A crowdfunding campaign is under way to restore historic Hamtramck Stadium – one of the few remaining Negro Leagues ballparks in America – and Detroit rockerJack White was first up with a big donation.
White, of the Detroit band the White Stripes, is a longtime baseball fan. He started the campaign with a $10,000 donation.
Hamtramck Stadium is one of only five remaining Negro Leagues ballparks. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 and was the former home of the Negro National League’s Detroit Stars from 1930-1931, again in 1933 and also in 1937.
It also was home of the Detroit Wolves of the Negro East-West League in 1932 and hosted many Negro Leagues baseball legends over the years, including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell, and Norman “Turkey” Stearnes.
The goal is to update the space for baseball, soccer, cricket and community use. The campaign, which is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patroncity, is seeking $50,000 by April 2.
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If the campaign hits that benchmark, the project will win a matching grant, and funds raised will be used to pay for renovations to the field, art installations and signage.
One of Turkey Stearnes’ daughters, Joyce Stearnes Thompson, said on the stadium’s blog that she would like Hamtramck Stadium to be “a magnificent field of dreams that will preserve the legacy of my father and the Negro Leaguers in this special place they loved.”