Motor City Celebration
We were invited to kick off the Detroit Tigers 18th Annual Negro Leagues Weekend. It was great to be able to gather together again in person and share the film. Bally Sports Detroit (formally Fox Sports Detroit) hosted an outstanding event in Campus Martius Park downtown where people enjoyed a beautiful evening and a chance to enjoy The Other Boys of Summer. Our panel discussion was moderated by Trevor Thompson (On Air Host) and included Lauren Meyer (filmmaker), Negro League pitcher Pedro Sierra and retired Tiger Craig Monroe. There was food, drinks, giveaways and photo ops with Paws, the Tigers mascot. Funny little story about Paws… Back in 2003 Lauren directed a popular TLC show called “Perfect Proposal” that filmed an episode at Comerica Park. The episode featured a guy named John proposing to his girlfriend Emily at a Tigers game. John got “training” about how to be a great tiger from none other than Paws. When we arrived in Detroit for the program and Lauren saw Paws she told him/her that they had met many years ago. She was just joking and never expected it to be the same person under the fur. However, Paws insisted that he/she remembered the shoot and it was him/her!!! We still didn’t believe it, but when talking to the Tigers execs they confirmed it was true. It was a definite surprise to reconnect 18 years later.
In addition to kicking off the weekend full of celebrations we visited the site of Navin Field/Tigers Stadium, Hamtramck Stadium and attended the annual Negro Leagues luncheon at Comerica Park. It was great to meet some of the players and coaches and connect with others IRL again. Lauren took in a game at Comerica and had the chance to meet Ron Teasley, one of only 4 players still alive who played in the Negro Leagues between 1920 – 1948. Bill Greason, Clyde Golden, Ron Teasley and Willie Mays are the surviving 4 players who became official MLB players last December when MLB acknowledged the Negro Leagues (1920-1948) as part of MLB. Obviously Willie Mays is a Hall of Fame MLB sensation, but the other 3 never really had the chance due to segregation. FYI, Willie Mays was a Birmingham Black Baron during the 1948 season.
We also met Minnie Forbes who owned the Detroit Stars in the 1950’s and a number of other players from that era.
Enjoy a few photos and a video Bally Sports put together after the event.