A rather astounding event occurred on December 23, 2002, when the Hoboken Planning Board approved Daniel Gans' and George Vallone's revised redevelopment plan for the Old Maxwell Coffee plant site on the Hoboken waterfront. For underneath the plant complex is the original Elysian Fields, which most historians now recognize as the birthplace of America's favorite past-time, baseball. On June 19, 1846, under the rules established by Alexander Cartwright, the first recognized and documented baseball game was played between the Knickerbockers and the New York Nine.
As part of the site plan that was approved, the original Elysian Fields are to be restored to their original 19th Century appearance, opening much needed recreational space for Hoboken residents. It is also especially exciting news for baseball fans who will for the first time in their lives, be able to set foot on America's first baseball field. When the restoration is complete, it may be possible to recreate those early baseball games, complete with 19th century uniforms, equipment and of course, rules. This living tribute to baseball's beginnings will not only be a boon to the game of baseball, but also of course, to Hoboken, which will finally gain greater recognition as the true birthplace of modern baseball. Much credit must be given not only to the project's developers, but also to the Hoboken administration and involved citizenry who worked diligently to bring back a part of history for us all.