Baseball returns to historic Hinchliffe Stadium for first time in nearly 30 years

The stadium, which sat vacant for nearly 30 years, is one of America’s last links to the Negro Leagues.

Matt Trapani and Nick Meidanis

May 18, 2023, 12:29 AM

Updated 403 days ago

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Baseball is back at Paterson’s historic Hinchliffe Stadium – a place many see as hallowed ground.
The stadium, which sat vacant for nearly 30 years, is one of America’s last links to the Negro Leagues. There were occasional events at the stadium, but the city treated it like a dump for years. It took $100 million and a mayor willing to make restoration a priority to bring it back.
Paterson Eastside High School took on Don Bosco at the stadium on Wednesday – the same place legends use to play. Around 20 Hall-of-Famers took the field at Hinchliffe back in the day, including Larry Doby, who played for the Newark Eagles.
High school teams did play at the stadium after the end of the Negro Leagues, but that ended in the late 1990s.
Older Paterson residents say that the stadium still has history, and they want to make sure the next generation gets it too.
“It has so much rich history. And now that we can rewrite that history. These young athletes, they can build their own history now, and that’s what it’s all about,” says TJ Hill, Eastside High School athletic director.
“Legends played on this field, so when African Americans were prohibited from playing in Major League Baseball…they played in Paterson. They had a home at Hinchliffe,” says Mayor Andre Sayegh.
Professional baseball returns to the stadium on Saturday with the New Jersey Jackals - a minor league team. The team previously played at Yogi Berra Stadium at Montclair State University.
The effort is still a work in progress. A restaurant and a museum dedicated to the Negro League are not yet open.
City officials say that they hope all of this, plus the Paterson Great Falls, will help attract tourists.


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