The February 4th SABR Day meeting in Detroit was kicked off with a slide show presentation of Detroit Stars and Hamtramck Stadium. As many of you know the site was recently granted $50,000 for redevelopment. We were also able to see a brief promotional video and heard from the President of Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium Gary Gillette.

We then viewed Norman Turkey Stearnes: A Family Album, presented by his youngest daughter Joyce Stearnes Thompson. We were able to see pictures of Turkey Stearnes as a ballplayer and some photos with his family. Among the photos that were shared were many from Stearnes induction weekend at Baseballs Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2000.

Joyce Stearnes Thompson shares a slide from Norman Turkey Stearns: A Family Album

Joyce, a retired school teacher, is also an accomplished vocalist who sang the Star Spangled Banner as well as a moving ballad dedicated to her fathers memory.

In addition we were able to hear firsthand from Joyce and her sister Rosilyn Stearnes-Brown what it was like to grow up with a star baseball player for a father. ?Turkey was friends with some of the biggest stars of the era including fellow Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

We also viewed part of an intriguing Negro League documentary. So little video footage of Negro League players exist that it was really great to see. Please see the link at the bottom of the page if you are interested in ordering the DVD.

A four person panel consisting of the Joyce Stearnes Thompson, Rosilyn Stearnes-Brown, local long time coach Michael Wilson, and Negro League veteran Ron Teasley presented memories of Negro League legends, local high school stars, and memories from Coach Teasley’s long coaching career. A video of the panelists was recorder and will be available in the near future.

Coach Ron Teasley, 90 years young, describes playing ball in the Negro Leagues.

The meeting wrapped up with an update on the Hamtramck Stadium development by Hamtramck City Planner Melanie Markowitz. She shared some details and hoped that action would start taking place this summer if all goes well.

Many of those attended stopped by Nemo’s Bar and Grill later that night for the 30th annual Babe Ruth Birthday Party for a beer and a hot dog in the Bambinos honor.

Link to Negro League DVD here: