Friday, September 24, 2010

UNION GROUNDS, Brooklyn; Where Baseball Grew-Up

Unbeknown to most in the Borough,
This is Hallowed Ground:

click pictures to enlarge.

Brooklyn, New York

If Baseball has it's "original" and accepted roots with the
New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club of Manhattan,
with their activities played out on Hoboken's Elysian Fields, then truly,
served as the Crib of Baseball.
The game of Baseball learned how to stand on two feet and walk here; at Union Grounds and other locations in Brooklyn, Baseball became great and radiated to all parts of the Nation.

Union Grounds and Brooklyn
is Where Baseball History was Born.

The Ball Field was bordered by four streets in one of the earliest nurseries of our National Pastime;  Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Marcy Avenue ~ Rutledge Street ~ Harrison Avenue ~ Lynch Street is where once stood Brooklyn's  UNION GROUNDS;  1862 ~ 1882.

In 1883 ~ The Baseball grounds met their end. The site became a New York State Armory and still remains home to New York's National Guard.

This was the first fully enclosed ball park in America.  A Sir William Cammeyer, proprietor,
enclosed the playing field with a fence. He now required an admittance fee to watch Baseball games; the first standardized admission charged to a ball game. Union Grounds was the first ball field to offer concessions for it's patrons.  Those same patrons were sitting in the first fixed seating area for the purposes of viewing Baseball; the first stands/bleachers ~ your preference.




Union Grounds grew with and beyond Baseball's original amateurism.   Union Grounds played host to teams from the first Professional Baseball League;  The National Association of Professional Baseball Players; est. 1871.  Union Grounds also played host to a team in the first year of operations for what we still know today as the NATIONAL LEAGUE of BASEBALL ~ est. 1876

Teams which called Union Grounds home at various times:
New York Mutuals ~ N.A. and N.L.
Brooklyn Eckfords ~ N.A.
*BROOKLYN ATLANTICS ~ N.A. ~ My favorites!
Hartfords of Brooklyn ~ N.L.

Union Grounds is the backdrop for this Baseball fashion magazine picture.

The Union Grounds site is only one time removed from it's original purpose serving as the place where our little game of Baseball grew up.

#(pic credit) ~ ...Has compiled a superb amount of information regarding Union Grounds in conjunction with their other efforts rediscovering Baseball history in Brooklyn.  This is an artist's rendering of Union Grounds on their website.  I've tried to contact them through their website unsuccessfully. ~ (Update - I met Dave D., co-author of BrooklynBallparks, shortly after this posting).

Their site is packed with information.  Visit them for the history lesson.

*pictures of Union Grounds/Fashion Ad
 ~ 150 Years of Baseball; Beekman House 1989; Stephen Hanks,
photo researcher, Mark Rucker

Here are some links to further you along as you research
Union Grounds:


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