Last Friday in Paterson, New Jersey, political, community, entertainment, and athletics dignitaries were among the large contingent of attendees at historic Hinchliffe Stadium for a ceremony to rededicate the renovated Negro Leagues Baseball venue.
Among those taking part in the day’s celebration were junior U.S. Senator Cory Booker; Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh; New York Yankees icon Willie Randolph, a five-time World Series champion; Tony Clark, executive director of the MLB Players Association; actress and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg; and former Mets general manager Omar Minaya.
RELATED: Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium
Hinchcliffe is where the New York Black Yankees, New York Cubans, and Newark Cubans once called home. Today, it is the domain of the New Jersey Jackals of the Frontier League, an independent baseball league. The renovated facility will also host football games featuring local high school teams in the fall and winter, as well as track and field events, and a museum to honor Larry Doby, the great Negro Leagues and MLB Hall of Famer who moved from Camden, South Carolina, to Paterson at the age of 14.“This is not a state landmark—this is an American landmark,” said Booker, speaking from a podium on the field. “This stadium is a testimony to the best of who we are in America. This stadium was first built during the Great Depression…Our Paterson forefathers and mothers decided the Depression was exactly the time for us to show that the American pastime can live, and that not just a field will be built, but it will become a sanctuary for those who cannot yet see the dignity, the divinity, and the humanity of all people.”
Construction on Hinchcliffe, which sits on 5.7 acres of land, began in 1931 and was completed in 1932. Since then, it has undergone three renovations, the most recent taking place between 2021 and 2022, and costing $103 million. It was condemned in 1997 and had no official use for 24 years.
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