It was recently brought to the attention of the New Suffolk Civic Association, that the New Suffolk School baseball field was in such poor shape that local organized t-ball and Little League baseball teams could not play on it. Up until four or five years ago, it was regularly used for organized youth leagues. According to Little League officials, the field needs new bases, a pitcher’s mound, and baselines plus some topsoil to fill in holes, depressions and ruts. Many New Suffolk children are currently playing in the Mattituck Cutchogue Little League and have to travel as far as Laurel to play on a Little League approved field.
At a New Suffolk School Board meeting on May 12th, NSCA President Paul Cacioppo made a proposal to the School Board and audience. The NSCA will organize and fund the repair of the baseball field so that the T-ball and Little League games can be played there, as well as provide a safer place for the school’s physical education classes. The improvements will also make the field more user friendly for other sports and recreational activities for the community such as kite flying, soccer, lacrosse and even bocce’. It will fulfill the hamlet’s need for usable green space.
In order to secure the field and have a demarcation between New Suffolk School District property and Town of Southold property, the NSCA is looking into installing a low wooden fence similar to the one in the beach parking lot. This low profile fence would prevent children from inadvertently running off the field into the street without ruining the bucolic surroundings of the neighborhood.
Several local residents recall that during the 30’s and 40’s, North Fork towns had their own baseball teams. The schoolhouse field regularly hosted games of that league. The games were a big part of the social life during the warm weather here in New Suffolk.
Joe Polashock recalls that the field was a meeting place for all of the children in the neighborhood back in the 50’s and 60’s. During the spring and summer, there were daily baseball games with most of the local children participating.
Many residents are very happy with the proposal made. Yvonne Duffy said she looks forward to walking down the block to see Ryan play baseball rather than driving to Mattituck or Laurel.
Community support will go a long way to repairing the field and preserving a piece of our heritage. The NSCA is looking for volunteers for the project, as it will require some sweat equity. If you are interested in helping out, feel free to call Tom McCloskey at 516.680.0118. Since this is going to be privately funded, the NSCA would also be looking for donations to assist. For donation information, please contact Joan Doherty at 631.734.6167.