Today In Dodger History: Charles Ebbets Buys Land For Ebbets Field

EbbetsFieldJanuary 2, 1912

On this date over 100 years ago, Brooklyn baseball owner announced the purchase of 4.5 acres of land that was set to be the site of Ebbets Field. The land was in the pigtown section of Brooklyn and the stadium was set to be ready for the following season.

Charles Ebbets acquired the land in pieces since 1908 and had finally reached the amount he needed for the stadium. The new field would replace Washington Park and was made of concrete and steel. The park was built and by April of 1913, it was ready for use. On April 5, 1913, the Dodgers took on the New York Yankees in an exhibition game, but the stadium was formally opened on April 9 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The stadium lacked a press box, which wouldn’t be built until 1929 and had no seating in left or center field. Ebbets Field was similar to recently built Fenway Park and Tigers Stadium in the fact that it was small and intimate.

At the time, the franchise wasn’t formally known as the Dodgers and the first success at the stadium came at a time when some referred to the team as the Brooklyn Robins; however, the Ebbets Field program did announce the team as the Dodgers. The team made the World Series in 1916 and 1920 but lost both times. In the 1920s, the stadium’s capacity was increased from 18,000 to about 30,000. A scoreboard was added in the 1940s and capacity continued to fluctuate, remaining in the 30,000 range.

The baseball team wasn’t the only team to play at Ebbets Field, as the field was also used for football games. The New York Brickley Giants, Brooklyn Lions, Brooklyn Dodgers and Brooklyn Tigers all spent time at Ebbets Field in their respective years.

The baseball Dodgers remained at Ebbets until their move to Los Angeles in 1957 and the stadium was demolished in 1960.

Vincent Samperio

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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