Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

Smokey Oval Park Renamed After Yankee Shortstop Phil Rizzuto

Friday, June 27, 2008
No. 74

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski today joined State Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Queens residents for the renaming of Smokey Oval Park after the late Yankee shortstop and Queens native Phil Rizzuto.

“Phil Rizzuto is the quintessential local boy who made it big and Parks is honored to rename this park in his memory,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “It is a great tribute to the Scooter, who began playing here as a kid. Future generations of baseball stars will surely play at this park and follow in his footsteps.”

“Phil Rizzuto is a role model both as a baseball player and an American. He represents the values of our community,” said Assemblyman Lancman. “Renaming Smokey Oval Park in his honor is a fitting tribute to his legacy, and will serve as an inspiration for generations of new Americans in Richmond Hill.”

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

The park has been known as Smokey Oval since it opened in 1938, but it was officially named in 1987. The name refers to the park’s location across from a Long Island Railroad terminus, which once made it a landing area of soot and ash from the railway smoke. It is also inspired by the oval-shaped mound at the front of the park.

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Directions to Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto Park

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