By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck’s historic baseball stadium will be getting more love this Monday in a special Juneteenth celebration.
On Monday, the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium (FHHS) will host a rededication ceremony at the stadium, starting at 1 p.m.
Some local bigwigs will be on hand, such as Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, former Negro Leagues baseball player and longtime Detroit baseball coach Ron Teasley Sr., as well as the family of Negro Leagues legend Norman “Turkey” Stearnes and representatives of the Detroit Tigers.
The stadium’s field is named in Stearnes’ honor. He played for the Detroit Stars, who called the Hamtramck Stadium home.
The stadium was built in 1930, but fell into disrepair by the 1980s.
At several points various city officials considered razing the stadium.
The stadium was built for the Negro baseball league, which was a time when African-Americans were not allowed to play in the Major Leagues.
The Hamtramck Stadium is one of only a few stadiums that still exist that served the Negro League.
Since its historical significance was uncovered, over $2 million in grants from various organizations have been acquired to renovate the grandstands and field.
The Hamtramck Stadium Grounds Crew has been maintaining the field.
According to the Friends organization, Teasely is a “pioneering Detroit player and … is one of four living players from the Major Negro Leagues’ era (1920-1948).”
A native Detroiter, Teasley played with the New York Cubans
in the Negro National League in 1948, and also played in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm system the same year. A graduate of Wayne State University, holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Teasley is a member of the Wayne State Athletic Hall of Fame and still holds several WSU batting records.
Teasley taught for more than 30 years and coached baseball, basketball, and golf at Detroit’s Northwestern High School for more than two decades. He is a member of the Northwestern High School Hall of Fame, the Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame, the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and a veteran of the US Navy.
Following the ceremony, there will be a Negro League tribute game between two high school baseball teams sporting the historic uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Chicago American Giants.
The event is open to the public and is free to attend.
Posted June 17, 2022