As the home to the New York Black Yankees, Hinchliffe Stadium was the place where Josh Gibson, Monte Irving and Josh Doby played. And today, supporters are looking to reopen one of the last remaining Negro League stadiums in the country.
City leaders in Paterson, New Jersey, have approved a $50 million funding plan to renovate the stadium, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2013. The stadium will include the exact site of the diamond playing field where Black baseball players competed in the segregated league.
“As one of only two ballparks in our country still standing that hosted Negro League games, we owe it to all of the African-American athletes who were excluded from playing in Major League Baseball during that era to restore the stadium to its former glory,” said Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh.
The Negro Leagues were founded in 1920 in response to Black baseball players being denied the opportunity to compete against white players. Last month, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, located in Kansas City, created a “Tip Your Cap” campaign to to pay tribute to the men and women who played in the Negro Leagues from 1920 through 1960 and to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the formation of the Negro Leagues.