Second Annual Ike Blessitt Hamtramck Baseball Classic celebrates former Detroit Tiger’s 73rd birthday

Special guests expected to attend include 1984 World Series champs and former Tigers Juan Berenguer and Barbaro Garbey, as well as Detroit techno DJ Kevin Saunderson

click to enlarge Former Detroit Tiger Ike Blessitt stands in his backyard next to a batting cage. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
Former Detroit Tiger Ike Blessitt stands in his backyard next to a batting cage.

Former Detroit Tiger Ike Blessitt was born and raised in Hamtramck, and was discovered by major-league scouts in the 1960s while playing at the Hamtramck Stadium, the historic home of the Negro League Detroit Stars. That’s also where he’ll be celebrating his 73rd birthday this Sunday.

The event will feature a daytime doubleheader featuring four teams composed of Ike’s Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp alumni and players from the Detroit Men’s Senior Baseball League, with special guests expected to attend including 1984 World Series champs and former Tigers Juan Berenguer and Barbaro Garbey, as well as Detroit techno DJ Kevin Saunderson.

The event is also an opportunity to experience the field’s newly restored grandstand, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Hamtramck Parks Conservancy and the Ike Blessitt Athletic Academy.

While Blessitt has fallen on hard times in recent years, he has been keeping the spirit of baseball alive by teaching youths on Detroit’s Eastside how to play baseball.

The event is from 1-7 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Historic Hamtramck Stadium, 3201 Dan Street, Hamtramck; hamtramckparks.com. Tickets are $12 to attend, or $26.50 to play (registration required).

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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