Hamtramck Stadium

Home plate entrance to Hamtramck Stadium, Aug-2015.

The grandstand, as seen from atop the pitcher’s mound.

A view from behind the plate, including some of the condition of the grandstand.

Quick Facts:
Roesink Stadium was built in 1930 to house the Detroit Stars, who had been founded by Rube Foster in 1919. Their previous home, Mack Park in Detroit, had been gutted by fire, and Roesink, the owner of Mack Park, built the new ballpark using his own funds. However, the professional use of the stadium was limited chiefly by the Great Depression, which took its toll on the Negro leagues along with many other enterprises. The park was only used by pro teams for parts of five seasons.

The park endured. It was taken over by the city in 1940 and renovated by the WPA in 1941 to also include other recreational areas. Outbuildings for locker rooms were added in 1955. The field continued to be used for high school and other amateur games, and one last renovation occurred in 1976. During these renovations, the seating capacity was reduced, as the bleacher wings down the baselines were eliminated. However, the superstructure of the main grandstand is apparently original to 1930.

By the mid-1990s, the high school tenants of the park had closed, and the field fell into disuse. The grandstand was fenced off and the wood left to rot, although there are holes in the fence through which the grandstand is still accessible.

The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012, one of only a handful of stadiums still standing that hosted Negro League baseball. Of those, Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Ala., is still used regularly. Others, such as Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, N.J., have also fallen into disrepair and await funding and manpower for their restoration.

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This page updated 27-Aug-2015