Located in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Ebbets Field is a former MLB ballpark. This stadium is actually quite famous because it was home to the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers during some of their most iconic years. The facility served the teams for decades since they played there from 1913 down to 1957. If you put it in perspective, that’s two world wars, the depression, the roaring twenties, and the rocking 50s! The Brooklyn stadium was a cultural and social mainstay in Brooklyn, where it held an important place in the community. Construction works began in March 1912, just about a month before the sinking of the Titanic! Ebbets Field was actually replacing an even older venue, Washington Park, which had been around since the late 1800s. The venue eventually debuted with a Yankees game in 1913 (April 5th). The event was so successful that there was an overcapacity of more than 30,000 people, with about 5000 thousand fans not being able to get in. In addition to that, the stadium hosted its very first-night game in 1938. On that occasion, Johnny Vander Meer from the Cincinnati Reds achieved something amazing by pitching two consecutive no-hitters, something that to this day has remained unmatched in baseball!
This venue is often reported as instrumental in getting women to become more interested in live sports. In fact, Ebbets Field and the Dodgers launched a new initiative called “Ladies’ Days,” which allowed women to only be charged a ten-cent admission fee, which was very affordable. Hilda Chester, also known as Howling’ Hilda, was one of the women who enjoyed these unique events and became one of the very first super-fans in the world of baseball. The Dodgers were experiencing a lot of success early on, but things started to fall by the wayside until they actually recovered their prestige and then some starting from the end of the 30s! Their success was so great indeed that their old home turf was no longer enough for them. Ebbets Field was a relatively small venue, with so many limitations. It could only seat about 35.000 people, which definitely was not viable in terms of ticket sales for a team so successful. In addition to that, the area wasn’t incredibly easy to reach for every fan, as there was barely any parking spot for people coming from suburban areas such as Long Island. Due to unfruitful negotiations with the city, Mr. O’Malley, who owned the Dodgers at the time, decided to relocate the team to Los Angeles, where he had the opportunity to get a newer, better stadium. The site of the Ebbets Field was used rather sparingly, and it hosted college games, soccer, negro league games, and other minor events. It was eventually demolished in 1960, 35 years following the departure of the Dodgers and their move out west.
Since then, the area that once featured the Ebbets Field was transformed into apartment lots. Today, fans can see a resemblance with the Ebbets Field in the current Citi Field facility in Flushing-Meadows / Corona Park. This venue was indeed inspired by the timeless and now-iconic design of the early Ebbets Field, keeping a glimpse of its legacy alive for new generations of baseball fans. Although no longer with us, this venue has been incredibly influential in the history of major league baseball, and it continues to be remembered as one of the most beloved settings for this game during the golden age of this sport, not only for NYC teams but elsewhere around the US as well.