|American League Park|
Location: New York, NY
Arena type: Baseball Stadium
Opened: April 3, 1903
Capacity: 16,000, with standing room for 15,000 more
Dimensions: 365' to left, 542' to center, 400' to right
Former names: None
Nicknames: Hilltop Park
World Series: None
All-Star Games: None
Hilltop Park was the nickname of a baseball stadium that formerly stood in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. It was the home of the New York's American League team from 1903-1912. It was also the temporary home of the New York Giants during a two-month period in 1911 while the Polo Grounds was being rebuilt after a fire. The ballpark's formal name was American League Park, just as the formal name of the team was simply the Americans. Because the park was located on The Hilltop of Manhattan Island, it came to be known as Hilltop Park, and its team was often called the New York Highlanders as well as the Americans or the Yankees. This "Highland" connection contrasted with their intra-city rivals, the Giants, whose Polo Grounds was just a few blocks away, in the bottomland under Coogan's Bluff. Hilltop Park sat on the block bounded by Broadway, 165th St, Fort Washington Ave and 168th St. The structure consisted of a covered grandstand stretching from first base to third base and uncovered bleacher sections down the right and left field lines. The bleachers were covered in 1911, and additional bleachers were built in 1912 in center field. Originally built in just six weeks, the park sat 16,000, with standing room for an additional 15,000 or so.
The field was initially huge by modern standards - 365 ft. to left field, 542 ft. to center field and 400 ft. to right field. An inner fence was soon constructed to keep things better balanced (see Baseball Almanac link). Both the park and the nickname "Highlanders" were abandoned when the American Leaguers left, at the beginning of the 1913 season, to rent the Polo Grounds from the Giants. The Polo Grounds had a far larger seating capacity, and by that time was made of concrete due to the 1911 fire. Hilltop Park was demolished in 1914.
Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, a major hospital, now stands on the site. In recent years a plaque has been placed on the hospital grounds to mark the former location of home plate in Hilltop Park.