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Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
"national park service african american civil rights fund" Discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
"Now it took another 5 years before we get our first major grant a grant of $50,000 from the National Park Service. It was one of the earliest African American civil rights grants they made, and that allowed the city of hamtramck to hire a architectural firm that did a historic structures report, and there they go in there and look at every board and every nail in every brick and figure out where it came from. What is condition is, how it should be rehabilitated. That's the phrase they use. And what the cost might be. And that provided us a road map and then two years later we raised a $115,000, including a $50,000 grant from the Michigan economic development corporation to restore the field, which we did in 2020. Of course, the pandemic put everything on a different timeline than we expected. Sure. We restored the field and asked the city to let us name it turkey Stearns field, which they did. So it is officially Norman turkey stern's field at hamtramck stadium. And we started doing programming. Previous to that, people played on mown lawn with weeds all over the base paths and pitcher's mound that was barely distinguishable from the grass. Although people played there in 2019, we had Jack White and his worst deck bat company crew, which is co owned by Ian kinsley, a former tigers and rangers player, play at what they call a sandlock game there against some of our local local joes and janes, Vanessa, ivy rose, turkey stern's granddaughter, played center field in that game. It was very sweet. It had a very moving and Jack and war stick donated while ultimately $40,000 to us before and after that game. So that was another big help both for publicity and for funding. And then we restored the field in 2020 and then Wayne county, Michigan, got involved. And they persuaded the Detroit tigers foundation to make a $410,000 grant. They got a second grant from the National Park Service African American civil rights fund for 490,000, and then we were off to the races. We got I think about 800,000. I was fighting from the Ralph Wilson foundation. Which is focused on southeast Michigan and western New York State because he was a longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills, but he was a Detroit native until he died. And we also got a couple 100,000 from the kresge foundation. That plus the pandemic plus a bunch of construction delays and weather delays meant the ballpark wasn't ready to be used. The grandstand until about June 16th, a four days before our big event, and by the way, you said it was the day after Juneteenth, which is true, but it's actually a federal Juneteenth holiday was on Monday. So we called it a Juneteenth event. The historical data of the 19th, but of course we're fond of making holidays into three day weekends. So the federal government designated the 20th as a holiday. And we had a rededication ceremony, which Ron spoke at, as well as any number of other people. And then we had a Negro leagues tribute game, two high school age teams, one from Chicago and RBI team from Chicago that was coached by one of double duty Radcliffe's descendants and the Detroit stars team. We had them dressed up in replica, legally uniforms, you know, they're not the authentic heavy wolf flannels. What we did research into the logos and the lettering and the colors and the team from Detroit was African American high school prospects, mostly underclassmen, and they played on the field as a tribute to Ron teasley, and I'm happy to say that it had some effect. I just learned from the family last week that Ron is going to be given a treasure award from the Michigan sports Hall of Fame this year. And given that Ron's been around for a while and I as well as others have talked to them about putting him in the Hall of Fame, I have to think that our tribute game pushed them over the line. So that's great. And can you tell us a little bit about the history of hamtramck stadium? Just when it was built, who played there, how long, et cetera? Sure, I'll try to give you the two to three minute version because I just yesterday spoke a half hour on it. The woman who was guiding the tour said, I said, how much time do I have when I got done speaking? He said, as much time as you want, I said, my wife would tell you, never to say that. I could be, you would miss dinner if he gave me that much time. And this was that before noon at the grandstand. I'm trying to say it was built in 1930 for the Detroit stars Negro league team, but it tried stars founded 1919, one year before the Negro national league, they were charter members of the Negro national league in 1920 from 1919 to 1929 they played in a park on the east side of trike called Mac park, which is really a big venue for semi pro baseball and semi pro football, but they also did soccer and boxing and you name it there. Back in those days, outdoor boxing in the summertime was really a big deal and there were of course boxing clubs, fight clubs all over town. So you had a lot of boxing outdoors. In 1929, there was a disastrous fire in July and the local neighbors white people racist banded together to petition city council and hiring attorney to prevent the Detroit stars from rebuilding the grandstand that had burned down. The park actually was still usable. Many historical sources say an accurately that it burned down, but one out of three grandstands burned down. There was also bleacher seating, and within three days they had bulldozed the wreckage, put in some temporary seating, and they played a double header against a Kansas City monarchs three days after the fire. But in order to get permission from the city to continue using the site because they wouldn't let him rebuild the grandstand the Detroit stars owner agreed to leave the neighborhood at the end of the year. So they were chased out of the east side of Detroit by intolerant white people, and they landed in hamtramck, which is a small city at then, probably about 40 to 50,000 people now about 27, 28,000, completely enclosed by the city of Detroit, but it is a separate city, home