A state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to honor Danville’s Peters Park, also known as Almagro Baseball Stadium and once home to the African American Danville All-Stars, will be dedicated as part of the city’s celebration of Black History Month.
The “Peters Park” marker will be dedicated and unveiled during a public ceremony beginning at 2 p.m., Friday, February 22, at the marker’s location at the field behind the Boys and Girls Club at 151 Foster Street in Danville.
Participants in the ceremony will include Earl Reynolds, director of community development for Danville; Sarah Latham, president of Danville Historical Society; Mel Battle, whose father played for the Danville All-Stars; Margaret Peters, daughter-in-law of James Peters Sr., who originally established the park; and Michael Pulice of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Former All-Stars player Eloyd Robinson will also be in attendance during the event.
The “Peters Park” marker recalls that in 1948 James Peters Sr. opened Peters Park and sponsored the Danville All-Stars during the era of segregated baseball. “The stadium was state of the art when it opened, being one of the first in the country to boast lights to permit nighttime usage,” the marker states. “In 1952 the park closed because of the racial integration of baseball and the ability to watch the sport on television,” the marker explains.
The “Peters Park” sign was sponsored by the City of Danville and approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in December.
Virginia’s historical highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the installation of the first historical markers along U.S. Route 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,200 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, as well as by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority.
Text of the marker:
James Peters Sr. (ca.1883-1970) opened Peters Park, also called the Almagro Baseball Stadium, at this site in 1948. The park was home to the Danville All-Stars, an African American baseball team that Peters sponsored. The stadium was state of the art when it opened, being one of the first in the country to boast lights to permit nighttime usage. Peters Park became an important part of the African American community, hosting Sunday afternoon baseball games as well as community events. In 1952 the park closed because of the racial integration of baseball and the ability to watch the sport on television.