Plaque commemorates Coloured All Stars

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Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff, along with Alivia Couture, her mother Kerry Couture and Djoser Tabron are seen at the unveiling of the new plaque in Stirling Park honouring the Chatham-Kent Coloured All Stars. The plaque is the first one to be dedicated by the Chatham-Kent Heritage Network.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Then and now, the Chatham Coloured All Stars continue to blaze trails.

In 1934, the renowned team faced down racism and broke the colour barrier by becoming the first Black baseball team in Canada to win a provincial title. Nearly nine decades later, the team has been honoured with the first plaque to be dedicated by the Chatham-Kent Heritage Network.

The plaque was unveiled recently in Chatham’s Stirling Park, the home field for the All Stars back in the day.

Not only does the plaque honour the team, it pays homage to Archie Stirling, whose family donated the land for the park. Known as Mr. Baseball, Stirling is recognized for his involvement with the sport.

The plaque also includes other Black baseball history, before and after the heyday of the All Stars.

Samantha Meredith, outgoing executive director of the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum, said she wanted to nominate the Coloured All Stars team “first and foremost” when she learned of the CKHN’s new plaque initiative.

“They are one of my favourite history stories to share,” Meredith said, noting the team was “long overdue” to have a historical plaque placed at their home diamond.”

The team has become a favourite topic of historians, with several books penned about it in recent years.

The team has been inducted into the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame and the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.

Meredith said she’s excited to see some of the upcoming plaques in 2024 and is already working on the next round of submissions.

The plaque is a collaboration between the CKHN and the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, supported by Hydro One and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

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