New York (Manhattan), NY
|Team: New York Yankees (Highlanders)||Capacity: 16,000 (plus standing room, up to another 15,000)|
|Opening Day: April 30, 1903||Closing Day: October 5, 1912|
|Dimensions: LF 365, CF 542, RF 400||Surface: grass|
In 1903 Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the defunct American League Baltimore team and moved them to Manhattan. This team would go on to be the most dominate team in the history of professional sports. Anywho, the new owners needed a place for their team to play, so they constructed a park on 165th Street, 168 Street, Fort Washington Avenue, and Broadway. This park was built in the Washington Heights section of New York and at one of the highest points in the city. As a result the team was called the Highlanders and the park was called Hilltop Park. This would change when the team moved to the Polo Grounds and them changed their name to the Yankees.
The all wood park was built in six weeks and consisted of a single decked grandstand. The park had a lovely view of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. The scoreboard was in left, the club house was in center, and the exit was in right. In right center there was a large Bull Durham sign shapped like a Bull. (I didn't know the movie was that old.... just kidding.) When the park first opened (April 30, 1903) there was a huge hollow in right field that was ropped off. All balls hit over that rope were doubles. When the Highlanders began their second home stand on June 1 of the same year, a fence had been built in front of the hole and all balls hit over it were homers.
One team that didn't like the Highlanders moving in were the Giants. Over time a friendly rivalry developed and the teams played exhibition games against each other. When the Polo Grounds burned down, the Giants played at Hilltop Park from April 15 to May 30, 1911. In 1912 the Yankees moved into the Giant's Polo Grounds until Yankee Stadium was built in 1923.
Hilltop Park was torn down in 1914. The Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center (pictured bellow) has occupied the site since the 1920s.
© 2002-17 Paul Healey.