Field of dreams could soon make its debut in reality
By Adam Wisnieski
The North Riverdale Baseball League is finishing up its season this week, just as contractors are completing construction on Sid Augarten Field at Vinmont Veteran Park.
After years of disappointments due to mind-boggling delays, North Riverdale’s baseball community can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
At last week’s Community Board 8 meeting, Parks chair Bob Bender announced construction on the field was coming to an end and contractors would complete the project by Sunday, July 1.
Contractors have finished renovation of the field and woodland areas and last week were pouring concrete to rebuild sidewalks along Mosholu Avenue.
The fences around Vinmont Veterans Park will come down soon, though Parks did not have a date for the opening of the field.
The field will remain off limits until the grass has had time to knit.
It already looks vastly different from the uneven and dilapidated field where tournaments had been banned due to safety concerns.
Recent drainage problems, coupled with hundreds of Little Leaguers playing their spring seasons on the field, have contributed to concerns over the conditions, which have persisted in North Riverdale for more than a decade.
“The field looks beautiful,” said Leonore Augarten Siegel, the widow of Sid Augarten, the former coach, commissioner and president of the North Riverdale Baseball League after whom the field was renamed in 1987.
Ms. Siegel has been leading the charge to have the decrepit fields renovated, even circulating petitions around the neighborhood to spur Parks into action. Ms. Siegel said she was disappointed the field may not be open for the rest of the summer, but said the progress is promising.
Among those who have contributed to that progress are former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Councilman Oliver Koppell, who in 2007 each allocated funds to fix the Mosholu Avenue field. Since then, each office has repeatedly upped its contributions — now at around $1.8 million — to meet constantly rising cost estimates.
KeywordsAdam Wisnieski, North Riverdale Baseball League, Community Board 8, construction, renovation,