Local Trailblazers Honored in New Detroit PAL Permanent Display

Detroit PAL, a non-profit organization positively impacting the lives of children in Detroit for 50 years, will unveil the Hank Greenberg Walk of Heroes, a new permanent feature at The Corner Ballpark Presented by Adient, celebrating sports legends who have made a significant impact in their communities on October 3.  

Made possible with funding by the William Davidson Foundation and the Greenberg Family, the Walk of Heroes exhibit will feature 12 stories of Michiganians who displayed exceptional character, innovation and trailblazing spirit in the sports field and the community at large. The exhibit is the final phase of a three-part update to The Corner Ballpark, and each Walk display highlights how these role models exemplified Detroit PAL’s core values and commitment to “Helping Youth Find Their Greatness.” 

“This exhibit is an incredible celebration of the sports legends who demonstrated the values that Detroit PAL holds dear, and through their legacies, continue to strengthen our city and region,” said Detroit PAL Interim CEO Robert Jamerson.  “We believe we can all learn so much from those leaders who came before us, especially the children who take part in PAL’s programs, and the Walk of Heroes is a wonderful tribute that will continue to inspire Detroit’s youth for years to come.” 

Individuals and groups featured in the Walk of Heroes include: 

  • Hank Aguirre, three-time All-Star pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. 
  • Daedra Charles-Furlow, Detroit PAL alumna, member of the 1992 US Women’s Olympics basketball team and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee 
  • Detroit Demolition, one of the nation’s first full-contact championship women’s football teams 
  • Anne Doyle, one of the first female TV sports broadcasters in the United States 
  • Brenda Gatlin, educator and award-winning girls’ and boys’ basketball coach at Detroit Public Schools 
  • Hank Greenberg, trailblazing Jewish American Detroit Tigers American League MVP and Baseball Hall of Famer 
  • Willie Horton, legendary Detroit Tigers baseball player 
  • Jackie Kallen, barrier-breaking female sports journalist and boxing manager 
  • Will Robinson, first African-American coach for a Michigan high school basketball team and NCAA Division I college basketball team, and first African-American NBA scout 
  • Diane Madsen and Jay Roberts-Eveland, founders of Communities for Equity to level the playing field for Michigan girls’ school sports teams 
  • Norman “Turkey” Stearnes, one of the greatest all-around baseball players in history 
  • Ron Thompson, St. Martin DePorres football, baseball coach and leader in the desegregation of the Detroit Amateur Baseball Federation

“Sports legends being honored in the Walk of Heroes will add to the inspiration provided by the old Tiger Stadium field to which it is adjacent,” said Former US Senator Carl Levin. “The Walk is a perfect complement to that “field of dreams,” where sports greats played and Joe Louis fought and Nelson Mandela spoke because the stories of the Heroes being honored will inspire our city’s youth to excel in character as well as sports. It is truly fitting that the Walk of Heroes is being named after Hank Greenberg, whose life story embodied not just great skill, but total integrity and deep patriotism.” 

With exhibits created by MRA, The Walk of Heroes will be officially unveiled Thursday, October 3 at 2:30 p.m. in a media preview, where several honorees and/or their representatives will be available for interviews, with a private event held later that evening; the exhibit will be officially opened to the public on Friday, October 4. 

 

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