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The home of the single-A West Michigan Whitecaps is on fire

Jan 3, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

Meanwhile, in the Midwest League:

Fifth Third Field in Comstock Park, Michigan is the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps, the single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Here’s hoping everyone at the ballpark and everyone responding to the fire stays safe.

UPDATE: There is streaming video of the fire here. It looks completely awful. Huge.

UPDATE II: The fire is under control but the damage looks to be extensive. Still, the Whitecaps are striking an optimistic note:


Here’s hoping. I’ve not been to this park, but I have friends who have and they say it’s a wonderful baseball experience.

(thanks to Allison for the heads up)

  1. jarathen - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Aren’t they also famous for a heck of a burger?

    Hope the damage isn’t too bad. Minor league baseball is part of what makes the sport at large so great.

    • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      And they’ve got a great logo too – kinda reminds me of an upper midwestern version of Hokusai’s famous wood block print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa.” Meanwhile, I reluctantly contemplate the stiff, soulless, gonorrhea-discharge colored “M” with which the so-called art dealer Scrooge McLoria replaced the richly organic leaping marlin logo that used to represent the team. So it goes.

    • rje49 - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      “Fifth Third”, is of course the name of a large bank in that area. I never figured out how they got that name, and also wondered what they’d call it if they merged with the First National Bank? “First Fifth Third” would be too much, ya think?

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        If I owned a bank, I would name it the First Even Integer of Pi Trust.

      • jwbiii - Jan 3, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        The main branch is at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Third Street in Cincinnati. Or maybe it’s Fifth Street and Third Avenue.

      • Ponsonby_Britt - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:25 PM

        Their logo looks like an improper fraction.

  2. johnnysoda - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Wow, I had just seen them on the TV show “Man v. Food” yesterday; it looked like a nice place. Very sorry to hear about this.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      On that show even when food loses, man doesn’t win. Unless several hours on the can seems like victory. Adam breezed through a local sandwich shop one time and the people were … non-plussed by him. Pretty arrogant for a slob was the scouting report.

  3. StottsEra - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    they must of just traded for fred mcgriff

  4. nymets4ever - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Maybe instead sitting around Tweeting and fiddling around with grainy movie reel effects on Instragram or whatever, that lazy sack of sh!t should’ve been busy helping out…just a thought.

    • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Firemen fight fires. Reporters report. Bloggers blog. It’s called “division of labor.” You read about it in third grade social studies, remember?

      • nymets4ever - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        I guess a crusty old senile turd like you can be forgiven for thinking there’s no such thing as going beyond yourself and helping others in times of crisis.

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        I guess a miserable, dimwitted juvenile clown with a seriously overactive gall bladder like you thinks that amateurs rushing into a situation best handled by professionals won’t just get underfoot and make matters much worse. What should Harland have done, by the way – run up to the fire and peed in the window?

      • yahmule - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        This exchange was classic Gator.


      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Yes, it is my curse (for having spied upon the goddess nekked, or some such thing, I suppose) to remember everything I read about in third grade.

      • yahmule - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Third grade was enlightening for me, too. I made friends with a kid named Armando and he was way more advanced than I was. My greatest leaps in education that year came on the playground and in the back of the class. Mrs Simmons didn’t have sheet on Armando.

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        I bet her weed sucked too.

      • yahmule - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        She would have greatly benefited from anything that relaxed her a little bit. I always wondered why a person who hated children would choose grade school teacher as a profession. She also looked like she was melting. And she (temporarily) confiscated my Avengers comic – one of the Neal Adams ones! I stood by and said nothing while a couple guys poured glue on her chair one afternoon.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 3, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Yahmule, I don’t know when you were in school, but back when I was in 3rd grade, women had much more limited career opportunities than they do now. That may have impacted her choice.

      • yahmule - Jan 3, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Miss McCabe and Miss Russell were nice, though. I wanted to marry them both.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      You know, you might actually be impeding aid by “helping.” Firefighters have training for their jobs and often well-intentioned bystanders get in the way when they butt in. Also, it is entirely possible that firefighters are already on the scene, and he is tweeting a pic from a safe distance where he was instructed to stay by first-responders. But, feel free to make up your own story sans facts.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Whoa – I was playing nice but you just crossed the line. Don’t mess with Gator.

      He’s the official HBT talisman and my favorite commenter. You’re so far out of your depth it isn’t even funny.

      Do you really think it’s a coincidence that his initials are O.G.?

      Don’t mess with an original gangster, baby. It’s never wise.

  5. philliesblow - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    This sucks. I’ve been to a couple games in this park and had a great time there. Hopefully they can get it repaired by the start of the season. It’s brutally cold in Michigan (as in many other places), can’t imaging trying to fight a fire in this weather.

  6. mommatocharlie - Jan 3, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    There were 30 employees at the ballpark today when the fire broke out.They all got out of the affected building safely, in case anybody was wondering. One report says about 1/8 of the building down the right field line has been completely destroyed. The Whitecaps plan on rebuilding, hopefully in time for opening day April 8. I haven’t seen any word from the parent team, the Tigers, yet, but I’m quite sure they will respond. I wish I could get back to Grand Rapids to watch a game in this park, which has been described as fantastic by some folks in Grand Rapids.

    • rje49 - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      Any idea what started the fire? I’ll bet it wouldn’t have started if those 30 employees weren’t there.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 3, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        rje49, the blaze was likely the result of excessive localized heat in an inappropriate place.
        OK, smack me. Glad no one was injured. Hope the park can be returned to its former glory.
        And happy birthday to Dabney Coleman, 82, and Danica McKellar, 39.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Looking forward to the annual banquet there next month the Tigers say.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 3, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        C’mon, all anyone wants to know from you is …. was it a “sexy fire?”

        he he

    • weaselpuppy - Jan 3, 2014 at 10:08 PM

      It is a great place to see a game. I used to have the luxury suite on the near open end to the picture viewer, which is now incinerated. Ownership is very positive and says they will get it done and be open for business for the season opener. It’s a great venue….

      Drove by the fire at noon on the way to Traverse City for a business meeting and they had a couple crane hoses keeping the fire contained. Pretty much all of that top level from the end to the midpoint is toast. Concession/main level and seating levels not burned, but water/freezing issues ( it was 8 degrees out when the fire started) as we expect 8 inches of snow Sunday and minus 5 degree temperatures….urgh.

  7. yordo - Jan 3, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    “Park on fire. I am here.” Did he just confess to arson?

  8. Minoring In Baseball - Jan 4, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    About 40% of the stadium was destroyed, all on the first base side. Thank goodness no one was hurt, though. They still plan on making opening day, and the MWL All-Star Game in June. He’s my take on it, with some more pics:

  9. bigginger1 - Jan 4, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Local news is reporting a new fire has broken out at the ballpark.

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