New Jersey Restored Hinchliffe Stadium and Built a Negro Leagues Museum

Any trace of that history had been obscured by negligence. So it was hard — and perhaps unrealistic — to visualize the park being restored to its former glory. But Kendrick allowed himself to dream.

Less than a decade later, Hinchliffe Stadium is at the end of a massive redevelopment project that has cost more than $100 million. The initiative, which broke ground in April 2021, features a multisport athletic facility, a preschool, a restaurant and event space, parking, affordable senior housing and a museum devoted to the venue’s glory days, which ranged from the 1930s to the ’80s.

And this weekend, professional baseball games will return to the site. Kendrick can’t wait.

“To stand on those hallowed grounds, that you know the likes of Larry Doby and Monte Irvin and so many of the legendary stars of the Negro leagues were there, that’s special,” Kendrick said, adding, “When I stood on those grounds the last time, it was just blacktop. Now, to see it in its current state and alive and active, I’m sure that’s going to be pretty emotional.”

Larry Doby Jr., whose childhood featured tall tales of his father’s Hinchliffe heroics, added, “It’s been a long time coming. There were efforts by a lot of people to make this happen.”

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