3 Burst results for "Turkey Stern"
WNYC 93.9 FM
"turkey stern" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM
"Home grounds for a few games and I remember coming to bed here and I felt three motion thinking about the 700 men who had played he had men who I knew and dore and idolized that it just gave me a wonderful wonderful feeling. You stayed in the box, where turkey stern stood. You stood in the box with Josh Gibson bad. And also had a chance to play in one game with Turkish turns. The highlight of that game was Turkish third scored from first base on a single and he must have been in his late 40s. But that was a highlight of the game. It's a wonderful person. Never mind. Of course, there he's talking about Norman turkey Stearns, one of the star players of the Detroit stars. Can you tell us just a little bit about who turkey stern's wife? Turkey sterns is one of the greatest players in Negro league history, not Josh Gibson, but not too far away. He was a 5 tool player as I say in baseball. He could hit for average. He had a career average around three 50. He could hit for power. He was substantial underrated during his time. I and other people have done a lot to restore reputation as one of the greatest baseball players and one of the greatest power hitters of all time. How did a place like this get lost to history? And can you talk a bit about how you were even able to identify it in the first place? So I was looking to find all the sites where minor league baseball and Major League Baseball had played in Detroit and I looked up the site of hamtramck stadium and I noticed there was a discrepancy in two reliable sources on where it was on the street grid in hamtramck. So then I went on to Google Earth and looked at a satellite photo and noticed that what most sources said was the site of hamtramck stadium, which is now a high school football stadium, didn't match up and there was a rusting small grandstand on the outline of a baseball field on the sort of covered with weeds and grass, where ham training stadium should have been and was in fact. The reason was mostly forgotten as the last Detroit stars Negro league team there was 1937, in 1940, the city acquired it for back taxes, rebuilt it, and so slowly over decades the amateur history of the ballpark came to dominate the old Negro league history and people forgot about it. We mentioned turkey Stearns earlier. I got to speak with his daughter when I was there last year. Her name is Joyce stern's Thompson. Here's a bit of
Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
"turkey stern" 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.
Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
"turkey stern" 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