61 years ago today the Red Wings played against a team of convicts at Marquette State prison

by

comment

The Red Wings game on Feb. 2, 1954 was notable for two major distinctions: It was the Wing's first outdoor game, and it was against a team of inmates at Marquette State prison.

The unlikely match happened when the Wings' general manager Jack Adams and team captain Ted Lindsay visited the maximum security prison as part of a sponsored trip. That's when former Purple Gang ringleaders Harry Keywell and Ray Bernstein approached Adams and asked if they would bring the Wings up for a scrimmage, to which Adams surprisingly agreed.



An outdoor rink was made just for the occasion, and despite the fact that they were playing against a team of some of Michigan's most dangerous criminals, the Wings went ahead and clobbered the "Marquette Prison Pirates" (they stopped keeping score after the first period's 18-0). To switch things up, the Wings swapped players with the Pirates, and Gordie Howe donned a Pirates jersey. 

Read more about it at the Detroit Athletic Co. blog and the Red Wing's official site.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.