Foundry Field is a community collaboration that aims to highlight underrepresented histories, engage our community on issues of race, representation, and access, and introduce baseball to the next generation.
The field is named after the Foundry Giants, a predominantly black South Bend baseball team that played against white teams in the Studebaker Industrial Baseball League during the 1920s. This team included South Bend's first black policeman, various community leaders, and several men that played professionally in the Negro Leagues.
The design process began with a single grainy photo of the Foundry Giants in uniform. This image, alongside additional historical photographs, newspaper clippings, and community archives, guided all aspects of the brand. The 1923 American Type Founders Specimen Book and one grainy photo of the Giants inspired two custom typefaces: Foundry Gothic and Foundry Slab. A metal foundry stamp from the Studebaker factory (where the Giants worked) inspired an "F-stamp," accompanying early 20th-century graphic elements and photography to establish the Foundry Field brand.
Foundry Field gained regional media attention and garnered support from the city Parks & Venues and the mayor's office. In addition, nearly 200 contributors raised $100k to accompany grants from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and the Centers for Social Concerns for initial construction and community arts programming.
The project has expanded to include a visiting artist residency that will connect underrepresented mural artists who share race, ethnicity, and gender with the Foundry Giants and future teams, including a Potawatomi team, several Latinx teams, a black women's team that played at the same time as the "League of their Own" professional league—but has been marginalized even in our community.
We hope that the Foundry Field brand system will empower underrepresented community members, visiting artists, and our youth through the game of baseball and the telling of long-marginalized histories.