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City Officials Promote Baseball In Bridgeport

April 29th, 2015 · 14 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:

Construction of three brand-new, state-of-the-art turf fields is on target and on time for the North End Little League’s Opening Day.

“We’ve renovated and created over 100 acres of parkland, and we’re just getting started,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “The kids of the North End Little League will be playing on brand new turf fields on opening day. Crews worked all winter long to make it happen. This is an investment in our future and in our children as we continue to make Bridgeport a place where families choose to raise their kids and grandkids.”

“The fields are beautiful. We couldn’t be more grateful to Mayor Finch. When I look at this complex, it is clear to me how much he cares about the kids of Bridgeport,” said Joe Badolato, a league official. “The kids can’t wait for the season to start. And truthfully the grownups can’t either. This will be an Opening Day to remember.”

Construction has been ongoing throughout the winter. Jorge Garcia, the director of Public Facilities, said crews worked through sub-freezing temperatures and occasional frozen engine blocks and will complete the project on schedule.

The new fields at Blackham School include the same artificial turf used in professional baseball stadiums as well as new dugouts, scoreboards and backstops.

The facility hosts three ball fields, including an all-inclusive field that will accommodate people with special needs, according to Garcia. Better drainage on the artificial turf will translate to more time playing and less down time for kids.

“North End Little League has been the heart and soul of the North End community,” said City Council President Tom McCarthy, who also serves the 133rd District. “We’re excited to contribute to this organization that has meant so much to the kids of this neighborhood.”

“As soon as any rain stops, kids can be back on the diamond playing ball,” Garcia said.

“This is a great addition for everyone in the North End. We are upgrading and building new parks all across the city,” said Mayor Finch. “We won’t stop until we have a park and playground within walking distance for every kid in Bridgeport.”

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Steven Auerbach

    How lucky the youth of Bridgeport are. This is a real plus for the neighborhoods and families but most important, childhood memories. The kids deserve it and Mayor Finch can take credit as well as the public works department that has done a fantastic job. Kudos. Anybody think this is an unnecessary or bad investment? Think again.

  • Grin Ripper

    Brett’s a Real Ball Boaster!

    Fix the freaking potholes, you a-holes.

  • Bob Walsh

    Why is Mayor Greenjeans replacing the real thing with artificial turf?
    That can’t look good in his carbon footprint. Just another hypocritical act from a hypocritical mayor.
    Steve, can you explain this one for your boy blunder?

    • Steven Auerbach

      Lol. Bob, I am not a paid Fox news contributor and I do not have to explain any of these actions. It is curious though, however, from a maintenance and professional point of view, they made a great choice. I will bet the artificial turf was made with recycled material. Brilliant!

  • Tom White

    I live nearby the field, which is actually part of Blackham School. Crews have been working seven days per week, sometimes for twelve hours per day. The natural grass fields were well-maintained by the North End Little League. It is ironic our ‘Green’ Mayor will, I assume, be there opening day. Maybe ‘twinkletoes’ McCarthy will join him to try to take some credit. I hope the kids enjoy it.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Good for the kids, it’s a beautiful facility.

  • Bob Halstead

    So many little leagues in the City have shut down, East End, Original, Park City, etc. You can build all the fields you want but where is the organization? Why cannot they install lights for Pop Warner to practice under? Why is Finch pushing to eliminate the Kaboom Taurasi Playground at Marina Village? Why is the public building at Washington Park (renovated in the ’90s) boarded up? Why were millions of dollars put into Knowlton Street Park when it is beyond the walking distance of children? Why was the successful community garden program at 126 Arctic Street (a block from the Knowlton Street Park), becoming a dump under this Administration’s mishandling of the community garden project, transferring control to a Westport campaign contributor? Rhetoric clashes with Reality, doesn’t it?

  • Hector A. Diaz

    Funny, THE CREWS WORKING ON THE FIELDS THIS WINTER COULDN’T HELP CLEAR THE SNOW FROM THE STREETS?

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Now all you have to do is find enough kids to play. Right now there are only three leagues in this city for kids.

  • John Marshall Lee

    In November and December 2014, six purchase orders for about $8 million of work was sent to two outside firms, Cal Ripken Foundation and Kompan.

    I looked for the specific authorization for the fields in parks and on education properties in Council minutes and in the Parks Master Plan as the winter months cycled. I talked to Council and BOE members who could not remember the subject. I looked at the sparse info provided by the City in past years to the City Council at Capital budget time. Nowhere was there a picture of what the Mayor’s office had in mind for the year of his third Mayoral run. Was I surprised? Frankly, no.

    I hope the fields are good initially and able to be maintained by current staff. I hope they get played on frequently by many youth now that they are there. I hope everyone knows we will be paying for them for years to come. In this case Cal Ripken is not the donor of the fields but the Bridgeport taxpayer. If they contribute $500,000 or so, perhaps 10% of what we paid them last fall, that is a bonus, but thank the Bridgeport taxpayer for the 90% contribution into the future without any information up front. Sad?

    Action behind the scenes, not necessarily connected to any previously espoused plan of action is the way the Mayor works. And the fact most of the years of his incumbency, the gross revenues have been lower than the gross expenses is not mentioned. Even if much of that goes on to increase City debt that might otherwise decrease, no comment on the “how” is ever discussed. Magician? Miracle worker? Not!!! Showman afraid to appear without “Sherwood Forest?” Time will tell.

  • Jimfox

    My dad John Fox and Harvey Paulin started Little League in Bridgeport in 1948, the league after operating for one year under auspices of Madison Motors in a unofficial league was organized in 1949. By 1950, the 1950 Little League World Series was held during August 1950 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Houston Little League of Houston, Texas defeated Bridgeport Little League of Bridgeport, Connecticut in the championship game of the fourth Little League World Series.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Jim, thanks for that post. I learned more about Little league than I knew before I read the article. Do you remember who played on that team?

    • John Marshall Lee

      The video with Jorge Garcia sharing info about the development of this location and others coming in Bridgeport is late, isn’t it? Every kid deserves an equal chance for recreation, but they also do for academic development. The Millions the Mayor has spent on fields without discussion and public comment is called for in the BOE budget.

      Hiding in plain sight, Finch figures his signage on the dugout we are paying for is worth it. Where is the sign recognizing all of the taxpayers of Bridgeport? What recognition do we get? Shameless. And Jorge did not say it so perhaps it is worth saying, the first field by Ripken Foundation had them putting in the big bucks and the City a small match. At least that is what I have been shown. But in the case of the 2014-15 developments we are paying for it with the documents suggesting perhaps Ripken will be willing to put up $500,000. But how many local firms were used? Did they post a bond as other contractors do routinely? Level playing fields? Time will tell.

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