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University News

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Montclair State University’s partnership with Paterson Public Schools and Hinchliffe Stadium highlighted at May 11 Yankees game

Posted in: Alumni, Homepage News, Uncategorized, University

four men stand behind home plate in Yankees stadium
From left, Philanthropist Chuck Muth, BAW Development CEO Baye Adofo-Wilson, Larry Doby Jr. and University President Jonathan Koppell watch a pre-game video highlighting the revitalization of Hinchliffe Stadium and the development of the Charles J. Muth Museum.

On a perfect spring night for baseball at Yankee Stadium, Montclair State University, along with the benefactor and developer of the restoration of Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey, were highlighted in a pre-game ceremony and video honoring the historic stadium and Negro League Baseball.

The ceremony was part of an evening commemorating the night 82 years ago that legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, who appeared as a member of the New York Black Yankees in front of an estimated crowd of 19,300 fans at Yankee Stadium on May 11, 1941, pitched a complete game, striking out eight batters in a 5-3 victory. A portion of the promotional ticket sales that included a Satchel Paige bobblehead went to help fund the Hinchliffe project.

With the help of a $5 million gift from Paterson native Chuck Muth ’77 and his wife, Laura, Montclair State University will be an educational partner, along with Paterson Public Schools, in the creation and operation of a museum and learning center at the historic Hinchliffe Stadium.

The museum and learning center will highlight the history of Negro League Baseball and the Stadium’s legacy as a cultural touchstone and will honor the Black and Hispanic players that integrated baseball. The Charles J. Muth Museum of Hinchliffe Stadium, as it will be known, will serve as an educational and community hub for the City of Paterson and Montclair State University students and faculty.

This video about the Hinchliffe Stadium and Charles J. Muth Museum project played on the big screen before the game.

“My roots in Paterson go back many generations. I grew up and attended schools only blocks from the iconic Hinchliffe Stadium and, like many others, have fond memories of attending events there,” Muth said when developers broke ground on construction. “The opportunity to work alongside Montclair State University on the Stadium revitalization project presented a terrific way for me to give back in a meaningful way to the city that played such a pivotal and inspiring role in helping to build my personal foundation and launch a successful career in business.”

The stadium is one of the last remaining Negro League stadiums in the country and the renovation will return it to its glory as a crown jewel of Paterson. Montclair will partner with Paterson Public Schools to oversee the educational programming for the Museum, which will include the curation and presentation of a wide range of exhibits and programs. Its educational outreach activities will connect the museum to the diverse communities of Paterson. The facility will also become the on-the-ground home of Montclair and Paterson’s expanding community development initiatives.

“It was a great night to celebrate baseball and the return of a legendary stadium in Paterson. We are looking forward to working with Paterson Public Schools to keep these important stories alive,” says University President Jonathan Koppell. “The Muths’ gift allows Montclair to continue building on our efforts to serve the public good in Paterson, where, with our partners, we are working on solutions that we believe will create lasting change for one of New Jersey’s most vibrant communities.”

Montclair took bus loads of students, faculty, staff and VIPs to the game in a show of support and enjoyed a fun night of baseball, despite the Yankees’ 8-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Photo Gallery

A Great Night for Baseball

Four men stand in a baseball stadium and also appear on the big screen behind them.
From left, Philanthropist Chuck Muth ’77, BAW Development CEO Baye Adofo-Wilson, Larry Doby Jr. and University President Jonathan Koppell watch a pre-game video highlighting the revitalization of Hinchliffe Stadium and the development of the Charles J. Muth Museum.
A student wearing a Yankees jersey grins at the camera as other spectators watch the game.
Eight women eight smile in the spectator stands.
Two women wearing red Montclair tee shirts
Four young men in the stands smile.
A crowd of spectators with six women smiling at the camera.
Spectators enjoy a game.
Three women, two wearing sunglasses, smile and one holds a tiny Yankees baseball cap.
Seven people smile from a baseball box seat with the field below.
From left, Jonathan Koppell, Chuck Muth, Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, Farhanna Sayegh, Baye Adofo-Wilson, Larry Doby, Jr. and Jennifer Steen.
A box with a Satchel Paige bobblehead with a baseball field in the background.
A view of a baseball stadium from box seat level: green field with players in position, a full stadium and a pink and purple sky.

Story by Laura Griffin. Photos by John J. LaRosa.