Bronx Park

Frank Frisch Field

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

What was here before?

This ballfield is part of Bronx Park, named for sea captain Jonas Bronck (1600-1643) who settled the area. He built a stone home in what is now Morrisania, which notably hosted a peace conference with the Weckquaesgeek in 1642. Bronck’s property was broken up and passed through several families.

How did this site become a ballfield?

Inspiration for Bronx Park came during a widespread movement to create public parks throughout the city in the 1880s. Through lobbying efforts by the New York Park Association, the New Parks Act in 1884 funded the acquisition of several major undeveloped lands for the purpose of creating parks and parkways, including this one. Between December 1888 and January 1889, the City of New York acquired 640 acres of the former Bronck estate to create Bronx Park.

In addition to the New York Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo, Bronx Park has many recreation areas including playgrounds, bicycle paths, baseball diamonds, tennis and basketball courts, and football and soccer fields. Frisch Field was renovated in 1998.

Who is this field named for?

This field honors Frank Francis “Frankie” Frisch (1898-1973), a Bronx native and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Born on September 9, 1898, Frisch attended nearby Fordham University where he was nicknamed “The Fordham Flash” for his skill in multiple sports. After graduating in 1919, Frisch signed with the New York Giants. A switch hitter and right-handed fielder, Frisch was an excellent defensive player, a base stealing threat, and one of the best hitters in the league. He led the Giants to four pennants between 1921 and 1924 but was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals after the Giants slumped in 1925 and 1926.

As a Cardinal, Frisch was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1931. As player-manager of the Cardinals from 1933-37, he led the Cardinals to pennant victories in 1934 and 1935, winning the World Series in 1934. Frisch was an All-Star from 1933-1935, and his intense managerial style made the Cardinals the National League’s premier team.

Following his retirement as a player in 1938, Frisch became the Boston Braves radio announcer before managing the Pittsburgh Pirates (1940-1946) and Chicago Cubs (1949-1951). As the Pirates’ manager in 1941, Frisch was ejected from a game when he appeared on Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field with an umbrella to protest the playing conditions. The incident was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in “Three Umpires” on the cover of the April 23, 1949 Saturday Evening Post. In 1947, Frisch was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The same year he began doing radio play-by-play for the Giants and became the Giants coach in 1948. He ended his coaching career with the Chicago Cubs in 1951. He held the record for hits by a switch-hitter until Pete Rose surpassed him in 1977. Frisch died in a car accident on March 12, 1973 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Directions to Bronx Park

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