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Historic Hinchliffe Stadium Gets $300,000 Restoration Grant

PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A dilapidated New Jersey stadium that once played host to legendary Negro Leagues baseball players is getting a boost for its restoration efforts.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation on Friday announced a $300,000 grant to help restore part of Paterson's Hinchliffe Stadium. The grant is from American Express and will be used to restore two original ticket booths.

The grant is relatively small compared to the tens of millions needed to renovate the stadium, but Brian Lopinto with The Friends of Hinchliffe Stadium said every little bit helps, WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported.

"It really does have to start with some major national contributions and we're grateful to American Express," Lopinto said, adding he hopes this will spur more donations. "You have to leave no stone unturned. It has to be public money, private money."

Hinchliffe Stadium opened in the 1930s and hosted teams including the New York Black Yankees and New York Cubans. Eleven members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame played there, including the American League's first black player, Larry Doby.

"This is the difference between having a sign that says 'Here once stood Hinchliffe Stadium' and 'Here stands Hinchliffe Stadium,'" Lopinto said.

Hinchliffe was the first baseball stadium to be named a National Historic Landmark in 2013. It also has been designated as part of Paterson's Great Falls National Historic Park.

Lopinto said it'll help as being an anchor to spreading redevelopment around town.

"Hinchliffe Stadium in conjunction with the Great Falls National Historical Park will be a great boost to the city of Paterson," Lopinto said.

He hopes it can someday host local school games, concerts, and other events.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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