Baseball Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner played with the Paterson Silk Weavers club of the Atlantic League.
On Friday, December 19, President Obama signed legislation to add Hinchliffe Stadium, the historic home of the NY Black Yankees and NY Cubans in Negro League baseball, to the Paterson Great Falls National Park. Hinchliffe played a central role in Paterson's cultural history and now will be a permanent part of the National Park System. This has been one of our top priorities and we are proud to have played a role in helping our NJ congressional delegation make it happen.
Hinchliffe Stadium was named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The 10,000 seat, poured-concrete Art Deco stadium was the home field of 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. Today it is one of the only remaining Negro League stadiums in the country. The Negro Leagues brightest stars—including Hall of Famer Larry Doby, who became the first African American to sign with Major League Baseball's American League—played on Hinchliffe's hallowed field. A beloved community landmark, Hinchliffe also hosted automobile and motocycle racing, pro football games, and boxing matches attended by celebrities from Babe Ruth to Joe Louis to Lou Costello.
In March 2013 the stadium was designated a National Historic Landmark. Listen to testimony delivered to the National Historic Landmark committee by Leonard Coleman—former president of the National League in Major League Baseball and friend of the late Larry Doby.
In December 2014, Congress passed legislation to expand the boundary of the Paterson National Park to include Hinchliffe Stadium. Read the Hinchliffe Stadium Heritage Act of 2014.
Hinchliffe has been closed since 1997 and is dangerously deteriorated. The stadium's new national park status will help the growing movement 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 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 unparalleled athletic achievement by Americans of color and immigrants. We will celebrate the demise of segregation in baseball and growth of a national pastime inclusive of African Americans and Latinos.