Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

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

What was here before?

Richmond Hill was created by the glacier that formed Long Island. The name derives either from a suburban town near London, England, or from Edward Richmond, a landscape architect in the mid-1800s who designed much of the neighborhood. In 1868, a successful banker named Albon P. Man bought the Lefferts and Welling farms and hired Richmond to lay out the community. Over the next decade, streets, schools, a church, and a railroad were built, making the area one of the earliest residential communities on Long Island. Many of the Queen Anne Victorian homes of old Richmond Hill are still standing in the area today. 

How did this site become a park?

The site was acquired by condemnation in 1938 and opened that year as Smokey Oval Park. The park’s former name is a reference to the Long Island Railroad terminus, which was a landing area of soot and ash from the railway smoke. The park was renamed in 2008 after local legend, Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto.

Who is this park named for?

This park is named after Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto, (1917 – 2007) an American Major League Baseball shortstop and announcer with the New York Yankees.

Rizzuto was born in Brooklyn, NY and attended Richmond Hill High School in Queens where he played both baseball and football. In 1937, he was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees and began his 13-year career with them. He was well known for being the best bunter of his era helping the Yankees win seven World Series and becoming the AL MVP in 1950. After he retired in 1956, he worked for the organization as the color commentator for their live broadcasts where he coined his popular catchphrase “Holy Cow.” Rizzuto died on August 13, 2007, one month shy of his 90th birthday. His jersey number 10 was retired, and he was inducted to both Monument Park and the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Park Information

Directions to Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

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