This waterfront ballpark with a capacity of 24,000 was built in 1937 to be home to the Jersey City Giants, a minor league team affiliated with the baseball New York Giants.
On April 18, 1946 the ballpark saw Jackie Robinson make his professional debut with the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers top farm club. In spectacular fashion, he led his new team to a 14-1 win with four hits that included a three-run homer, three RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases.
In the late 1950s, Roosevelt Stadium was used as a tactical ploy by Walter O’Malley in hosting the Brooklyn Dodgers a total of 15 regular season games, in hope of scaring the City of New York into building a new ballpark. This of course failed as they ended up bolting for the West Coast in 1958. In the following years, Roosevelt Stadium played host to various low-level minor league teams, including one squad that starred a 19-year-old Ricky Henderson, until old age eventually got the best of the deteriorating ballpark. In 1985, the ballpark was demolished and today a gated community stands in its place.
Editors note – Jackie’s professional debut was officially in the Negro Leagues, but the historic significance of him playing with the Montreal Royals needs to stand on its own.