The project will bring grass turf and new dugouts to the field, as well as a new entrance along Second Street.
It will also include new fitness equipment, picnic tables, drinking fountains, seating area, and new lighting to provide increased visibility. The project is scheduled for completion in October.
Queens Borough Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett said that Whitey Ford Field is important for the many young Astoria athletes that use the space.
“With brand new turf, an enhanced entryway and new amenities, this project is a remarkable investment into this beautiful waterfront gem,” Dockett said.
Richards spoke about the history of Whitey Ford growing up in Astoria and eventually pitching at Yankee Stadium.
“Today’s groundbreaking on the reconstruction of Whitey Ford Field will pave the way for a first-class facility where Astoria’s ballplayers of today can work on making their own dreams come true,” Richards said.
Constantinides also reminisced on Ford’s history, calling him a legend of the game more than 50 years after his retirement.
“Although we sadly lost him last year, his memory will live on forever in his native Astoria through Whitey Ford Field,” Constantinides said. “With today's groundbreaking, we will ensure that this park is there for generations to come so that future ballplayers can follow in the footsteps of the ‘Chairman of the Board.’”
In August 2000, the field in the Hallet’s Cove section of Queens was dedicated to Ford, who was a six-time World Series champion and considered one of the greatest pitchers in Yankee History.