Hamtramck in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
After the Civil War, black and white baseball players could play on the same teams. But by 1900, black players were excluded from white professional leagues. More than 4,000 African Americans and Latinos played baseball in U.S. professional Negro Leagues while baseball was segregated. The Detroit Stars and the Detroit Wolves represented the city in four major Negro leagues. National Baseball Hall of Fame members who called Hamtramck Stadium home included Norman "Turkey" Stearnes, "Cool Papa" Bell and "Smokey Joe" Williams. Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson played on visiting teams here. In the 1930s, in addition to Negro league games, the stadium hosted community and scholastic baseball and football, midget car races and boxing matches.
When the Negro National League was founded in 1920, one of its eight charter teams was the Detroit Stars, who played at Mack Park on Detroit's East Side. A 1929 fire damaged Mack Park, so owner John Roesink built Hamtramck Stadium in 1930 on land leased from the Detroit Lumber Company. The new stadium had a twelve-foot-high metal outfield fence, box seating, and bleachers down the right field line. In May 1930, some 9,000 fans attended the grand opening where former Detroit Tiger Ty Cobb threw out the first pitch. In June 1930, Michigan's first night baseball
Erected 2014 by Michigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S731.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 23.407′ N, 83° 3.185′ W. Marker is in Hamtramck, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of Joseph Campau Avenue and Goodson Street, on the left when traveling south on Joseph Campau Avenue. Touch for map. The marker is in Veteran's Park; the stadium is about 0.2 mile from the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Hamtramck MI 48212, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colonel John Francis Hamtramck (a few steps from this marker); The Dodge Brothers / Dodge Main (within shouting distance of this marker); Saint Florian Church / Saint Florian Historic District (approx. 0.4 miles away); Detroit Association of Women's Clubs (approx. 2 miles away); Omega Psi Phi Lewis College of Business (approx. 2 miles away); Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (approx. 2.1 miles away); Charles Lang Freer House / Merrill-Palmer Institute (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamtramck.
Categories. • African Americans • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 8, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 148 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 8, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Looking for a photo of the stadium itself. • Can you help?