Comerica Bank Partners with Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium
Commitment marks first corporate sponsorship, kicks off restoration of former Negro Leagues ballpark
Jun 8, 2018
DETROIT/June 8, 2018 – Comerica Bank and Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium (FHHS) today announced Comerica Bank as the first corporate sponsor for the Stadium’s renovation. The announcement was made during the Negro Leagues Legacy luncheon today at Comerica Park. Comerica will present a $20,000 check to FHHS during an on-field ceremony before tomorrow’s Detroit Tigers Negro Leagues Tribute game at Comerica Park.
“Hamtramck Stadium has played a significant role in the history of the region. As one of only a handful of remaining Negro League ballparks, the site is an important reminder of African American history here in Metropolitan Detroit and across the country,” said Michael T. Ritchie, president, Comerica Bank-Michigan. “We’re honored to support this project and we hope our commitment inspires other organizations to help preserve this historic stadium and for the community to enjoy and remember the contributions of great Negro League players like Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige for generations to come.”
“The Stadium represents one of five remaining locations where major Negro League teams once played home games and represents a historic period in the Detroit community,” said Gary Gillette, president, Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium. “As a field that’s welcomed at least 18 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Hamtramck Stadium deserves the preservation efforts and attention it’s beginning to receive. We look forward to completing this project for both the Hamtramck and Detroit communities.”
The Hamtramck Stadium field is currently being used for cricket, soccer, yoga and other recreational activities, but the condition of the diamond itself isn’t suitable for baseball. The grandstands, which have not been used since the 1990s, are currently closed to the public.
Hamtramck Stadium was built in 1930. The Stadium was home to the Negro National League Detroit Stars in 1930-1931 and again in 1933. The field was also home to the Detroit Wolves of the Negro East-West League in 1932 and to the Negro American League Detroit Stars in 1937. The Stadium was acquired by the City of Hamtramck in 1940 and renovated in 1941 by the Wayne County Road Commission. It was also the home field for Hamtramck’s 1959 Little League World Series champions.
Comerica’s sponsorship of Historic Hamtramck Stadium aligns with the bank’s other initiatives in Detroit, including sponsorships at Comerica Park, Little Caesars Arena, Ford Field and Detroit PAL’s new headquarters and athletic facilities at The Corner Ballpark presented by Adient. Comerica Bank previously supported FHHS in securing and installing a Michigan Historic Marker at Hamtramck Stadium and worked with the Detroit PAL to restore a former baseball diamond at Calcara Park to a playable field for area youth.
For more information about Hamtramck Stadium or to make a donation, visit www.hamtramckstadium.org or www.facebook.com/hamtramckstadium.
About Comerica Bank
Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Since its founding in Detroit in 1849, Comerica Bank has been making a positive difference in the lives of Michigan residents, helping its customers be successful and providing financial assistance to help charitable organizations meet their diverse goals. From its multi-million-dollar restoration of Comerica Bank Center to its naming rights agreement for Comerica Park to its sponsorship of Little Caesar’s Arena and the Comerica Players Club to its naming rights partnership for the Comerica Gridiron Club and Suites at The New Ford Field, Comerica continues to be an active participant in Detroit’s downtown revitalization. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/Comerica. Follow us on Twitter at @ComericaCares.
The Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium (FHHS) is a Michigan nonprofit organization, founded in 2012. FHHS is devoted to restoring and preserving historic Hamtramck Stadium and ensuring its future through educational, cultural, and recreational programming honoring the history of Negro League Baseball and amateur sports in Hamtramck and Detroit. In addition to getting Hamtramck Stadium listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Friends installed a State of Michigan Historic Marker for the Stadium in Hamtramck’s Veterans Park in 2014. In 2017, the Friends provided the historical research used by the City of Hamtramck to obtain an African American Civil Rights Grant from the National Park Service.
For further information: Kathleen Pitton (313) 584-4523