Hilltop Park. Photo from Library of Congress
When the New York Yankees come to mind, thoughts of the Bronx naturally ensue. But did you know that the seemingly Bronx-exclusive baseball team has also had their tryst with Manhattan at the site of today’s New York Presbyterian Medical Center?
The New York Highlanders, as they were then called, have history in Manhattan’s late Hilltop Park. The field which was then located in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, was the home of the New York Yankees Major League Baseball Club from 1903-1912. Hilltop Park even doubled as the domain of the New York Giants during a two-month period back in 1911 amidst the reconstruction of the Polo Grounds stadiums.
Hilltop Park circa 1910. From Wikimedia Commons.
Though officially named the American League Park, the field was appropriately coined Hilltop Park due to its location on one of Manhattan island’s hilltops. Given the stadium’s elevated position, visitors were granted sight of both the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades from behind homeplate. Serving the New York Highlanders for nearly a decade, Hilltop Park was then demolished in 1914 following the Highlander’s subletting of the rebuilt Polo Grounds stadium after their lease had expired (it was also here where the Highlanders were renamed as the Yankees). Hilltop Park saw its last big league game on October 5, 1912.
Photo from Library of Congress
The field laid vacant up until New York Presbyterian Medical Center acquired the grounds and opened in 1928. Today, New York Presbyterian is among the busiest hospitals in New York City.Although the site today is virtually distinguishable to its former occupant, the hospital pays homage to its former venue with a plaque commemorating Hilltop Park.
Another fun Yankees fact: There was once a New York Yankees football team that played in Yankees Stadium!
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