Thursday, August 14, Comerica Bank and Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium (FHHS) unveiled a Michigan Historical Marker commemorating the former Negro League stadium. The purchase and installation of the marker was made possible by a $5,000 grant from Comerica Bank presented to FHHS during a special on-field check ceremony before a Detroit Tigers Negro League Weekend game at Comerica Park earlier this season.
“Hamtramck Stadium is a hidden gem, home to Hall of Famers and high schoolers alike, waiting to be rediscovered and polished until it sparkles anew with kids playing sports,” said Gary Gillette, Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium’s president.
The newly installed marker, erected with permission from the Michigan Historic Commission, is located at the western end of Veterans Memorial Park near Joseph Campau Street in Hamtramck, a suburb of Detroit. The Hamtramck Stadium marker joins the Col. Jean-Francois Hamtramck memorial and the Dodge Brothers historical marker, also situated at the western end of the park.
“Comerica’s support of the metro Detroit community is longstanding and we’re glad to help preserve the history of Hamtramck Stadium for generations to come,” said Linda Forte, Comerica’s senior vice president and chief diversity officer. “As one of only a few remaining Negro League ballparks, Hamtramck Stadium is an important reminder of African American history not only in Detroit but across the country. We hope our contribution encourages others to provide support.”
Hamtramck Stadium was built in 1930 by Detroit Stars owner John Roesink, a local businessman and promoter of semi-pro baseball. The stadium was home to the Negro National League Detroit Stars in 1930-1931 and again in 1933. The field was also home to the Detroit Wolves of the Negro East-West League in 1932 and the Negro American League Detroit Stars in 1937. The deciding games of the 1930 Negro National League Championship Series were played in Hamtramck, with Detroit losing to St. Louis in seven games.
The City of Hamtramck acquired the stadium in 1940. The next year, the stadium was renovated by the Wayne County Road Commission. Its current configuration dates to the 1970s. The grandstand has not been used since the 1990s.
For more information about Hamtramck Stadium, please visit www.hamtramckstadium.org.