New Dorp Park

John D’Amato Field

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

This seaside field, located at New Dorp Lane and Cedar Grove Avenue is named for the late Staten Island attorney and athlete, John M. D’Amato (1955-2007), who grew up in New Dorp and played football here with his brothers.

D’Amato graduated from Monsignor Farrell High School and attended Ohio State University (OSU) on an athletic scholarship. During his freshman year, he went to the Rose Bowl with the 1975 Buckeyes football team as a line backer. After one year at OSU, D’Amato transferred to the University of Massachusetts, where he continued to play football for the Minutemen, was a two time All-Yankee Conference defensive end and New England Conference Player of the Year. He led his team to the NCAA Division 1-AA quarterfinals in his junior year and the championship game in his senior year. He was inducted into the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. After college, he began practicing law and became a partner in a local firm. His passion for law prompted D’Amato to advocate for the New Dorp High School Law Program. D’Amato died on July 7, 2007. His funeral was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church and he was buried in Moravian Cemetery.

Parks acquired New Dorp Beach, Cedar Grove Beach and Oakwood Beach in 1962 as an addition to the then City-owned Great Kills Park which is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. New Dorp was the second permanent European settlement on Staten Island. Officially established in 1671, earlier European settlements were destroyed in several wars with Native Americans: the Pig War in 1641, the Whiskey War in 1643 and the Peach War in 1655. The name is derived from the Dutch term “Nieuwe Dorp”, meaning “new town” and was used to differentiate it from the settlement of “Oude Dorp” or “Old Town” which had been established around 1661.

Borough President James P. Molinaro funded the construction of this multi-purpose football and soccer field. At the request of the Borough President, Council Member James S. Oddo and the D’Amato family, the site was dedicated to John D’Amato in 2011, to commemorate the life-long Staten Islander.

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  • John D’amato Field

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