On Friday, Queens lawmakers and the NYC Parks Department celebrated the completion of the much-anticipated renovations at Crocheron Park Little League Ballfields in Bayside.
Construction began in 2019 and included a comprehensive reconstruction of the park’s southeast ballfield (known as Field 3), the installation of new bleachers and enhanced landscaping for the area. Additionally, the field received new safety and accessibility features for players and fans alike.
Those present at the April 16 ribbon-cutting were NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Councilman Paul Vallone, Friends of Crocheron Park President Jessica Burke and Bayside Little League President Bob Reid.
“Baseball is a great way to get outside safely during these difficult times and our national pastime brings us together as we move towards a recovery,” Vallone said. “These new facilities are top notch, and we look forward to future major leaguers developing their skills at Crocheron Park!”
Back in 2015, Vallone contributed $850,000 to the $1,786,000 project along with $86,000 from Mayor de Blasio and $850,000 from former Borough President Melinda Katz.
Following one and a half years of construction, Field 3 was given a new clay and sand infield and an outfield with topsoil and natural turf. The outfield’s steep terrain was corrected and existing fences were repaired or replaced along the field’s perimeter.
Also, the field received new access gates and paths and dugouts were made accessible and furnished with new benches, backrests and arms. Other accessibility features were created in Field 2, where the existing dugout gate was removed and replaced with bollards to make it open and accessible.
The renovations also included a new section of bleachers, bottle filler drinking fountains and a manual irrigation system as well as a new canopy and plantings of new understory trees.
“The baseball field renovations at Crocheron Park have created a first-class recreational space where the Major League Baseball players of tomorrow can hone their skills and enjoy the fun that only the national pastime can bring,” said Richards. “These renovated ballfields will be a true asset to the Bayside community.”
The ballfield’s history dates back to 1924, when the city of New York bought the land of the former Old Crocheron House. In 1925, the Bayside Civic Association requested the city purchase an additional 45 acres for a public park. Over a decade later, the park had become a cherished green space with picnic grounds, walkways, an enlarged lake and thousands of trees.
“The ball fields at Crocheron Park are heavily used by Bayside’s young athletes,” said Commissioner Dockett. “With these new amenities, Crocheron Ballfields will better serve athletes and the surrounding communities for years to come.”