By Charles Sercombe
Some time in the next few months, you’re going to once again hear “play ball” at Hamtramck’s historic baseball stadium.
Thanks to a successful online fundraising campaign, the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium now has $100,000 to spend on upgrades for the field and on other features.
The 30-day fundraising campaign’s goal was to raise at least $50,000, after which that point the Michigan Economic Development Corporation committed to kicking in another $50,000.
Detroit rocker Jack White was the first to step up to the plate, with his donation of $10,000.
The stadium is one of only a handful left that hosted Negro League teams. Hamtramck Stadium was built in the 1930s.
The Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium recently rolled out its plans at a press conference held at the Hamtramck Historical Museum.
Those plans include:
Ripping out the current field and replacing it to accommodate not only baseball, but also soccer and cricket. The cost of maintenance for the 2019 season is also factored in.
There are other stages of development planned, but those costs run as high as $18 million.
But this first step will allow the preparation for the landscaping and preparing for a plaza at the main entrance to the rear of the grandstand, facing Dan St.
Outdoor educational and interpretative exhibits will be installed in the new plaza telling the story of the stadium, of the Detroit Stars and Detroit Wolves, of the Negro Leagues in Detroit, of Hamtramck’s world championship youth baseball teams, and of the stadium’s connections to the African-American and Polish-American communities.
Streetlight banners will be placed on Jos. Campau and Dan along with large banners depicting the Detroit Stars and the 1959 Little League championship team for the grandstand facade.
There will also be a sign installed saying: “Welcome to Historic Hamtramck Stadium,” signage for self-guided tours, plus directional street signs at major intersections on Hamtramck’s southend.
May 3, 2019