Julio Carballo Fields
Julio Carballo Ballfields
These ballfields honor Julio Carballo (1950-1996), a community-minded Bronx resident who ran a neighborhood baseball program for youths during the 1970s and 1980s. Originally called Manida Ballfields, Commissioner Stern changed the name in 1997 at the request of Mr. Carballo’s widow, to honor her husband’s commitment to the neighborhood.
Manida Ballfields derived its name from the adjacent Manida Street in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Manida Street was laid out in 1897 across Springhurst, the former estate of the Fox family. There is a good deal of disagreement over the source of the name. One story is that a cottage belonging to a Fox family servant named Ida Mann stood in the way of the street and had to be demolished. Another is that a landowner named John S. Coster named it after his former home on Minetta Lane in Greenwich Village. A third theory is that it refers to the archaic Spanish word manida, which means “home” or “shelter,” and might refer to the Sevilla Home for Children, an orphanage and school for Spanish-speaking children that was established in the early 1900s with funds from the estate of Juan de Sevilla of Peru.
Hunts Point, in the southwest Bronx, is named for Thomas Hunt, one of the first settlers of the area in the 1670s. One can easily recognize the point, protruding into the East River, on a map of the Bronx. In 1874, the City of New York, which at the time consisted only of Manhattan, began to annex sections of the Bronx. Hunts Point, along with a part of West Farms in what was then lower Westchester County, became the newest section of the City. The area underwent significant growth and development after the IRT subway line was built in 1904, linking the Bronx to Manhattan.
Hunts Point is rich in history. Tradition holds that George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, preached in the area in 1672. William H. Fox, a descendant of the Quaker leader, and his wife, Charlotte Leggett, owned much of the land that is now Hunts Point. Later, the property wound up in the hands of their son-in-law, H. D. Tiffany, whose family owned the famous jewelry and decorative arts store now on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Fox and Tiffany Streets were named for the former landowners. The Fox mansion was demolished in 1909. The Hunts Point Terminal Market, the largest produce market in the United States, now stands on the peninsula that was once part of the Fox estate.
In 1992, Parks constructed a temporary baseball/softball field on the site, and in 1993 the Division of Real Property transferred it to Parks. The fields were originally constructed at the behest of a task force created by the Mayor’s office of operations to find uses for vacant city-owned land. In April of that year, Parks upgraded the fields. Two separate ballfields lie at opposite ends of the site. The fields are well kept, with grassy outfields and standard dirt infields. An asphalt walkway runs the length of the park on one side. There are benches to relax on, and a jungle gym with two slides accommodates children. This small area, adjacent to the fields, sits below tall, shady oak trees.
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