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Joseph Austin Playground

164 Pl. bet. Grand Central Pkwy. Sr. Rd. S. and 84 Ave.


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

Joseph Austin (1904-1998) was a longtime youth league coach and active member of this Jamaica, Queens community. Austin was born on March 19, 1904 at his family home on Chichester Avenue (now 95th Avenue) and Guilford Boulevard (now Jamaica Boulevard). Austin later attended Public School 62 and the old Jamaica High School, located on Hillside Avenue and 162nd Street. As one of ten children, Austin had to work after high school to support his family, and took a job at the Boyce Motor-Meter Company.

While at the Boyce Motor-Meter Company, Austin played on the company baseball team, gaining valuable experience in the sport that would make him a pillar of the Jamaica community. Austin would later play semi-professional baseball on teams in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island. It was as a baseball coach, however, that Austin would make his mark.

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