April 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM
PATERSON, NJ - The National Park Service and the Paterson Board of Education hosted the Hinchliffe Stadium National Historic Landmark Ceremony on Wednesday. The official plaque from the Department of Interior was unveiled in recognition of the distinction. Following the ceremony, hundreds of community volunteers signed up to paint the outside of the stadium and cleanup the surrounding grounds in an effort organized by the The National Trust for Historic Preservation to restore the historic landmark.
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ, 09) introduced the Hinchliffe Stadium Heritage Act, legislation that would make Hinchliffe Stadium a part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Just last week, the bill passed by unanimous consent out of the House Committee on Natural Resources, with an amendment that would prevent the NPS from being required to purchase the property. This allows the Paterson Board of Education to maintain ownership of the building. The amendment also allows NPS to accept a preservation easement that would provide legal means to enforce future preservation of the stadium.
Eleven current members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame played on Hinchliffe's grounds, including Larry Doby, Josh Gibson, William Julius “Judy” Johnson, Oscar Charleston, and Satchel Paige. In addition to hosting Negro League baseball, Hinchliffe Stadium was also home to three professional football teams, many auto racing events, and professional boxing. Located within Paterson's National Landmark Historic District, the stadium is directly above the Great Falls National Historical Park.