Extra, extra! The new baseball field at Cardozo High School in Bayside is now called New York Post Field at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School.
Though it may not be titillating enough to make it onto Page Six, the newspaper rewarded the schools excellence in baseball with a $250,000 contribution last fall for renovation of the old field, complete with new grass and an electronic scoreboard.
We have a field of dreams, said Cardozo Principal Rick Hallman at the renaming ceremony Tuesday, which was attended by Post editor in chief Col Allan, general manager Geoff Booth, sports writer Phil Mushnick and New York Mets third baseman Ty Wigginton.
We are so proud of it, said Hallman. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The Posts contribution was made through Take the Field, a nonprofit corporation co-founded in July 2001 by New York Giants co-owner Bob Tisch to raise public and private funds for renovation of neglected ballfields around the city.
The group spent more than $3 million on new fields at Cardozo, which are used for baseball, softball, football, soccer, lacrosse and track. New tennis courts, bleachers and two scoreboards were also part of the project, completed in October.
Vin Montuori, the Posts vice president of marketing and promotions, said Cardozo was chosen by the paper to receive a contribution in light of its academic and athletic achievements, especially in baseball.
Cardozo is a perennial city powerhouse in that sport, dominating its division year after year. The school also excels in soccer, softball, tennis, basketball and lacrosse.
Take the Field has partnered with 10 other high schools around Queens, including Bayside High School, and is set to begin renovating the fields at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows in July. The city provides three-to-one matching funds for the organization.
This type of program is going to be a real priority for the City Council, Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) said at the event. Its so important to the educational system in general that we have recreational facilities like this.
Take the Field leaders joined Hallman and Cardozo students in thanking the Post Tuesday with performances by the high school band and cheerleaders as well as a ceremonial throwing of the first pitch.
Mr. Met also attended the ceremony, which was emceed by Cardozo alumnus and sportscaster Howie Rose.
Senior Lisa Prasso, who plays soccer at the school, recalled the poor condition of the old field.
There was grass growing on the track, more than was growing on the field, she said.
Cardozo baseball player Constantine Venetis said with the new baseball field, players did not have to fear twisting their ankles in potholes anymore.
The team plays better as a whole because you dont have to worry about injuring yourself, he said.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2003 Community News Group
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