Juneteenth game pays homage to pioneer Negro League player in Hamtramck

‘They were very great, and I feel like I’m supposed to be here’

This Juneteenth, a group of high schoolers is paying homage to a particular part of Metro Detroit's history. They're playing a game of baseball at the historic Hamtramck Stadium in honor of a pioneering member of the Negro Leagues.

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – This Juneteenth, a group of high schoolers is paying homage to a particular part of Metro Detroit’s history.

Teens are playing a game of baseball at the historic Hamtramck Stadium in honor of a pioneering member of the Negro Leagues.

Legendary Negro Leagues player Ron Teasley was honored at The historic Hamtramck Stadium in a re-dedication ceremony. The field was packed with players like it’s the 1930′s but this time, it was in more of an appreciative climate.

“I can remember playing here when I was at Wayne State University, and this place has really improved getting over that, that it’s really remarkable,” said Teasley.

With players from Detroit Edison High School like Marwynn Matthews draped in the old attire, it’s a way to pay homage to new players in old gear.

“This is the Detroit Stars from the Negro Leagues,” said Matthews. “And I’ll be playing on the Detroit Stars team today.”

Jacoby Radcliffe was there representing the American Giants from Chicago on the other end of the diamond.

“I feel like I’m part of the old times, said Radcliffe. “They were very great, and I feel like I’m supposed to be here.”

But playing on Juneteenth makes it so much better.

“That makes it very special,” Matthews said. “That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing right there. All this happening during Juneteenth, that’s really a blessing.”

You can’t have this program without first honoring those who literally paved the way for African Americans in the game, to begin with.

Something that Teasley is glad is finally happening.

“It’s something that’s long overdue,” Teasley said. “I think that if it continues, America will be on the right track.”

A big picnic capped off the festivities in front of home plate.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.