Location: Pittsburgh, PA., 2500 Bedford Avenue and seated about 7500 in its uncovered grandstands.
Opening Day: April 30, 1932
Demolished: December 1938
Greenlee Field was the first black-owned and black-built major baseball field in the United States. It was built in 1931 and was the brainchild of Gus Greenlee, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords.
Greenlee had bought the Crawfords in 1930, but was angered at the fact that his players, good as they were, could not use the dressing rooms when they played at Forbes or Ammon Fields--or any other white-owned field, for that matter. He soon determined to build his own field at which the Crawfords and other black teams could play.
Various reports have the cost of Greenlee Field totaling somewhere around $100,000. It was designed by an architect named Bellinger. It was a steel and concrete structure with a high brick wall. The Pittsburgh Courier declared it to be a "mecca of the Hill district."
On Opening Day the Pittsburgh Crawfords dedicated their new park with much pomp and circumstance. Before the game, both teams wearing their best marched with a band to the flagpole in center field. With the band playing the Stars Spangled Banner, a large American flag was raised. After honoring our country, the Crawfords gave the spotlight to Robert L. Vann, who was the editor of The Pittsburgh Courier. Vann welcomed at crowd and asked them to thank Greenlee for providing Pittsburgh with a place for its Negro League teams to play. Greenlee received a standing ovation. Newspaper accounts tell of a capacity crowd of 4,000 people. This may indicate that some of the seating for Greenlee Field may not have been completed.