What's buzzing:

Hopes high Negro Leagues stadium makes comeback

AP - Sports

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium.

Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro Leagues teams is getting another chance at bat as baseball's first National Historic Landmark.

Historians, volunteers, activists and a former Negro Leagues player who has pushed for decades to save the stadium say the place is more than worthy of the designation, formally recognized with a plaque and dedication ceremony Wednesday.

''These athletes were so passionate about the game of baseball that they were willing to endure whatever social adversity confronted them as they traveled the highways and byways of this country - just to play baseball,'' said Bob Kendrick, president of the Kansas City, Mo.-based Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, who attended the dedication. ''That passion would not only change our sport, but it would change our country for the better.''

Other sporting cathedrals such as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field have national profiles, but haven't advanced to landmark status, D. Brent Leggs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation said. Boston's Fenway is on the National Register of Historic Places, as was Hinchliffe until last year when designated a landmark. Chicago's Wrigley Field is eligible for landmark status but has yet to go through the process.

Hinchliffe opened in 1932. And besides home to the New York Black Yankees, the New York Cubans and other teams, it was a Depression Era haven for working-class kids. Eleven members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame played at Hinchliffe, including Larry Doby, who went to high school in Paterson and whose son attended Wednesday's ceremony.

Doby integrated the American League in July 1947, just months after Jackie Robinson broke the National League's color barrier - actions being celebrated this week by Major League Baseball.

The Friends of Hinchcliffe Stadium hopes to restore the stadium for use by new generations in the working-class neighborhood where it stands. So far, the group has raised $1.2 million to stabilize the structure, but knows millions more will be needed to fully restore it.

School groups and other volunteers Wednesday helped paint the walls of the stadium and remove thickets of weeds, taking less than an hour to transform decades of multi-layered graffiti into a freshly painted surface.

''I hope I'll be able to see it finished and be built so young kids can come here and enjoy themselves, and grow up to be great people,'' said Robert ''Bob'' Scott, a pitcher for The New York Black Yankees from 1946-1950. Scott is now 82.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Paterson native who pushed for landmark status for the stadium and nearby Great Falls national park, has introduced legislation to incorporate the stadium into the footprint of the park, which would make the stadium eligible for more funding.

View Comments (0)
  • Pineda put on DL by Yankees; Sabathia takes his start

    Pineda put on DL by Yankees; Sabathia takes his start

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- New York Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor forearm muscle strain and was replaced by CC Sabathia for Thursday night's series finale at the Texas Rangers … More »

    AP - Sports - 4 minutes 32 seconds ago
  • Blue Jays get No. 1 starter they've coveted by acquiring Price from Tigers

    Blue Jays get No. 1 starter they've coveted by acquiring Price from Tigers

    When the Detroit Tigers made David Price available, the Toronto Blue Jays jumped at the opportunity to trade for the ace pitcher. The Blue Jays acquired Price from the Tigers on Thursday for left-handed pitching prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd … More »

    The Canadian Press - 15 minutes ago
  • Pirates designate Worley to make room for reliever Blanton

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pirates designated pitcher Vance Worley for assignment on Thursday to make room on the roster for newly acquired reliever Joe Blanton. … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago
  • Scherzer goes 7, Papelbon saves 1-0 win

    Scherzer goes 7, Papelbon saves 1-0 win

    Jonathan Papelbon's debut with the Washington Nationals was just as they envisioned. Max Scherzer scattered three hits over seven innings, Papelbon got his first save for Washington with a flawless ninth inning and the Nationals beat the Miami … More »

    AP - Sports - 28 minutes ago
  • Toronto adds lefty Price in trade deadline playoff push

    Toronto adds lefty Price in trade deadline playoff push

    (Reuters) - The Toronto Blue Jays, who fortified their impressive offense earlier this week, added a big weapon to their pitching staff by trading for Detroit Tigers left-hander David Price, the club announced on Thursday. The Blue Jays, who at … More »

    Reuters - 37 minutes ago