This summer, the entire New Jersey congressional delegation introduced legislation to add Paterson's Hinchliffe Stadium to the Paterson National Park. Recently named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Hinchliffe is now a National Historic Landmark.
Click here for testimony delivered to the National Historic Landmark committee by Leonard Coleman--former president of the National League in Major League Basebal and friend of the late Larry Doby.
Located on a bluff above the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, the 10,000-seat, poured-concrete Art Deco stadium was the home field for the New York Black Yankees for more than a decade.
Another Negro League team, the New York Cubans, also made Hinchliffe their home field for some years. The Negro League's brightest stars--including Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who became the first African American to sign with the American League--played on Hinchliffe's hallowed field. A beloved community landmark, Hinchliffe also played host to automobile and motorcycle racing, pro football games, and boxing matches attended by celebrities from Babe Ruth to Joe Louis and Lou Costello.
Currently owned by the Paterson Public Schools, Hinchliffe has been closed since 1997 and is dangerously deteriorated. Now a movement is growing to restore the stadium for sports and other events.
Legendary baseball star Cal Ripken, Jr., one of the stadium's many supporters, said, "Hinchliffe deserves the opportunity to be restored into a place where tomorrow's youth will be able to walk in the footsteps of yesterday's legends and experience history first hand."
Once restored, we will honor at Hinchliffe the resiliency and unparalled athletic achievement by Americans of color and immigrants. We will celebrate the demise of segregation in baseball and the growth of a national pastime inclusive of African Americans and Latinos.
A history of Hinchliffe Stadium and the efforts being made to preserve and save it are discussed in this New York Times article, More Is at Stake Than Saving an Old Stadium in Paterson.
Click here for more details on Hinchliffe Stadium.