Ebbets Field in New York

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


Continuing our tour of old ballyards across the country— and the fact this is probably some of the only baseball content being generated—this week, we stop at one of the temples of baseball, Ebbets Field in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn in New York City.


The scene is pictured on a linen-style postcard published by the Interborough News Company of New York City, New York.


Ebbets was the home to the Brooklyn Dodgers from the time of its construction in 1912 through the 1957 season when the Dodgers left for Los Angeles.


The stadium was built at the corner of McKeever Place and Montgomery Avenue and replaced the old Washington Park, a wooden stadium built in the late 1800s.


Part of the site was dubbed Pigtown, named because feral pigs used to eat their fill at a garbage dump once located on the site, in addition to a number of old shanties, goats, and a stench that often permeated the air from the squalor.


Opening day for Ebbets Field was April 5, 1913, when an inter-league exhibition game was played by the Dodgers and Yankees.


Ebbet’s daughter threw out the first pitch in front of an over-capacity crowd of 30,000 fans.


Ebbets was soon a victim of its own success as it was landlocked, making expansion of the park impossible.


There was virtually no parking available for cars and the subway station was fully four blocks away.


In the early 1950s, plans were announced to build a domed stadium at the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn but those plans fell through.


The political squabbling continued and ultimately majority team owner Walter O’Malley elected to move the team to Los Angeles following the 1957
season.


Demolition of Ebbets began in February of 1960. The site is now home to the Ebbets Field Apartments, which opened in 1962.


They were renamed the Jackie Robinson Apartments in 1972, the year of Robinson’s death. In January 2014, the street sign that once stood at the corner of McKeever Place and Montgomery Street sold at auction to a baseball collector for $58,852.08.

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