Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Holy Cow! Park Renamed For The Scooter Hosts A Family Day

Phil Rizzuto; Photo courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

Smokey Oval Park in Queens was recently renamed after the late Yankee shortstop and Queens native, Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto.

“The Scooter” grew up in nearby Glendale and played high school baseball in Richmond Hill. Phil Rizzuto passed away last year and Assembly Member Rory Lancman advocated for the park to be renamed for the Yankee at the request of community members.

A renaming was held on June 27 and the next day, the park hosted its first event under its new name. The Parks Department and Council Member Thomas White hosted the First Family Day at Phil “ Scooter” Rizzuto Park. This event gave the community the opportunity to celebrate the diversity within the community. Over 650 park patrons enjoyed the festivities under the hot summer sun.

The event started with a fantastic puppet show “Cinderella Samba" given by the City Parks Foundation. Children of all ages ran over to the stage as soon as they heard the music begin. They gave an outstanding ovation when it was over. The sounds of Reggae and Soca followed the puppet show as local community groups performed traditional dances from their homes in their Caribbean and West Indies. An Antigua dance troupe also brought Carnival - a huge Caribbean holiday - to Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto Park as they dressed in ornate costumes and entertained the audience with traditional dances from the Caribbean.

The community had the chance to learn about dinosaurs from the American Moveable Museum of Natural History Paleontology Exhibit. Children and adults learned about dinosaurs through an interactive, hands on exhibit. The fun continued as older children jumped into the “Adrenaline Rush” and tackled the rock climbing wall, while the younger children bounced on inflatables and played carnival games. Younger kids made flowers with the free arts and crafts activities and had their faces painted.

This event displayed the richness of the surrounding community through live entertainment and gave families the opportunity to meet their neighbors and enjoy a family day in their local park filled with fabulous fun!

Written by Maria Scazzero and Susan Friedman


“I like radio better than television because if you make a mistake on radio,
they don't know.”

Phil Rizzuto
(1917 - 2007)

Directions to Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park


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