The Los Angeles Dodgers has its origin story firmly implanted in Brooklyn, although there is tragically not much left to see. What was once the illustrious home of the Brooklyn Dodgers in Crown Heights became a hulking 24-story housing development. Its name, Ebbets Field Apartments, is one of the few reminders of its baseball history. Sadly, a sign reads “No ball playing.” Even lesser known is a forgotten plaque on a sidewalk that marks the original location of the Ebbets Field home plate.

Located in a parking lot within the complex just off of Sullivan Place, the plaque which is in the shape of home plate, reads: “Site of the Ebbets Field Home Plate. Home to the Brooklyn Dodgers 1913-1957. At this location on April 5, 1947 Jack Roosevelt Robinson Integrated Major League Baseball.”  On our list visit, it was on a section of sidewalk under scaffolding.

Ebbets Field Apartments

The other piece of history is located behind a bush, under the building’s address number. A cornerstone is inscribed with the words “This is the former site of Ebbets Field.” The year 1962 is shown inside a baseball to mark the year the apartments were constructed. Across the street on the western side of the complex you will find P.S. 375 Jackie Robinson School and the Jackie Robinson Playground. Another remnant of Ebbets Field is not on the site, but at Barclays Center — a flagpole from center field.

Ebbets Field Apartment cornerstone

The Dodgers’ name comes from the literal dodging of Brooklyn’s trolleys by the borough’s residents, as crossing the city’s streets amidst the new transportation method was a deadly sport in itself. In fact, the team was originally known as the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers. It should also be noted that there are some that believe the term comes from Brooklynites evading or “dodging” the farebox, but the official Dodgers’ history matches the traffic reference. It wasn’t until 1933 that the team put the word Dodgers on their uniforms.

Ebbets Field, opening day, 1913. Image via UCinternational on Wikimedia Commo

The early Dodgers team, known under names like the Brooklyn Atlantics, the Bridgerooms, the Superbas and others, practiced at the first Washington Park, the location of the Old Stone House in Park Slope. After moving to the second Washington Park in Gowanus in 1898, the Dodgers moved to Ebbets Field in Crown Heights. Ground broke on Ebbets Field in 1912 and the stadium opened in 1913. The stadium had an Italian marble rotunda and chandelier made of baseballs and bats. Here, the Brooklyn Dodgers would win their only World Series title in 1955, over the New York Yankees.

It was soon clear, however, that Ebbets Field was too small for the Dodgers fan base. Team owner Walter O’Malley hoped to build a new, larger stadium at Atlantic Yards, where the Barclays Center stands today but Robert Moses, New York City’s master builder had grand plans for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. Refusing to move the team to Queens, O’Malley looked into using Los Angeles as a leveraging tool against Moses but ended up taking the offer to move cities. Ebbets Field closed in 1957 and was demolished in 1960. Within two years, the Ebbets Field Apartments was up.

Discover more unique finds like this in our book Secret BrooklynGet an autographed copy from us or a non-autographed copy on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Marker for Ebbets Field Home Plate is in a Brooklyn Apartment Parking Lot

  1. Ebbets Field Apartments, which is located on the former baseball field of the Brooklyn Dodgers is a 1300-unit housing complex. This complex was built in the 1962, two years after the demolishment of the stadium.

    Ebbets Field Apartments, which is a home to a diverse and friendly community, has to offer 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom apartments along with large studios. The units have spacious rooms, and great closet space, with gas and lights included. Balconies are available at most of the units. The west-located units offer views of Prospect Park, the statue of liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

    Residents and tenants Ebbets Field Apartments are provided with high standards of service, 24 hour security, and onsite maintenance and porter staff.

  2. I have serious doubts that this marker depicts the exact location of home plate. If you look at ariel views of the ballpark and this, home plate’s real location would be in the basement or some other obscured location that is not accessible. like the Polo Grounds home plate marker, this should read ‘approximate” location. The real location of Ebbets Field’s pate would not be viable to the general public. And this marker appears to be off by my guess, 25-30 feet at least.

  3. In addition to the names listed, the Dodgers were also known as the “Brooklyn Robins”, reflecting their Manager “Uncle Robbie” Wilbert Robinson.

    The grammar in the cornerstone is wrong. It is not the “former” site of Ebbets Field – it still is the site of it. The place where something stood or happened is ALWAYS the site of it even if what happened was in the past or the building is no longer there (e.g. Flushing Meadows IS the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair, not the former site of them).

    One example of the proper wording for
    the cornerstone is “This is the site of the former HOME of the Brooklyn Dodgers – Ebbets Field.”

  4. Great post. Love old hidden in plain sight markers to our beloved History like this. Keep up the good work, Michelle! RR

Comments are closed.