Downs Field gets historic marker to celebrate Austin's black history

Mayor Adler and other city leaders unveiled a historic plaque to commemorate and celebrate Austin's black history.

Mayor Adler and other city leaders unveiled a historic plaque to commemorate and celebrate Austin's black history.

Downs Field has been an East Austin treasure for decades. It was home to the Black Senators, a semi-professional baseball team, with stars like Satchel Paige, Roni Stone, Hilton Smith, and Willie Wells. It was donated to Samuel Huston College and was used as the school's baseball stadium in the late 1920s.

City leaders gathered alongside members of the Downs family to recognize the value of the field and
the role it has played in years past.

"What this does is represent the maintenance of context, and how things happened and also controlling of the narrative of telling the story so it's very important that the story is told, it means a lot," Robert Downs Jr. said. 

Downs Jr.'s grandfather and great uncle were heavily involved with the college. 

Years later, in the late 1930s, the field was sold to Austin public schools, it was used as a football field for Anderson High students.

Today, it’s open for the community to enjoy as well.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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