Now, a new commitment from the city government paired with a $70 million cash infusion could restore Hinchliffe Stadium, one of the last remaining Negro League ballparks, to its former glory.
“In ’32 it opens up, and in ’33 we were the hosts of the equivalent of a Negro League World Series game,” says Paterson’s mayor, André Sayegh. “People like Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell, and of course Paterson’s own Larry Doby, played here.”
Larry Doby was the second black ballplayer to join Major League Baseball, a few months after Jackie Robinson. He broke the American League color line when he joined the Cleveland Indians in July of 1947, fully integrating pro baseball.
But Doby was breaking records long before then as a four-sport star at Paterson’s East Side High School. Back then, when he was scoring touchdowns, hitting home runs and sprinting around the track, he was doing it at Hinchliffe Stadium.
It was also at Hinchliffe where Doby had a tryout for the Newark Eagles, the Negro League…