Rich With Negro League History, Hamtramck Ball Field Renovated
For some of us, especially some of us of a certain age, there is something poetic, romantic about a ballpark; and in some cases, historic. Hamtramck Stadium in Hamtramck checks the boxes on all three, especially the history. The ballpark was built in 1930, and was home to Negro League baseball for several seasons. The Detroit Stars played several seasons but folded several times, due to the Great Depression in the 1930's.
Hamtramck Stadium is one of only 12 remaining Negro League baseball stadiums, and only two, one in New Jersey and on is Birmingham were used longer. In 2012, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The stadium was where the deciding games of the 1930 Negro National League Championship Series were played. The home team, the Detroit Stars lost a seven-game series to the St. Louis Stars.
But here's where the history really shines. These baseball Hall of Famers played at Hamtramck Stadium: Leroy "Satchel" Paige, Josh Gibson, and local players Turkey Stearnes of the Detroit Stars; and Willie Wells, Cool Papa Bell, and Mule Suttles of the Detroit Wolves. Is field is now named after Stearnes, as Norman "Turkey" Stearnes Field.
(WXYZ-TV Detroit | Channel 7 via YouTube)
While Tiger Stadium couldn't be saved, there remains a youth baseball field at "The Corner.". But many of the same volunteers got together to save Hamtramck Stadium, which fell into disrepair. On Monday, June 20th, 2022, as part of a Juneteeth celebration, a rededication ceremony was conducted, with former Negro Leaguer Ron Tinsley the honored guest.