The cemetery entrance is 833 Jamaica Ave., Brooklyn, near the Cypress Hills stop on the J subway line, also reachable via the Jackie Robinson Parkway. Robinson’s plot is in section 6 on the Queens side of the graveyard, on Jackie Robinson Way near Cypress Road, across from a large stone mausoleum near a low black fence, tall evergreen tree and hedge row. A map can be found at http://nycin60.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/chcmap.png.
EBBETS FIELD AND WASHINGTON PARK
Robinson retired after the 1956 season. Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, still a much-hated name in parts of New York City, moved the team to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. The park was replaced by an apartment complex at 1720 Bedford Ave., in Crown Heights, where a stone in a wall is inscribed with the words: “This is the former site of Ebbets Field.”
Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn’s borough historian, grew up going to Dodger games at Ebbets Field and met Robinson several times. As a Brooklyn public school teacher, he used Robinson’s story to teach his students about civil rights, even hosting Robinson’s daughter Sharon as a speaker at the school. Recalling a recent visit to the Ebbets Field site, Schweiger said that “if you go up the stairs and into the courtyard, you’d be standing in right field. When you walk closer to the entrance to the building and look at the sign over to the right of the doorway, there’s a sign: ‘No radio playing. No bike riding. No ball playing.’ ”
Long before Ebbets Field existed, beginning in 1883, Brooklyn’s baseball team played in Washington Park, which is better known as a Revolutionary War site for the Battle of Brooklyn. George Washington’s troops were defeated here in 1776 by the British, who used as their base an old Dutch farmhouse now known as the Old Stone House. After the ballpark was built, the Old Stone House served as a clubhouse for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Washington Park is located at Fifth Avenue and Third Street in Park Slope (nearest subway stop, F to Fourth Avenue). Exhibits in the Old Stone House describe its connection to baseball and the Revolutionary War.
Kim Maier, executive director of the Old Stone House, offers a couple of other fun Dodger facts: The team was called the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers because trolleys running along Third Avenue made it tricky to get into the park. And the man who built Ebbets Field started out as a ticket-taker at Washington Park, then worked his way up to control the team. His name was Charlie Ebbets.