I’ve been sitting on this story for a long time.. On this gorgeously sunny Detroit day I stopped by Greene Playground to take a snap of the park. I met Curtis Green [same name as the park] and his friend Baxter. We chatted a while and they pointed me in another [the right] direction to my next destination. A lucky day; Baxter has an El Camino [luv the El Camino] and you don’t see many of those outside the southwest. Yes, it was a lucky day indeed; time well spent. It’s the small things.. PS This one is for you too Tim Bailey of the Detroit Mower Gang because I know this is your favorite pocket park to mow. It is a sweet park. ag
NATIONALLY KNOWN AND LIKED
How many people can be described like this? A southern gentleman with a battered fedora, a grin, a dry laugh and a cigar that he smoked down until the ash smudged his lips. This was Sam Greene.
“In any all-time rating of players: Tyrus Raymond Cobb stands alone. He was the greatest of the greats, a fiery genius, and the game’s outstanding individualist. Brilliant and unorthodox, he made baseball history for more than two decades.” An excerpt from the “The Umpire” The Detroit News November 2, 1924
It can be said that Harry Salsinger had three loves – his wife Gladys, his son Harry Jr., and writing – and one great interest – Ty Cobb. Harry George Salsinger was born on April 10, 1885 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His love of sports morphed into a successful, lifelong career. After a brief stint writing in Cincinnati, Harry moved to Detroit and landed the job of Sports Editor at the Detroit News; the year was 1909. Salsinger immediately began covering Tiger baseball and did so for 49 years until his death on Thanksgiving Day – November 27, 1958.
Through his column he became nationally known as straight up writer and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the record breaking, infamous baseball player Ty Cobb. In 1924, many national papers published his writing titled The Ty Cobb Story. The player himself read the piece – “I read every word of it, “ Cobb said. “No man could have been fairer. Some of his comment hurt – but all of it was honest writing. That’s what we always got from Sal.”
Salsinger was a charter member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was posthumously honored with the J. G. Taylor Spink Award – the oldest media award given by the Baseball Hall of Fame which began assigning it in 1962. Salsinger authored many books about baseball and is frequently mentioned in books written about the history of the sport.
The Detroit Parks and Recreation commission recommended the location of the H.G. Salsinger Memorial Playground [which included a baseball field] be at Linwood Avenue just south of Fenkell behind the former St. Francis Home for Boys Orphanage. Seems like a perfect spot! The orphanage later changed into the remnants of the former Paul Robeson / Malcolm X Academy. Since a devastating fire, the Robeson Academy moved about a mile north to the Hally School on Grove Street in Detroit and continues to serve the community.
The Salsinger Playfield remains on this somewhat lonely stretch of Linwood around the corner from Fenkell. It is a large lot with practice area for football or soccer and features a baseball field with a newer backstop.