Hinchliffe Stadium receives historic landmark status from National Park Service
From Mark Newman at MLB.com on April 16, 2014, with mention of SABR members Bob Kendrick and Dr. Larry Hogan:
Bob Scott stood next to the brand new "National Historic Landmark" plaque outside of Hinchliffe Stadium, where he once tried to sneak fastballs by Buck Leonard as a confident teenage righty for the New York Black Yankees of the Negro Leagues in 1946.
"We were playing the Homestead Grays here, and I was pitching for the Black Yankees," said Scott, 82, one of the last living Negro Leaguers with stories to tell. "A batter named Buck Leonard hit two home runs off me that night at this stadium. So I have a good memory of that.
"I tried to throw my fastball by him, and I couldn't. He'd wake up in the morning at 4 o'clock, and before he'd wash his face, he'd have two home runs."
On a Wednesday morning that was tolerably frigid under the circumstances, in the city that Hall of Famer Larry Doby called home, a national historic landmark was dedicated for the first time to a venue solely for baseball. Hinchliffe is one of more than 2,500 historic U.S. sites that bears this distinction from the National Park Service. It's the ultimate designation, even one level higher than the listing of "National Historic Places" accorded to Fenway Park last year.
Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, delivered a stirring keynote address during the dedication ceremony. Other speakers included U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.); Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones; Brent Leggs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Brian LoPinto, a local crusader with Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium; Dr. Larry Hogan, author of the definitive Negro Leagues book "Shades of Glory"; Donnie Evans, superintendent of Paterson Public Schools (which oversees the venue); and Darren Boch, superintendent of Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park.
That this distinction -- the same "National Treasure" status given recently to the earthquake-damaged Washington National Cathedral -- would be granted to a dilapidated facility shut down nearly two decades ago speaks volumes about the history that happened here.
This page was last updated April 17, 2014 at 12:40 pm MST.