When we asked Warstic co-owner, Jack White, what he wanted for his birthday, he said "to play some baseball.” So of course we assembled the undefeated Warstic Woodmen to head to Detroit and put a game together. That week, The Raconteurs were kicking off their US Tour so we also recruited band members Brendan Benson and Dean Fertita to join the Woodmen against a local squad.
We reached out to the Historic Hamtramck Stadium to see if they wanted to use the event to help raise money for the field. Hamtramck is one of the last five remaining Negro League Ball Fields in the United States, original home of the Detroit Stars and a local landmark. Their foundation, The Friends of the Historic Hamtramck is raising funds to preserve and restore the field for local youth to use and enjoy. They helped us right away putting the game together and getting the word out to the community.
Michigan served up a beautiful day for baseball and several Detroit locals came out to watch as the Warstic Woodmen took on the Motor City All-Stars (a collection of Hamtramck locals connected to the stadium).
It opened with Roz Brown and Joyce Thompson, the daughters of Detroit Star and Baseball Hall of Famer Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, singing the national anthem and Stearnes' own granddaughter, Vanessa Rose, suiting up for the All-Stars. Then, Detroit native and former Negro League player, Ron Teasley, threw out the first pitch, to start what would be a legendary sandlot battle.
The Warstic Woodsmen got it done and retained their undefeated title, propelled to victory by fellow Raconteur Brendan Benson and a solid at-bat by Jack’s own mother, Teresa. We thank all of the people at beautiful Hamtramck and hope to help in some small way at both the preservation and restoration of such a historic field.
To honor the Detroit Stars that called Hamtramck Stadium home, Onefastbuffalo designed a Signed Special Edition bat. Using Jack White’s personal model shape, this bat is all navy with a red ‘Wartip’ and white ‘Hamtramck Special’ and Warstic emblem engravings. Each bat is autographed by Jack White, including the game used bat, and are all are up for auction to benefit The Friends of Hamtramck Stadium and their restoration efforts.
CLICK HERE to bid on one of these bats, including the bat Jack used in the game. Auction ends July 31st.
Big thank you to Dave Mesrey, Gary Gillette and the rest of the FHHS, the Motor City All-Stars, the City of Hamtramck and Mayor Karen Majewski & City Manager Kathy Angerer, Robert Bradley for his amazing performance of "Born in America," Debra Walker for an amazing poem to mark the occasion, Chris Collias, Sno Biz Detroit & Shredderz Food Truck, and everyone that came out to enjoy the day.
You can donate directly to the preservation efforts of Hamtramck Stadium HERE
Game Photos by Amanda Crawford
Bat Photos by Andrew Klein