Coming north on US-131, heading towards I-96, there was this ugly black mushroom blob of smoke far ahead. It had to be a fire and a big one. I shot one frame, but the fire was north of the interchange with I-96. Couldn't even tell what side of the Grand River it was on. I hoped it wasn't the ballpark.
Old Kent Park burning up a storm. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2014 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)
Old Kent Park is the home of the Single A West Michigan Whitecaps. They started just after we got down here -- before that the team was the Madison (WI) Muskies. Originally an Oakland A's farm team, they are now part of the Detroit Tigers family. Old Kent Bank came up with some crucial financing, so they built it as Old Kent Park. Fifth Third bank bought up Old Kent, and renamed it Fifth Third Park, even though there's at least one, maybe more, ballparks with the same name during the orgy of bank mergers over the years.
I still call it Old Kent Park, just as I refer to the ballpark formerly known as New Commiskey Park by the name it should have had: Bill Veeck Field. (grin) Some things shouldn't be messed with.
Early news reports say there was considerable damage, no cause yet and the Whitecaps vow to have repairs done in time for Opening Day. We'll see. As one person on Facebook pointed out, we've sat on the hill in lawn chairs before.