Bennett Park (Detroit)
Bennett Park was a ballpark, named after Charlie Bennett, that formerly existed in Detroit, Michigan, at Michigan and Trumbull. It was home to the Detroit Tigers. The ballclub began play here in the minor Western League with a 17-2 win over the Columbus Senators on April 28, 1896. That league was renamed the American League in 1900 but was still officially a minor league. The AL declared itself a major league starting in 1901.
Bennett Park was home to the first nighttime baseball game in Detroit.  On September 24, 1896, the Tigers played their last game of their first season at Bennett Park, an exhibition doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Tigers owner George Arthur Vanderbeck had workers string lights above the stadium for the nighttime game. Nighttime baseball wouldn't return to Detroit until June 15, 1948, when the first game under the lights was played at Briggs Stadium.
The ballpark sat 5,000 when opened in 1896 and was gradually expanded to 14,000 by the time it was closed after the 1911 season. That did not count the "wildcat" bleachers that were built on the rooftops of houses behind the left field fence.
This small ballpark enjoyed some big success, as the Tigers and their young sensation Ty Cobb won three consecutive pennants during 1907-1909. Unfortunately, their success ran out in the post-season on each occasion, losing to stronger National League teams in the World Series. This ballpark is hallowed ground to fans of the Chicago Cubs, as it was on this site in both 1907 and 1908 that the Cubs clinched their only World Series championships.
Between the 1911 and 1912 seasons, the Tigers acquired the rest of the block, demolished both the wildcat bleachers and Bennett Park, and built Navin Field on the same site, though the new stadium was shifted by 90°, with home plate where the left field corner had formerly been.
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|Home of the Detroit Tigers
1896 - 1911
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