|Laura Tas (left) and Adam Millikin pick up trash Sunday morning at Detroit's Navin Field, site of historic Tiger Stadium.|
CORKTOWN — With temperatures in the teens and the wind chill hovering around zero Sunday, it was a perfect day for bundling up and staying indoors.
But not for Adam Millikin.
Millikin, a hardy soul and self-styled Detroit sports superfan, suffers from chronic back and leg pain. But that didn't stop him from doing his part Sunday morning to help keep Navin Field clean.
Along with fellow Navin Field Grounds Crew member Laura Tas, Millikin braved the cold Sunday morning to pick up trash in the snow at his beloved Navin Field.
Despite the frigid temperatures Sunday, Millikin and Tas were still hard at work on the frozen tundra.
"This is nothing to old Lions fans," Millikin said, recalling the days when Detroit's beleaguered NFL franchise played at Tiger Stadium.
|Adam Millkin, right, started many a wave in the bleachers at old Tiger Stadium.|
A longtime Detroiter and former Tiger Stadium "bleacher creature," Millikin is cut from the same cloth as Dancin' Gus Sinaris and Joe "The Brow" Diroff, superfans from a bygone era who embodied the spirit of Tiger Stadium.
And like most of the men and women on the Navin Field Grounds Crew, Millikin finds inspiration in their patron saint, Herbie Redmond.
But "Dancin' Herbie," the beloved old Tiger Stadium groundskeeper, never braved these kinds of temperatures
"I felt the spirit of Tiger Stadium here today," Millikin said. "I just want to help keep that spirit alive."
Laura Tas, a native of Detroit's east side, was clearly in the spirit Sunday morning, even though Opening Day is still more than a month away.
"My grandfather brought me to Tiger Stadium as far back as 1965," Tas said. "One of my fondest memories of my father is him making a thermos of hot chocolate for me and coffee for him and whisking me to a game in late September or early October of 1968."
In the 1920s, Tas's grandmother lived on Trumbull Avenue when wooden sidewalks still surrounded the old ballpark.
"She would roller skate around and around, and often spoke with the ballplayers," Tas said. "She met Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. They must have been charmed, as she was a beautiful little girl with black hair and blue eyes and always a huge bow on her head."
To Tas, even if it's blanketed in snow, Navin Field is still a field of dreams.
"This city and this field are a part of me," she said. "They're in my heart."