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Past Ballparks of New York City
New York City (Manhattan, Queens & Brooklyn)
September 29, 2007

By Ken Schlapp

From 1903 to 1912, the Yankees were known as the Highlanders.  During that time, they played their games at Hilltop Park, which was located between 165th and 168th Streets, Broadway, and Ft Washington Avenue. It was actually named American League Park, had a sign on the stadium that said so, but was referred to as Hilltop Park due to its location on the top of a hill in Washington Heights.  One of the most famous baseball photos was of Ty Cobb sliding hard into 3rd base to take out the legs of the 3rd baseman. That photo was taken at Hilltop Park.  Unfortunately, a fire ruined the stadium in 1912, which forced the Highlanders to move into the Polo Grounds as the Giants’ tenant until Yankee Stadium was completed in 1923. Today, the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center occupies the former spot of Hilltop Park. Thankfully, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in the courtyard of the hospital in the shape of home plate to estimate the approximate location where the actual home plate previously existed.  We went into the hospital to ask where the home plate plaque was, and a guard gladly let us in and showed us where it was. I had to pose as a catcher for a photo opportunity while we inspected the former home of the Highlanders.

That ended the Manhattan part of our tour as we headed into Queens and into the area where I grew up, specifically, Ridgewood and Maspeth. Prior to this trip, I had not realized how much baseball history resided in my old stomping grounds.

 

NYC Ballparks Part III

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