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Ridgewood Park (baseball ground), United States

Category: Attraction

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1325 Halsey St
NY 11237

undefined, United States
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N40° 41' 42" W73° 54' 24"   (40.695, -73.906666666667)
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Ridgewood Park, also known as Wallace's Ridgewood Park or the Wallace Grounds, and frequently confused with Grauer's Ridgewood Park, was a baseball ground in Ridgewood, New York. Both Wallace's and Grauer's are shown in Belcher Hyde's Map of Newtown in 1915. The baseball field was part of a larger entertainment area bounded Wyckoff Avenue, Covert Street, Halsey Street and Irving Avenue. The baseball field was southwest of the Long Island Rail Road Montauk Branch tracks. Eldert Street, although depicted on the map as running through the baseball grounds, was not cut through southwest of the railroad tracks and the road remains interrupted there today. Originally the park was in Queens County, before its incorporation into New York City in 1899. This facilitated Sunday baseball playing, including the charging of admission, beyond the reach of Sabbath enforcers from the then City of Brooklyn.
Grauer's Ridgewood Park or Grauer's Woods was several blocks north and bounded by Myrtle Avenue, Cypress Avenue, Seneca Avenue and Decatur Street. Although some baseball was played here, this area was more of a picnic park. George Schubel in 1913 lyrically describes the pleasures of Grauer's Ridgewood Park: "Here the German families of another generation assembled and enjoyed themselves in innocent recreation very much in the manner that they were accustomed to do across the seas. Most of these parks have been eliminated, owing to the increase in land values and the decline of this sort of amusement." He also notes that "This once beautiful park is now cut up with such streets as Centre Street, George Street, Norman Street, Summerfield Street and Willow Street, running through the land."The land that would become Ridgewood Park was purchased by William Wallace in 1884. On April 5, 1885, the first game was played between the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Ridgewoods before a reported 3,000 fans. According to Retrosheet, Ridgewood Park was used by the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers from 1887-1890 after they played the 1886 season at Grauer's. The field was home to the semipro Ridgewoods; later the Brooklyn Bushwicks and the Negro League Brooklyn Royal Giants also played there.
On September 19, 1917, the grandstand burned, precipitating the Bushwicks' move to Dexter Park (Queens) in 1918. Wallace apparently intended to subdivide the land put it up for sale in that year, but ultimately he would rebuild, and the property was not sold until 1927. Although it was gradually reduced in size, the park survived and hosted soccer and other sports as Grand Stadium until 1959, when it was replaced by industrial buildings.Grand Stadium once again played host to the Dodgers as a training site in its waning years. The Eagle reported on February 26, 1947, that Branch Rickey "looked refreshed on his arrival at Grand Stadium to watch the 20 who had been tempted [by Mexican promoter Pasquel's contract offers] and 30 other Dodgers go through their long drill." Although this passing reference does not conclusively establish the connection, it seems that the Dodgers returned briefly to their old stomping grounds some 60 years later.


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Ridgewood Park (baseball ground)

Address: 1325 Halsey St, Brooklyn, NY 11237, USA