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Published: Wednesday, 7/30/2008

Deal keeps part of Tiger Stadium up

FROM THE BLADE'S NEWS SERVICES

Demolition is expected to continue today on other sections of the ballpark.

Under the agreement with the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has until Aug. 8 to put $300,000 into an escrow account.

If the conservancy fails to raise an estimated $15.6 million for the project by March 1, half the $300,000 would go to the city. The conservancy will keep the rest.

The Economic Growth Corp., a nonprofit organization that works with the city to promote economic development in Detroit, is expected to meet Aug. 4 with conservancy officials to negotiate a more detailed framework of financing and deadlines for the preservation effort.

The finished deal will be presented to the city council on Aug. 8 for approval.

The conservancy, led by Hall-of-Fame baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, appeared to be running out of time in raising enough funds to meet an Aug. 1 deadline to retain part of Tiger Stadium.

But the group came up with more than $400,000 and convinced a council committee this week to ask the full board to rescind an earlier vote calling for complete demolition of Tiger Stadium.

"We ought to affirm people who want to invest in treasures in this city," said councilwoman JoAnn Watson, a stadium preservation supporter.

DETROIT - Lulu Harwell, the wife of longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, was taken to a hospital after complaining of chest pains.

S. Gary Spicer, Ernie Harwell's attorney, says the 89-year-old Lulu Harwell was taken to the hospital about 8 a.m. yesterday and was to remain there overnight while tests are conducted.

Ernie Harwell, 90, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, accompanied his wife of 67 years to the hospital.

BOSTON - The Los Angeles Angels have acquired slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves, a trade that further bolsters the team with the best record in the major leagues.

The Angels, with a whopping 11 1/2-game lead in the AL West and clearly aimed at making a World Series run, sent infielder Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Steve Marek to Atlanta.

The deal came two days before baseball's deadline for making trades without waivers. Teixeira was among the top names in the rumor mill, and should help a club that wanted to add another big bat to back its potent pitching staff.

BOSTON - Russ Gibson, a catcher on the Boston Red Sox team that went to the 1967 World Series, has died at age 69.

Gibson spent three seasons with the Red Sox and three with the San Francisco Giants before retiring after the 1972 season.

In 264 games, he batted .228 with eight homers and 78 RBIs.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - The New York Mets unveiled a sprawling new training academy in the Dominican Republic yesterday in an effort to develop more of the talent-rich country's baseball prospects.

The $8 million facility in Boca Chica, a beach resort east of the capital of Santo Domingo, includes two regulation-size playing fields. One of the fields copies the dimensions and wall height of Citi Field, the ballpark the Mets will move into next season.

The 37-acre academy will serve as the hub for the major league club's Latin American baseball operations.

The new academy also includes dormitories, two bunting fields, two batting tunnels, four covered pitching mounds, and weight and training rooms.


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