“It’s not winning that counts, it’s the good sportsmanship.”
—Anthony Abraham Ambrosini
This field honors Anthony Abraham Ambrosini (1926-1994), an inspirational coach and prominent member of the City Island community. Ambrosini grew up on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood of Belmont and attended schools in the area. After high school he began working as a lithographer, to support his mother and sister Marianne while his older brothers, Joe and Frank, were serving overseas in World War II. This was the beginning of his career in printing. Ambrosini moved to City Island with his wife, Catherine, in 1956. They had one daughter, Donna.
Ambrosini made his coaching debut at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, located on Arthur Avenue and 189th Street. Ambrosini headed the church’s football, basketball, and baseball teams, which were all called the Cavaliers. “Ambro” as he was commonly known, trained both the Apache Little League baseball team and the adult softball team. He formed the City Island Giants football team and coached basketball at Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church. Ambrosini also served as a driver for the City Island Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Upon retiring in 1992 from his printing job, he devoted himself to coaching on a full-time basis.
Ambrosini died of a heart attack on July 30, 1994, at the age of 68. He was buried in Pelham Cemetery on City Island. Little League and St. Mary’s Basketball players participated in the funeral service, and afterwards the children and their parents gathered at Ambrosini Field to honor their coach one last time.
The City of New York acquired this property, located on City Island Avenue at Centre Street and adjacent to P.S. 175, on January 4, 1971, and it was assigned to Parks on May 5, 1981. It was originally called City Island Field. In 1995 a local law, introduced by Council Member Michael DeMarco, and signed by Mayor Giuliani, named this property Ambrosini Field.
The field features a front playground area with benches, safety surfacing, and chain link fencing. The play equipment includes slides, a flexible bridge, and a large tic-tack-toe board. Behind the playground there is a large field with bleachers and a baseball field. A concrete wall with a mural depicts a swimming girl, a sunset, fish, turtles, crabs, and a stork, celebrating City Island’s historical and geographic connection to the sea. An area behind the school building contains basketball courts and more play equipment.