Hometown Detroit hero Jack White made a $10,000 contribution towards a crowd funding campaign to restore Hamtramck Stadium, a historic ballpark which hosted the Negro League’s team Detroit Stars, WDET reports.
Hamtramck Stadium is one of the last existing Negro League-era stadium in the country and White, along with the Piast Institute and the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium have joined forces in order to restore the ballpark for baseball, soccer, and other community use in addition to restoring the ballpark’s grandstand. The local coalition is hoping to raise $50,000 dollars for the project, which will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“White, an avid baseball fan best known for fronting legendary Detroit garage-rock band the White Stripes, is helping kick off the campaign with a very generous $10,000 donation,” reads a post from the Hamtramck restoration project’s website. The site copy promises that donations will go towards “enhancing the existing cricket pitch, installing new signage, and installing wayfaring signage around Hamtramck to direct visitors to the site.”
The ballpark hosted its share of legends while serving as the home base of the Detroit Stars baseball team in the ’30s.
“As a field that’s welcomed at least 18 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, including great Negro League players like Turkey Stearnes, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige, Hamtramck Stadium serves as an important reminder of African-American history here in metro Detroit and across the country,” Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium founder and president Gary Gillette said in a statement. He added: “The history of Detroit cannot be told without including the history of African-Americans, and the history of Detroit’s black community is not complete without the history of the Negro Leagues and the Detroit Stars. Norman ‘Turkey’ Stearnes and his teammates fought against segregation and discrimination both on and off the field, leaving a legacy we can help preserve by restoring Hamtramck Stadium as a community gathering place and a venue for youth sports.”
Hamstrack Stadium was registered on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 and is one of just five remaining ballparks that hosted Negro League teams.