Hamtramck Stadium, Wilson Foundation, Kresge Foundation discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


You one for two feels good because zero for one felt really, really awful. When they knocked down the city to try and knock down the one third of Tiger state and we call it Nathan field because it was really the original navy field 1912 footprint with the upper deck that was added in the early 20s over that footprint. When they knocked that down, it took me a year before I could drive by the site or before I could actually go back to work on trying to save the field so it wouldn't be paved over for a parking lot or wouldn't be used as a dog park or a CVS or something. It took a long time, and I said that I wasn't going to lose hamtramck stadium. I was going to save and try to make state am or die trying. I don't think it ever came close to killing me, but I work real hard on it. And I did say in my June 20th speech because I organized the event and I was the MC, I did say in my brief remarks that if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to save a ballpark because I had help from my cofounders, preservation community, from donors, from baseball fans, from that former field ground screw now they have traffic stadium grounds, crew will maintain the grounds for almost free. I mean, we pay their expenses, but they volunteer their labor from the city of hamtramck from the Wilson foundation from the kresge foundation that Detroit tigers foundation, from Wayne county, Michigan, which allocated federal funds to it and manage the construction project from the National Park Service and I'm probably forgetting somebody. I mean, literally it took all those people to save them traffic stadium, but we did it. You asked earlier, and if I still have a little bit of time before you get the shepherd's crook and yanking off stage, what the future is, there are three masonry buildings, mostly brick, but also some concrete block that are either underneath the edge of the back edge of the grandstand or sticking out down the third base line where they had been covered till the grand stand was reduced in size. One of them will become next year bathrooms and locker rooms, which is great. The funding is already in place. The other two, there's no money for yet. We hope within the next two to three years to have them rehabilitated for concessions, first aid, security, storage, and a small exhibit area. If you ever been to league park in Cleveland, the Cleveland based history museum run by a bunch of good people is a really nice, small museum there right on site well worth going to and we hope to have a nice small museum there in the rehabilitated masonry buildings. We also are going to add a period appropriate sign in front of the stadium and the reason it won't be on the stadium is I can find absolutely no historical evidence there ever was a sign on the stadium. So we're going to put a sign on between the parking lot and the stadium the announcement stadium. We're going to put banners 300 stadium on the street leading up to what street pole banners. And we are working on an outdoor interpretive exhibits on the stadium site and the Friends of historic camp Trevor stadium are now affiliated with Detroit historical society, which runs the Detroit historical museum, and they are great people, and we're working on, well, there's a Negro league exhibit a pop up because I bet at the end to try to start all museum right now, we had done that originally in 2019. We brought it back this year with some updates. We're going to be working on in the near future, travel exhibits that could be traveled to colleges, high schools, libraries, senior centers, bank lobbies, ballparks you name it, so they would travel around southeast Michigan showing the history of the Negro leagues in Michigan, the history Detroit stars, turkey sterns, hamtramck stadium. Well, there's a website, hamtramck stadium dot org, that's HAM, TR, AMC K, if you go to that site which we will link to on the show page, there's a get involved tab where you can find out how you can help if you're interested and you can contact Gary and his collaborators in this project. So we've been speaking to Gary Gillette and Gary congrats on helping shepherd this thing to. If not completion, at least pretty impressive milestone. We are close. It has been saved. It might take longer to do some things. People talk about putting lights on the field. I'm not sure that's going to happen. The cost is less of an obstacle than whether the community wants lights there because that will mean they'll be events till 10 o'clock in the evening all summer right now the park closes at dusk and the community around it may not want, and I come activities. You know, we had a professional firm that builds minor league and college failed, build the infield, but the outfield needs to be regraded and recited, and we hope to have the money do that next year. Amongst other things. So I mean, there's more work to be done, but it has been saved. And I can tell you that the day that we got the African American civil rights grant to do the planning was the day I knew that we were going to succeed. I couldn't have told you in 2017 when the grant was announced how long it would take, and I wouldn't have guessed another four years, 5 years, depending on which event you take restoration of field or the grandstand. But I knew we were going to succeed. So I'm at peace with that and I'm hoping to raise some more money the rest of this year and then get back to finishing my book off because there's a lot of new stories to tell just like other Negro league scholars who researched the league. Almost always something new that hasn't been discovered or was discovered in sort of forgotten or the story is passed down inaccurately and I'm looking forward to telling the story that turkey stern's and Detroit stars completely and accurately for the first time. Well, we'll be looking forward to it too, so Gary, thanks for your efforts and thanks for filling us and great to talk to you. Well, thank you, Ben. Thank you, mag, you guys are great. All right, well, thank you to Ron. Thank you to Gary. Hope you enjoyed listening to them as much as we enjoyed talking to them. If you are wondering, the other three surviving former Negro leaguers from the 1920 to 1948 period are reverend Bill greeson, Clyde golden, and, of course, Willie Mays, who broke in with the Birmingham black barons in 1948, the same year that Ron was with the New York Cubans, different leagues, though, BlackBerries were in the Negro American League, Cubans were in the Negro national league. Before we go just wanted to read a couple of responses from Orioles fans who wrote in after hearing our discussion of what the Orioles did and didn't do on the trade deadline reaction pod. We talked a little bit about Baltimore quote unquote selling, not as much as they might have, but maybe more than they had to, I think, make a night differed slightly on how we viewed that. This email is from Josh, who says, I have a question about the meaning of selling at the trade deadline. I'm a lifelong Orioles fan and it seems like the general consensus, including on the effectively wild trade deadline episode, so that the Orioles decided to sell at the deadline this year by moving Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez in exchange for mostly prospects, but to my mind selling involves moving players in such a way that one the team's current roster gets meaningfully worse and two, the team's competitive window is pushed back. Obviously, I understand the fan attachment to Mancini, especially since I've got plenty myself, so I'm not trying to discount that element in this particular transaction, but I'm not sure the Orioles meant either of those criteria this year, so I didn't particularly think of what they were doing as selling until I saw it.

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