Did Jack White Donate Big Bucks to Restore Detroit Baseball Field?

September 14, 2009 1:37 PM ET

White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather leader Jack White may have anonymously donated $170,000 to help restore a baseball field in his hometown, the Detroit News reports (via TwentyFourBit). White, then known as Jack Gillis, spent his childhood playing baseball at Detroit's Clark Park, and Morris "Coach Mo" Blackwell told the DN the guitarist was a skilled batter: "He was good. Smooth left-handed swing." White might have moved to Nashville, but he's gone a long way towards ensuring America's Pastime continues in the Motor City.

The baseball field had fallen into disrepair, and according to Clark Park Coalition volunteer Diane Sumner, the group tried to get White to stage some kind of benefit concert with the hopes of raising money to fix up the field. White hoped to schedule something, but instead of the concert, one day Sumner received a phone call from a lawyer in Los Angeles who said an anonymous donor wanted to give the Coalition $170,000, the Detroit News reports.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that White's oldest sister Maureen, the oldest of 10 siblings, was married to "Coach Mo." Blackwell is also the father of Ben Blackwell, White's cousin and the White Stripes' archivist. While it hasn't been confirmed that White donated the money — the lawyer demanded the donation be anonymous — Blackwell and Sumner seem pretty convinced it came from White. Construction on Clark Park started last autumn, with the field opening in time for baseball this summer. New dugouts and grandstands were reportedly built with the donations.

Since the connections between baseball and rock & roll are plentiful, here's a selection of related stories from our archives:
Dylan, Mellencamp, Nelson Mine Deep Catalogs on Ballpark Tour
Wu-Tang Battle E Street Band in Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Game
With Bob Dylan, It All Always Comes Down to Baseball

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »