Jack White has lent his efforts toward helping restore a Detroit-area baseball stadium that served as home for the Negro League’s Detroit Stars.
Hamtramck Stadium is one of the last Negro League-era ballparks still standing, and the rocker, along with the Piast Institute and the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium, have launched a campaign to raise $50,000, with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation matching donations up to $50,000. White will contribute $10,000, WDET reported.
The money will be used toward restoring the site “for baseball and soccer games in advance of a planned restoration of its historic grandstand.” The ballpark’s existing grandstand – which witnessed Hall of Famers like Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Detroit Stars’ Norman “Turkey” Stearns take the field – has been unused since the 1990s.
“Hamtramck Stadium is one of just five remaining locations where major Negro League teams once played their home games and represents a historic period in the Detroit community,” Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium founder Gary Gillette said in a statement.
“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.”
White, himself enshrined in Cooperstown, donated – anonymously, until the Detroit News discovered his involvement – $170,000 to help restore the Detroit park where he played baseball in his youth. A well-known fan of America’s pastime, White also co-owns a company that specializes in baseball bats.