Whiteside: Can the rebirth of a Negro League stadium revive a distressed New Jersey city?

From Kelly Whiteside at the New York Times on October 11, 2019, with mention of SABR member Ray Doswell:

There used to be a ballpark here, at the corner of Maple and Liberty. Baseball royalty once rounded the bases, and city residents once packed the stands.

Now defaced with graffiti, Hinchliffe Stadium looks like a blighted lot about to be razed. Weeds and trees have uprooted the bleachers, and asphalt and trash cover the infield.

“This is a stadium that unfortunately has symbolized the decay and decline of the city,” André Sayegh, the city’s mayor, said. “It’s sad. And it speaks to the trajectory of Paterson. What we’re trying to do is put Paterson back on the map, and part of that is restoring the stadium to its previous glory.”

Hinchliffe, vacant since 1997, is one of the few stadiums from the Negro leagues still standing. An architectural gem and a symbol of perseverance amid racial injustice, it became a casualty of this economically distressed city’s more pressing needs. After multiple failed attempts to fund its revival, a ninth-inning save seemed unlikely.

Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/sports/baseball/negro-leagues-stadium-paterson-nj.html

Originally published: October 14, 2019. Last Updated: October 14, 2019.