Additional images: Opening game Eastern League, Rochester - Newark at Newark, N.J., April 21st, 1910.
Ruppert Stadium History from Nat Bodian
Ruppert Stadium was built in 1926. It was built by the New York Yankees organization and named after its beer baron owner, Jacob Ruppert on a 15 acre plot of land bounded by Wilson Avenue, and Avenues K and L.
The stadium was designed by Charles A. Davids. It was built with a seating capacity of 12,000, but on special occasions in its 41-year life was known to have sandwiched in as many as 22,000.
Ruppert Stadium served as a home for the ‘old’ Newark Bears in the international League, as well as for the Newark Eagles, a pennant-winning team in the African-American league. This was an era when baseball was still a segregated sport.
The Ruppert Stadium outfield fence was 410 feet from home plate, a feature found mainly in major league ballparks.
The Down Neck stadium had also been used as a high school sports field and had been leased out for special sporting events.
As baseball attendance in the late 1940s fell off and African-American baseball stars began making their way into the major leagues after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the 1940s, the Yankee organization sold the stadium to the City of Newark for $325,000.
The stadium was leveled to the ground in 1967.
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Stadium Location Problems
The major shortcoming of Ruppert Stadium had been its location in the Newark meadows near the Newark City Dumps, where garbage was burned. On occasion, smoke from the burning dumps would force a halt to a game.
Another problem was inaccessibility. In an era when relatively few Newarkers owned cars and relied on public transportation, the stadium was a long distance from Newark’s residential areas and required a long trolley ride from Downtown Newark.
End of Ruppert Stadium History from Nat Bodian
Some Stadium Events
For several years there was a game played at Rupert Stadium between Bordentown Military Academy and Admiral Farragut Naval Academy. Naturally, these were prep schools and hence the term "little Army-Navy". These games drew good crowds of between ten and fifteen thousand people.
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