Ebbets Field was a Major League Baseball stadium in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. It is known mainly for having been the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team of the National League (1913– 1957), but was also home to five professional football teams, including three NFL teams (1921–1948). Ebbets Field was demolished in 1960 and replaced by the Ebbets Field Apartments, later renamed the Jackie Robinson Apartments
Ebbets Field was bounded by Bedford Avenue to the east, Sullivan Place to the South, Cedar Street (renamed McKeever Place in 1932) to the west, and Montgomery Street to the north. After locating the prospective new site to build a permanent stadium to replace the old wooden Washington Park, Dodgers’ owner Charles Ebbets acquired the property over several years, starting in 1908, by buying lots until he owned the entire block.
The land included the site of a garbage dump called Pigtown, so named because of the pigs that once ate their fill there and the stench that filled the air. Even at the groundbreaking, the site was described as containing several old houses, shanties, goats, and tomato cans, and although the streets bordering the field were mapped, two of them had not been built yet.
Construction began on March 4, 1912,and the cornerstone, a piece of Connecticut granite that held newspapers, pictures of baseball players, cards, telegrams, and almanacs, was laid on July 6, 1912. At the cornerstone-laying ceremony, Ebbets said that the ballpark was going to be ready for play on September 1, and that Brooklyn was going to win the National League pennant in 1913
Newspaper coverage in the spring of 1913 was filled with glowing praise about the new park, calling it “A Monument to the National Game” and predicting it could last 200 years: the actual lifetime turned out to be 47 years. *
EBBETS FIELD FACTS #
- Rotunda was an 80-foot circle enclosed in Italian marble, with a floor tiled with a representation of the stitches of a baseball and a chandelier with 12 baseball-bat arms holding 12 globes shaped like baseballs.
- There were 12 turnstiles and 12 gilded ticket windows. The domed ceiling was 27 feet high at its center.
- Kids could watch games through a gap under the metal gate in right-center.
- Cobblestoned Bedford Avenue was a hill, climbing from a low point in right field to higher ground in center field.
- Right-field wall and scoreboard (built after 1930) had approximately 289 different angles; the scoreboard jutted out 5 feet from the wall at a 45-degree angle. Overhang of the second deck hung out over center field.
- Abe Stark sign offered a free suit at 1514 Pitkin Avenue to any batter hitting the 3-by-30-foot sign.
- Baseball’s first televised baseball game was played here by the Dodgers on August 26, 1939 against the Reds.
- Jackie Robinson became the first black man in the 20th century to play in Major League Baseball here on April 15, 1947.
- Hosted the 1949 All-Star game.
- The only year in which the Dodgers won the World Series while tenants of Ebbets Field was 1955.
- No press box until 1929.
- In the winter of 1931-32, the double deck was extended from third base to the left field corner and across to center field.
- In the winter of 1937-38, box seats were added in center field.
- In the winter of 1947-48, more seats were added to left and center.
- Schaefer Beer sign (added after WWII) on top of the right-center scoreboard notified fans of official scorer’s decision – the ‘H’ in Schaefer lit up for a hit, an ‘E’ for an error.
- Demolition began on February 23, 1960. The same wrecking ball was used four years later to demolish the Polo Grounds.
- For a period of time, the scoreboard clock sat on top of the right-field scoreboard at McCormick Field in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Eight light towers were moved to Downing Stadium on Randall’s Island.
- Ebbets Field Apartments now occupies the site.
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE ARTIFACTS FROM EBBETS FIELD IN THE MUSEUM – CLICK THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW