Hinchliffe Stadium is one of the few remaining stadiums in the country associated with Negro League baseball. Built by the city from 1932-33 and owned by the Paterson Public Schools since 1963, it was closed in 1996 and fell victim to neglect and vandalism. In its heyday, the stadium hosted professional baseball and football games, high school athletic contests, auto racing, and rock concerts.
Built of cast concrete in the Art Deco style, Hinchliffe Stadium is where Paterson Eastside High School athlete Larry Doby was discovered by the Newark Eagles in 1942. He went on to break the color barrier in the American League. The New York Black Yankees called this stadium home for 12 seasons. If informed by a preservation plan, stabilization work on this stadium could provide lessons for the rehabilitation of similar historic structures.
- Develop and implement a community-based plan of action for the stabilization of Hinchliffe Stadium.
Ways To Help
Donate to our campaign to save Hinchliffe Stadium.
Tell us why Hinchliffe Stadium matters to you.
Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member
This month, the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park celebrates its 3rd birthday. Known as one of the largest waterfalls in the United States, Great Falls has played a significant role in the early industrial development of our country. Over the years, both federal and local partnerships have been a leading force to ensuring the national park is rehabilitated and open to the public.
Just parallel to the Great Falls area is historic Hinchliffe Stadium – the only National Historic Landmark in baseball and one of few remaining stadiums in the country that played host to the Negro Leagues. In late July, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Hinchliffe Stadium Heritage Act (H.R. 2430), which ensures that Hinchliffe Stadium will be a part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.
In the article, Marking Three Years, Paterson's National Park Looks Ahead, Park Service Superintendent, Darren Boch, states how including Hinchliffe Stadium to the national park area would mean that Great Falls National Historical Park would be the only national park that recognized sports as a main attraction. The bill is currently in the Senate awaiting consideration. To find out more about this bill to include Hinchliffe Stadium in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park area, visit http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2013/6/s-1189.
Written by Brent Leggs, Project Manager for Hinchliffe Stadium National Treasure
What funding options are available to help save large scale preservation projects? Is there a local or state financing option available to advance the restoration and rehabilitation of significant historic places? The answer is yes. Bond financing is a powerful tool used to help save historic resources across the country. Learn about Paterson, New Jersey’s long history of utilizing bond financing to construct Hinchliffe Stadium in 1932 and how funds are being used today to stabilize the structure. Read the Forum Journal Blog post Using Public Bonding to Save Hinchliffe Stadium written by Gianfranco Archimede, Director of the Paterson Historic Preservation Commission.
Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member
The buzz continues to grow around our April, Hinchliffe Stadium Clean Up event! Thank you to Ebony magazine who recently published a thought-provoking article about our work to restore the sports arena and the importance of preserving the story of Negro League Baseball in our country. To see the article, go here - http://goo.gl/82scac.
Excerpt from Ebony.com
“I’m hoping we can create a very sustainable and lasting partnership with Major League Baseball that also wants to engage more urban youth in the actual sport of baseball, said Brent Leggs of National Trust for Historic Preservation. “ If you look at the statistics, the numbers have dwindled since the integration of baseball and the close of the Negro Leagues – we’re almost back at that level. I would love for Hinchliffe Stadium to be an active and viable baseball venue through a partnership with MLB, where young African-American and Latinos can play and be a part of history.”
Catherine Hinchliffe Aliotta on June 03, 2014
My grandfather was John V Hinchliffe, former Mayor of Paterson during the Great Depression, and he was the person who had it built. It was named after his Uncle James Hinchliffe who was also Mayor of Paterson during the first decade of the 1900's. It was the first mayor of Paterson who was mayor during the great fire of Paterson around 1903 and also the great flood of Paterson around 1904. After James Hinchliffe was no longer Mayor of Paterson, he was a New Jersey Senator. By the way, during the great fire and flood periods, he did everything he could to get the people of Paterson places to live and work after many buildings were totally distroyed. It was him who Hinchliffe Stadium was named after.
WALTER LeVINE on April 18, 2014
LARRY DOBY PLAYED BASEBALL FOR MY FATHER'S SEMI-PRO TEAM (UNCLE SAM'S SHOES) WHILE ATTENDING EAST SIDE, MY FATHER'S TEAMS PLAYED FOR MANY YEARS AT THE STADIUM, BEFORE HOLDING SUNDAY GAMES AT EASTSIDE PARK. IT WAS WHILE PLAYING FOR HIS TEAM THAT HE WAS DISCOVERED BY THE NEWARK EAGLES. THE REST IS HISTORY. IT IS ALSO RUMORED THAT LOU COSTELLO PERFECTED HIS BASEBALL ROUTINE "WHO'S ON FIRST" WHILE ANNOUNCING THESE GAMES AT THE STADIUM. MAYBE SOME OF PATERSON'S OLDTIMERS MIGHT RECALL THESE EVENTS.
Elizabeth Cuba on April 17, 2014
I Love Paterson!!! Many great memories with my grandmother and family. All the festivals, the football games,entertainment with live bands,which my uncle Nelson was a part of.I graduated from hichcliff turf in 1990 from Kennedy high school, now soon I can share all my memories with my grandchild and make them a reality.
Cal Ripken, Jr., National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 05, 2012
Hinchliffe Stadium’s role in the Negro Leagues and the legendary players who played there are not just significant to the history of baseball, but to the history of segregation, race relations and the integration of society in the United States. It 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 the history of the country first-hand.
Brian Lopinto, Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, Paterson, NJ on July 05, 2012
Growing up two blocks away from where over 20 baseball Hall of Famers played is a baseball fan's dream. While there are artifacts that pertain to the Negro Leagues at the baseball Hall of Fame, Hinchliffe Stadium is where the games were played. It is a tangible piece of African-American history.