Ambrosini Field Named Park of the Month
This summer, discover the charms of island living right here in New York City. Located in the northeastern Bronx and offering opportunities ranging from boating to playing ball, City Island is a recreation lover’s delight. Ambrosini Ballfields and Playground, the only public field complex and playground on the island, form a recreational centerpiece on the island, attracting year-long residents and visitors alike.
“Ambrosini Ballfields and playground is a gem in this City Island community,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Visitors can play ball, slide down the nautical theme jungle gym and take in great views of the Long Island Sound.”
Located on the waterfront, Ambrosini Field is home to the City Island Little League. The field was reconstructed in 2008 with $1.8 million in DEP Croton Mitigation Funds to accommodate more playing space and spectators. Youth players now enjoy new backstops, natural turf fields, bleacher seating and an irrigation system. Adjacent to the field is a colorful playground in the shape of a boat with sails, evoking the island’s maritime heritage. Play features include swings, a spray shower and an adult exercise unit. Throughout the field and playground are new drinking fountains, fencing, picnic tables, benches, plantings, and pavement.
The 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 moved to City Island in 1956 with his wife and daughter. “Ambro,” as he was commonly known, coached the football, basketball, and baseball teams of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, trained both the Apache Little League baseball team and the adult softball team, formed the City Island Giants football team, and coached basketball at Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church. Upon retiring in 1992 from his printing job, he devoted himself to coaching on a full-time basis.
City Island is located in the northeastern Bronx and measures one and three-fourths of a mile at its longest point. At first, the island was referred to as Mulberry, Minniffers, Minneford’s and Minnewits. In 1761, Benjamin Palmer purchased the island and planned to build a city on his new property that could rival Manhattan commercially. The island was renamed New City Island around 1800, when the shipbuilding and oyster businesses developed. Later in the 19th century, the community chose to shorten the name to City Island, and in 1896 they voted to detach themselves from Westchester and become part of New York City. During World War II, landing vehicles such as those used in the D-Day invasion of Normandy were manufactured on City Island. Though it is connected to the mainland Bronx by a bridge in its northern part, its distance from the mainland has allowed it to keep a distinctly New England flavor.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“What dreadful hot weather we have!
It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.”
(1775 – 1817)