Whitey Ford Field
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON $2.9 MILLION TRANSFORMATION OF WHITEY FORD FIELD IN ASTORIANYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON $2.9 MILLION TRANSFORMATION OF WHITEY FORD FIELD IN ASTORIA
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett today joined Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, City Council Member Costa Constantinides and Queens Community Board 1 Chair Marie Torniali to break ground on the reconstruction of ballfields at Whitey Ford Field in Astoria. The $2.9 million project was funded by $493,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $1 million from Council Member Constantinides, and $1.5 million from former Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
“Whitey Ford Field is heavily used by Astoria’s young athletes and we’re committed to providing our youth with quality open space,” said Commissioner Dockett. “With brand new turf, an enhanced entryway and new amenities, this project is a remarkable investment into this beautiful waterfront gem.”
"Whitey Ford grew up in Astoria with the dream of making it in Major League Baseball, but he hardly could have imagined that his dream would come true less than seven miles away on the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “Today’s groundbreaking on the reconstruction of Whitey Ford Field will pave the way for a first-class facility where Astoria’s ballplayers of today can work on making their own dreams come true. It is a privilege for our office to join with Councilmember Constantinides and NYC Parks in supporting this important project that will keep the legacy of one of Astoria’s favorite sons alive by addressing the recreational needs of our youth.”
"One of the greatest pitchers in Yankee history, Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford remains a legend of the game more than 50 years after his retirement," said Council Member Costa Constantinides. "Although we sadly lost him last year, his memory will live on forever in his native Astoria through Whitey Ford Field. With today's groundbreaking, we will ensure that this park is there for generations to come so that future ballplayers can follow in the footsteps of the Chairman of the Board. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Borough Presidents Katz and Richards for their partnerships on this project."
The Whitey Ford Field project will reconstruct the natural turf ballfield with grass turf and brand new dugouts. The field’s entrance will also be reconstructed to provide a more welcoming point of entry for visitors along Second Street. The project will add new amenities including picnic tables, drinking fountains, pavements, and seating areas to the site. In addition, the existing sports lighting poles will be revamped to provide increased visibility on-site.
In 1942, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981) petitioned the City to assign this property, located along the East River at 26th Avenue and 2nd Street in the Hallet’s Cove section of Queens, to Parks after the Board of Education stopped using the facility. The site was assigned to Parks and became known as Astoria Athletic Field in October 1943. At a special Yankee Stadium ceremony in August 2000, the field was dedicated to the “Chairman of the Board” -- Astoria native Whitey Ford. In 1947, Ford signed with the New York Yankees and went on to become a Cy Young Award winner, six-time World Series champion, and one of the greatest pitchers in Yankee history.
Directions to Whitey Ford Field
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