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It’s That Time Of The Year!
Detroit Tigers Foundation head prepares for the High Holidays — and postseason.
Field came on board with the Tigers in 2002, straight out of law school, into a strategic planning position. “At the time, the Detroit Tigers did not have a team charity. I played a central role in developing the Detroit Tigers Foundation — its mission statement, strategic and business plan, logo creation, etc. — and am the Foundation’s first and only director,” he said.
Since 2005, the Detroit Tigers Foundation (an affiliate of Ilitch Charities) has donated more than $15 million in grants, college scholarships and tickets to Tigers games.
In addition to providing direction for the foundation and the team’s philanthropic activities, Field is also responsible for the Player Relations and Youth Sports departments, working closely with players and their representatives on community and corporate appearances, charitable giving and special events and providing direction for the Tigers’ signature youth sports program, Play Baseball Detroit, which annually serves more than 10,000 children in the greater Detroit region.
“I have had the privilege of working behind the scenes and accompanying players for many memorable moments including the establishment of the Miguel Cabrera Foundation, the launch of Justin Verlander’s Wins for Warriors program and the development of Max Scherzer’s Charity Fantasy Football League,” Field said.
This year, Field got to work behind the scenes with Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation on the ceremony held in August to honor Jeter’s final season and outstanding Major League career.
“I have a great deal of respect for Derek and the Jeter family, not only for the way he treats people but also for the tremendous work his foundation does in Tampa, New York and Kalamazoo,” Field said. “I don’t root for the Yankees, but we should all be proud that such a fine person, family and foundation have roots in the state of Michigan.”
In the heat of a neck-and-neck race with the Kansas City Royals, Field said everyone in the Tigers’ front office and clubhouse has the same goal: get to the postseason.
“We have a great team, with outstanding players that have experience playing meaningful games in September. Usually this time of year, experience is a key factor and I know our team is well prepared every time they take the field.”
With the High Holidays coming during the last week of the season, Field, a member of Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park, is making some tough choices about when to come to the ballpark. He said he planned to work on Wednesday and join his family for an Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner that evening.
“I won’t work on Thursday,” Field said. “We plan to attend a family service before going apple picking in the afternoon and attending a family dinner in the evening.”
He’ll be back to work on Friday and throughout the weekend as the regular season comes to an end.
“If we advance to the postseason, the American League is not scheduled to play on Yom Kipper,” Field said. “So while I would attend Game 2 of the ALDS on Kol Nidrei, I would spend Yom Kipper fasting before attending a family break-fast.”
By Jackie Headapohl, Managing Editor