“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Recreation Park

Recreation Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
1. Recreation Park Marker
Side 1
Inscription.  In 1879 Recreation Park was established on the land surrounding this site. The park extended from Brady Street to Willis Avenue. It included the baseball field that was the home park of the Detroit Wolverines of the National League from 1881 to 1888. Here on May 2, 1881, the first major league baseball game in Detroit was played before 1,286 spectators. After that first game against Buffalo, more than four hundred major league games were played here over eight seasons. This marker stands in what was the left field. Home plate and a wooden grandstand were near Brady Street to the south. Fans strolled in a nearby grove of trees owned by Harper Hospital. Two Wolverines, Dan Brouthers and Sam Thompson, have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

At Mayor William G. Thompson’s suggestion, the Detroit Wolverines were organized as a major league team to play at Recreation Park. In its first years the team finished from the middle to the bottom of the National League. It began to improve after it was purchased by pharmaceutical manufacturer Frederick K. Stearns in 1885. In 1887 it won the National League Pennant and the national championship,

Recreation Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
2. Recreation Park Marker
Side 2
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defeating St. Louis of the American Association in a fifteen-game series. Poor attendance caused the Wolverines to break up after the 1888 season. The franchise moved to Cleveland, where it finally disbanded in 1899. From 1889 to 1894 other baseball teams played at Recreation Park. In 1894 the park was closed, the grandstand torn down, and the land was subdivided.
Erected 2005 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number L1426.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasSports. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 2, 1881.
Location. 42° 21.055′ N, 83° 3.307′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is located at the south entrance to the Brush Mall, Detroit Medical Center Main Campus near the DMC Heart Hospital. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 Mack Ave, Detroit MI 48201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. American Academy of Pediatrics (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Friendship Baptist Church (about 600 feet away); Detroit Urban League (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alpha House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Detroit Medical College
Recreation Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 5, 2021
3. Recreation Park Marker
Brush Mall area near DMC Heart Hospital
(approx. ¼ mile away); Orchestra Hall (approx. ¼ mile away); Brewster Homes (approx. ¼ mile away); Greater Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
Wolverines in action at Recreation Park. image. Click for full size.
Public Domain, circa 1885
4. Wolverines in action at Recreation Park.
1888 Detroit Wolverines image. Click for full size.
By Public domain (by Hastings, George H. 1885-1896), July 13, 2009
5. 1888 Detroit Wolverines
Credits. This page was last revised on May 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 6, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 6, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 20, 2021