Created By: Upper Madison Improvement Group
In the mid-1880s, a group of local swells was looking for a place to play sports. They bought this parcel along Partridge Street and constructed a baseball diamond, a cricket pitch, a bicycle track, and more, opening these grounds as the Ridgefield Athletic Association in 1885.
One of the Association’s first projects was building a 55-foot-high toboggan run. For a few winters in the 1880s, Ridgefield tobogganing was hugely popular among Albany's society set, even drawing mention in The New York Times and a visit from the governor.
At least two major-league baseball players got their start playing for Ridgefield teams: Eddie Phelps, who caught for the Pirates in the 1903 World Series; and James Bentley Seymour, who has been called "perhaps the greatest forgotten name of baseball."
Around 1899, the club transferred its fields and clubhouse to the YMCA. In 1938, the Y made Ridgefield the site of Albany's first summer day camp, offering the time-honored trifecta of sports, crafts, and nature study. Ridgefield became a city park in 1968.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Pine Hills