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Ripken endorses Hinchliffe Stadium renovation

Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. endorsed the renovation of the historic Paterson (N.J.) stadium.

Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. endorsed the renovation of Hinchliffe Stadium, the historic Paterson (N.J.) stadium.

In a letter sent to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is considering the addition of the 1932 facility to a list of America's Most Endangered Places, Ripken endorsed a plan to renovate the stadium, which served as home to the New York Black Yankees and New York Cubans of the Negro Leagues. 

"The preservation of the history of baseball is essential to understanding the context in which the history of this country was formed," Ripken wrote. "Hinchliffe Stadium's role in the Negro Leagues and the legendary players who played there are not just significant to the history of baseball, but to the history of segregation, race relations and the integration of society in the United States."

Voters have already approved a $15-million bond issue for renovation of the facility, which is owned by the Paterson school district and last hosted an event in 1997. Various plans have called for it to serve as a youth sports academy; a final plan for the facility remains to be finalized, though city and school-district officials say they're close.

Hinchliffe Stadium is on the Ballpark Digest Endangered Ballparks list.

RELATED STORIES: Paterson moves forward on Hinchliffe Stadium renovation; Hinchliffe Stadium preservation moves proceeding

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