PATERSON, N.J. -- Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson -- the only baseball site to be given National Historic Landmark status by the National Park Service -- has received a $300,000 grant from American Express to renovate two original tickets booths at the main entrance, mlb.com reports.
"We are so grateful to American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their continued efforts toward the rehabilitation of Hinchliffe Stadium," Brian LoPinto, president of the nonprofit Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium, told mlb.com. "This is a strong step in the right direction for a place that is so rich in Negro League history."
A full restoration of the former home of the New York Black Yankees and the New York Cubans could cost from $20 million to $45 million, according to various reports. Initial engineering and environmental assessments are about 90 percent complete, The Associated Press has reported.
After opening in 1932, Hinchcliffe Stadium was where Paterson resident Larry Doby caught the attention of the Newark Eagles and began his quest to become the American League's first black player. Other Hall of Famers who played at Hinchliffe include Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Judy Johnson, Oscar Charleston and Martin Dihigo, mlb.com notes.
The stadium was used for high school sports until it closed in 1997. It's been vacant and deteriorating since -- although midget racing, auto shows and other events have helped freshen the venue.
When Yankee Stadium closed after the 2008 season, Hinchliffe became the last ballpark in the New York metropolitan area that hosted Negro Leagues games, the mlb.com report says.CLICK HERE to read the entire story.
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