Paterson’s Hinchliffe Stadium Reopens

by Peter Candia
hinchliffe stadium

The historic Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson began redevelopment over two years ago. At long last, the transformation is complete. The city hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, May 19 for the stadium, which has been left alone for the better part of 25 years. 

Additionally, on May 18 a four-team high school doubleheader was played at the stadium, marking the first baseball to be played on the field in a quarter century. Of the teams was Don Bosco Prep, Eastside High School, and Paterson’s own Kennedy High School and Paterson Charter School.

Bob Kendrick, the President of the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO, took to Twitter to announce the unveiling. 

The Paterson baseball field was brought to fame during the early to mid 20th Century. Prior to Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color barrier and the MLB integrating into a multi-racial league, African Americans formed their own league of professional baseball known as the Negro League, which offered Black and Hispanic ball players an opportunity to compete at the highest level. 

hinchliffe stadium paterson, NJ

Hinchliffe Stadium | Photo courtesy of

Over the years, professional teams were formed along the entire East Coast and even as far West as Texas. Of the cities with a team, Paterson’s own Hinchliffe Stadium laid home to the New York Black Yankees of the Negro Leagues. Notably, in 1933 the Black Yankees hosted the Philadelphia Stars for the league’s championship at Hinchliffe Stadium but lost. The field also saw a no-hitter hurled by Elmer McDuffy on July 13, 1935. 

Hall of Famer Satchel Paige, widely considered to be one of the greatest pitchers of all time, pitched briefly for the Black Yankees in 1941. Other notable players include left fielder Fats Jenkins, shortstop Willie Wells and Carlos Ascanio—the league’s only Venezuelan-born player. 

The New York Cubans and Newark Eagles also called the stadium home for a time.

Eventually, the Black Yankees left for a new stadium and soon after, the league integrated. Over the years, it has been used for baseball activities but was ultimately retired nearly 25 years ago. The overgrown stadium laid dormant and had begun to decay over the years. 

However, two years ago, the city announced a renovation for the historic stadium and it is finally done. For fans of baseball in New Jersey, this is huge news. The newly opened Hinchliffe Stadium will not only become the home of the New Jersey Jackals—an independent team currently playing at Yogi Berra Stadium—but it will also serve as a slice of baseball history, complete with a Negro League Museum and plenty of historic snippets. 

Moreover, Hinchliffe Stadium is only one of two remaining Negro League stadiums in the US, making its preservation all that more important. 

The project, which cost $106 million, includes a parking garage and senior housing, sporting views of the legendary field. 

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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