Ball Field

1960 - c. 1992

On May 26, 1960, roughly 600 grandstand seats from Ebbets Field (home of the Brooklyn Dodgers), which had been demolished a few months before, were dedicated for use at the workhouse prison ball field on Hart Island. The ball field was named Kratter Field after its donor Marvin Kratter, the developer who acquired Ebbets Field and donated the seats. The workhouse “All Stars” played against an Army unit stationed at the Nike missile battery on Hart Island. On opening day, The New York Times reported: “A standing-room crowd of 1340 – all but fifty-three of the prisoners on the island – was present.” Unfortunately, the ball field and the seats are no longer extant. Many of the seats were stolen over the years, but in the early 1990s, the DOC removed the rest and the ball field was mowed. The photo above was taken before the seats were removed.

©1991 Joel Sternfeld courtesy The Hart Island Project