stadium scoreboard and the new stadium will be located adjacent to Brooklyn Street which also happened to be one of his early professional broadcasting stops with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The field has the amenities of today with a nostalgic acknowledgment of the past in a stadium that mirrors the facade of Ebbets Field.