Max Rosner Way

Max Rosner (1876 – 1953), aka “Uncle Max,” was an important figure in baseball history as an owner of the Minor League baseball field Dexter Park – the birthplace of night baseball – and a Woodhaven resident.

Rosner arrived in the United States from Hungary in 1892 and eventually opened a cigar shop on Jamaica Avenue and Forest Parkway in Woodhaven. He became enamored with baseball and even played shortstop for a while before becoming a manager. In 1922, Rosner partnered with Nat Strong, and they became co-owners of the semi-pro team the Bushwicks, and together they bought Dexter Park for $200,000. They immediately announced plans to build a grandstand and wooden bleachers that would accommodate an additional 5,000 spectators. Max Rosner’s son Herman was an electrical engineer, and he set up the electric lights that were used for the first night baseball games.

Dexter Park was also the home field for the Brooklyn Royal Giants, one of the top teams in the Negro Leagues. The Bushwicks played other local semi-pro teams but much of the time they played against the famous Negro League teams of that time, including the Homestead Grays and the Black Yankees. Some of the most famous African American players of the time came to Woodhaven to show off their skills, with Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson (all future Hall of Famers) among them. When the Major League season was over, many top national players came to Dexter Park to play on All-Star teams - Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were regulars, as was Hank Greenberg, Carl Hubbell, Dizzy Dean, Jimmy Foxx, Joe DiMaggio and Casey Stengel. They and many other future Hall of Famers came to play ball in Woodhaven.

Dexter Park’s heyday ended with the advent of televised baseball games and, more importantly, when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. After that, the best Negro League players went into the Major Leagues and their fans followed. In 1951, Rosner announced that Dexter Park would host stock car racing, and for the next few years the roar of engines became a familiar sound in that part of Woodhaven. Rosner passed away in 1953, and a few years later the park closed for good. The property was sold and converted into residential housing. 

Max Rosner Way is located at the site of the former Dexter Park entrance.


Anthony Medina, “Woodhaven street to be co-named in honor of local baseball history icon,” QNS, June 28, 2023,

Ed Wendell, “Woodhaven Legend Honored,” The Leader Observer, July 14, 2023,

Michael Gannon, “There used to be a ballpark right here,” Queens Chronicle, July 6, 2023,