Dodgers Ballpark History: From Brooklyn To Dodger Stadium
General view of the Ebbets Field entrance, which was home to the Brooklyn Dodgers
NY Daily News Archive

The Dodgers franchise history timeline dates back to 1884, when the team spent one season as the Brooklyn Atlantics. They changed to the Brooklyn Grays the following year for three seasons and went by multiple names before officially being known as the Dodgers.

In similar fashion to the team going through name changes throughout its history, they also have played at several ballparks. The most prominent, of course, being Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Capitoline Skating Lake and Base Ball Ground (1862-1878)

Also know as Capitoline Grounds, the area was used a baseball park in Brooklyn from 1864 to 1880, with an approximate 5,000 capacity. A circular brick outhouse was placed in right field, and if any player hit a ball over the structure, they were presented with a bottle of champagne.

The park played home to local amateur teams early on and later hosted professional and semi-professional games. The park’s only season as the home for a professional team was in 1872 when the Brooklyn Atlantics joined the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players.

Easily the park’s most notable game was on June 14, 1870, when the Atlantics defeated the Cincinnati Red Stockings to snap their 84-game winning streak. The location is also believed to have been the site for the debut of the first slide when Ned Cuthbert tried avoiding a tag when attempting to steal a base (1865), and the first curveball thrown (by Fred Goldsmith in 1870).

The Atlantics won the most games in 1857, then won the league’s first three championships from 1859-1861. The only season of Major League Baseball at Capitoline Grounds was in 1872.

Washington Park (1879-1890)

Washington Park was a designated area of three Major League Baseball stadiums on two different sites in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. The two sites were diagonally opposite one another at a shared intersection.

A fire destroyed Washington Park in May of 1889, leading to a rebuild of the location. The 1890 season was the Bridegroom’s last at Washington Park, and one that ended with the club winning the National League title.

Ridgewood Park (1886-1889)

Commonly referred to Meyerrose’s Park, Horse Market or Wallace’s Grounds, Ridgewood Park was used by the Bridegrooms on Sundays for four seasons.

Eastern Park (1891-1897)

The original home of the Brooklyn Ward’s Wonders of the Players’ League, Eastern Park welcomed the Dodgers franchise on a part-time basis in 1891 and full-time the following year for six seasons.

When Charles Ebbets purchased the team, he moved them back to (the newer) Washington Park, both because of its better location and cost of rent.

‘New’ Washington Park (1898-1912)

The Dodgers signed a 15-year lease upon returning to their previous home, and while it served as an ideal stadium, odors from the canal and factories in the area marred the experience.

Ebbets Field (1913-1957)

After Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets methodically purchased plots of land, construction on Ebbets Field began March 4, 1912. The project prompted Ebbets to sell a portion of the franchise, with part-owners Edward and Stephen McKeever playing, owners of a contracting firm, playing key roles to completing the construction.

Ebbets Field featured an 80-foot rotunda with an Italian marble floor, chandelier, coat check rooms, and seats designed to give fans an experience similar to visiting a theater. More seats were installed after the 1931, ’37 and ’47 seasons.

A press box was added in 1929, and a scoreboard adorned to the right-field wall beginning in 1930.

The Dodgers, at the time owned by Walter O’Malley, played their final game at Ebbets Field on Sept. 24, 1957, as the team was bound for Los Angeles. Ebbets Field was demolished in 1960 and replaced by apartment buildings.

Roosevelt Stadium (1956-1957)

While Ebbets Field was their home ballpark, the Dodgers additionally played seven home games at Roosevelt Stadium in 1956, going 6-1, and they were 4-3 there the following season.

Of course, Roosevelt Stadium was also where Jackie Robinson played his first Minor League game as a member of the Dodgers organization (April 18, 1946).

Don Drysdale’s first of 49 career shutouts came at Roosevelt Stadium on June 5, 1957, and Carl Furillo hit the Dodgers’ first home run there.

Roosevelt stadium was demolished in 1985.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1958-61)

During the wait for Dodger Stadium to be built, the Dodgers spent four seasons playing at the L.A. Coliseum. The stadium had been used for football and Olympic Games, and required the installation of a 40-foot screen in left field to make up for the short distance from home plate.

The Dodgers welcomed the largest home-opener crowd in franchise history (78,672) on Opening Day of the 1958 season. One year later, the Dodgers set an attendance record as 93,103 were on hand to honor Roy Campanella.

The Dodgers celebrated their 50 years in L.A. by returning to the Coliseum in March 2008 for an exhibition game with the Boston Red Sox.

Dodger Stadium (1962-Present)

There have been additions and upgrades, but the look and nostalgic feel of Dodger Stadium has largely remained intact in the nearly six decades it has served as the Dodgers’ home. The expansion L.A. Angels also used Dodger Stadium before moving to Anaheim in 1965.

New, space-age colored seats replace original seats in 1975, and 30 years later the seating color scheme returned to that of the original 1962 look, along with field-level seating down the foul lines being converted to retro-style box seats.

Additional Dodger Stadium additions and renovations throughout the years brought about LED video displays, upgraded outfield video boards, clubhouses and weight rooms, fan restrooms, concession stands, sound system and team batting cages, wider concourses, new entrances and more.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In 2017, the Dodgers added a Jackie Robison statue outside the left field reserve entrance. In July 2019, the team unveiled plans for a new center field entrance plaza with Robinson and Sandy Koufax statues, food and drink options, entertainment and retail areas, Legends of Dodger Baseball plaques and bridged concourse across outfield pavilion, among other amenities.

Dodger Stadium has hosted 10 World Series, the Dodgers have won four championships (1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988), 10 NL pennants (1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988, 2017, 2018) and 18 NL West division titles (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1995, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).