Ballparks: 1862 - Present


Capitoline Skating Lake and Base-Ball Ground

  • Capacity: 5,000
  • Location: Between Nostrand Ave and Marcy Ave at Halsey St. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, NY

Amateur baseball flourished in Brooklyn as early as the 1840s. Games were played near Carol Park and later at Union Grounds in the Williamsburg area. In 1862, Reuben Decker built a ballpark at the Capitoline Skating Lake. It followed the Union Grounds as only the second fenced-in ballpark. The Brooklyn Atlantics called Capitoline home until the area was developed and a street replaced the field in 1879.


Washington Park

  • First professional game: May 5, 1884
  • First National League game: April 28, 1890
  • Capacity: 4,500
  • Location: Between 3rd and 4th Streets at 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY

In 1699, a Dutch immigrant named Claes Arentson Vechte built a stone house for his family in what was called the village of Gowanus within the old Town of Breukelen. In August 1776, General George Washington engaged the British for the first time in the Revolutionary War at the very same spot in what would be known as the Battle of Brooklyn. The British occupied Vechte's stone house and through its windows, fired their cannons, muskets and guns. The British won the battle, but lost the war.

Just over a century later, in 1879, the Brooklyn Atlantics moved to a new home, Washington Park, and the team's clubhouse was none other than the stone house built by Vechte.

The National League was formed in 1876, but Washington Park was home to minor league teams until the American Association was formed in 1882 and Brooklyn joined in 1884. After winning the American Association championship in 1889, Brooklyn faced the National League champion New York Giants in an exhibition World Series. While the Giants won in nine games, the rivalry proved so intense that the Brooklyn franchise joined them in the National League in 1890.

Washington Park was destroyed by a fire on May 19, 1889, while the team was on a road trip. But it was rebuilt, with greater capacity. A crowd of 2,488 witnessed the final home game that year as the team set a record in professional baseball with a season attendance total of 353,690.

The 1890 season was the Bridegroom's last at Washington Park, but it was a good one -- the team took home the National League title.


Ridgewood Park

  • First game: May 2, 1886
  • Location: Ridgewood (Queens), NY

Ridgewood Park, also known as Meyerrose's Park, Horse Market or Wallace's Grounds, was home to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms on Sundays for four seasons. When the Bridegrooms left the American Association and joined the National League in 1890, their relationship with Ridgewood ended as well.


Eastern Park

  • First game: April 27, 1891
  • Capacity: 18,000
  • Location: Between Pitkin and Sutter Avenues and Powell St. and Van Sinderen Ave. in East New York (Brooklyn), NY

In 1891, real estate mogul George Chauncey purchased a controlling interest in the ballclub, joining Ferdinand Abell and Charles Byrne in the ownership group. Chauncey and Byrne thought the team could earn larger revenues from the club's intense rivalry with the Giants if they moved the team several miles due east to a larger, more accessible facility called Eastern Park. Byrne wanted to move there sooner, but the Player's League formed in 1890 and the Brooklyn Wonders called Eastern Park home. However, the PL lasted just one season.
Eastern Park was surrounded by electric trolley tracks and the local pedestrians had to negotiate a whirlwind of trolley cars to get into the ballpark. Accidents were common and often resulted in the deaths of unfortunate pedestrians. The artful skill of dodging the trolley cars led Brooklyn fans to assume the moniker "Trolley Dodgers," which was eventually shortened and became the franchise name, the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In 1897, Abell, Byrne and Charles Ebbets bought out Chauncey's shares and Byrne died soon after. Ebbets was elected president of the ballclub and moved the team back to its original home.


"New" Washington Park

  • Opened: April 30, 1898
  • Capacity: 18,800
  • Location: Between 3rd and 4th Avenues and 1st and 3rd Streets, Brooklyn, NY
  • Dimensions: Left field: 335 (1898), 375.95 (1908), 300 (1914); Left-center: 500 (1898), 443.5 (1908); Center field: 445 (1898), 424.7 (1908), 400 (1914); Right-center: 300 (1898); Right field: 215 (1898), 295 (1899), 301.84 (1908), 275 (1914); Backstop: 90 (1898), 15 (1908)

The "new" Washington Park was built for $60,000 in an area near the Gowanus Canal, a coal yard and the American Can Company's factory. It was quite near the field the club called home when they entered the National League, and the team signed a 15-year lease on the property.
Fans would watch the games from the rooftops and fire escapes of the Ginney Flats, a row of tenements beyond the outfield wall and a perfect place from which to heckle and intimidate Giants outfielders and fans.

The team, its fans and the city eventually outgrew Washington Park. Crowds often formed along the foul lines when the wooden stands were full. On Opening Day of the final season at Washington Park (April 11, 1912), crowds were so large (an estimated 30,000 arrived) that the police were ordered in for control and the game was called before the seventh inning.

The smells from the canal and nearby factories often made for an unpleasant experience for fans and ballplayers alike. Team owner Charles Ebbets knew that the time had come to build something majestic.



Roosevelt Stadium

  • Opened: April 23, 1937
  • First Dodgers game: April 19, 1956
  • Capacity: 24,167
  • Location: Near the Hackensack River, west of Route 440 and Danforth Avenue at Droyers' Point, Jersey City, NJ
  • Dimensions: Foul lines: 330; Power alleys: 377-401; Center field: 411; Backstop: 60

Roosevelt Stadium was built during the depression for $1.5 million, which was funded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. Although the steel and concrete stadium, which was designed by architect Christian H. Ziegler, was to be named Veterans' Memorial Stadium, Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague named it in the president's honor.

The Dodgers played seven home games at Roosevelt Stadium in 1956 (going 6-1) and seven in 1957 (4-3), but the most historic moment at the ballpark came a decade earlier, when Jackie Roosevelt Robinson stepped into the batter's box on April 18, 1946, as a member of the Dodgers' minor league Montreal Royals. It was Robinson's first plate appearance after Dodgers GM Branch Rickey signed him and ended segregation in the National Pastime.

Carl Furillo hit the Dodgers' first home run at Roosevelt Stadium on July 25, 1956. Don Drysdale pitched the first of his 49 Major League shutouts on June 5, 1957 in Jersey City, by beating the Cubs, 4-0. The stadium was demolished in 1985.