Washington Park (I)
|Team: Brooklyn Bridegrooms (AA 1884 - 1889), Brooklyn Dodgers (NL 1890 - 1891)||Opening Day: May 12, 1883|
|Fire: May 19, 1889||Rebuilt: May 30, 1889|
In 1883, New York business men, Charles H. Byrne, R.I. Byrne and Joseph J. Doyle, along with gambling magnate Ferdinand A. Abell, purchased the Camden, NJ Merritts of the Interstate (Minor) League. They moved the team across the Hudson to Brooklyn, to become the city's first professional franchise in seven years. The team played one year in the Interstate League before moving to the new American Association. The land that was selected for the ballpark, in-between the Red Hook and Park Slope sections of Brooklyn, was leased from the Litchfield property for $30,000. The park had wooden bleachers and a grandstand with seating for 2,500. During the first game, 6,000 showed up. A ticket taker and handyman who worked for the club, Charles Ebbets, would go own to own the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The stone house in the picture, built in 1699 and known as the Gowanus House, served as the team's clubhouse and as headquarters for General George Washington during the Battle of Long Island in the Revolutionary War, hence the name, Washington Park. The rest of the site is a playground known as Byrne Park.
© 2004-17 Paul Healey.