7. Capitoline Grounds
Capitoline Grounds circa 1870. Image via C.S. Reinhart on Wikimedia Commons
While most people, fans of baseball or not, know that the Los Angeles Dodgers were at one point the Brooklyn Dodgers, even the most die hard sports fans in New York City might never have heard of Capitoline Grounds in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Capitoline Grounds was home to the Brooklyn Atlantics from 1864-1872, although the only year in which professional baseball was played at the park was in 1872 when the Atlantics joined the professional circuit before leaving for a larger field the following year.
In the short time that Capitoline Grounds was a ballpark, many significant events that would shape the future of baseball occurred at the Brooklyn field. “The finest game ever played” was played between the Atlantics and the Cincinnati Red Stockings, who at the time were considered the greatest team in the world, on June 14, 1870, where the Atlantics would defeat the Red Stockings and end the longest winning streak of all time at 84 games. In 1870, it is also reported by sportswriter Henry Chadwick that the first public display of the curveball was demonstrated by Fred Goldsmith, Before the display, Goldsmith’s curveball was only believed to be an optical illusion.
Before its demolition in 1880, Capitoline Grounds was used as an ice rink during the winter when they froze over the fields.
Today, no remaining traces of Capitoline Grounds can be found at its original location, but the park has been referenced in today’s culture briefly. In 2014, a coffee shop with the same name as the ballpark opened along Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, not too far from the site of the field (though the shop is now closed). Capitoline Grounds has also been referenced in a 1990 novel, If I Never Get Back: A Novel by Darryl Brock.
Visit where the site was at the block bound by Halsey Street, and Marcy, Putnam, and Nostrand Avenues. Brooklyn