The Old Ball Park

1953 - 1958





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McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















The Old Ball Park

In the 1952-53 time frame the remainder of the Kirsch farm, north of Kirsch Drive, had been sold to the North Syracuse Central School District. The land was intended for the construction of new schools as the battle to stay ahead of the growing Baby Boom continued. In the Spring of 1953 a group of volunteers, led by Johnny Angelo and supported by donations of materials, began the construction of a baseball park. The school district had allowed the group to use the far southwestern corner of the property for the park, until it was needed for school construction. The Roxboro Road Middle School, that eventually occupied the site, wasn't completed unit July 1959. It was a good run - 6 seasons - ending with the 1958 season.



1955 Mattydale Little League J&J Hardware


Coaches: Left Fran McGraw (my father); Right Ray King


Back Row Jerry Coe, Eddie Whelan, UKN, Bauerman(?), Don Price, Yoemanns, Joe Granteed, UKN, Pierce(?)

Front Row Roman Brutcher, UKN, King, King (sons of Ray King)


I used to know all the names but over the years they have slipped away. The names are still in there somewhere, I just need the right event to jog my memory and push the names back to the surface. This picture was taken in front of the Mattydale Volunteer Fire Department building, probably on Opening Day of the 1955 season.




Headlines from the January 12, 1958 Post Standard  Initially the School Board wasn't going to let the Mattydale Baseball Leagues use the field, but after some negotiation they gave them one more season. [1958-01-12]





July 1, 1966 - The area in the lower left hand corner was where the old ball park had been located. The 1958 season was the last season that the Mattydale Leagues played their official games there. The fences and backstops were taken down and the bleachers were taken over to the new field on Malden Road, on the east side of Mattydale. The area was graded and seeded with the completion of the middle school in 1959 but people continued to play ball there as shown by the wear patterns in the grass. The road running along the bottom of the picture is Kirsch Drive. The school in the upper right hand corner is Roxboro Road Middle School. The old ball park was constructed in the late spring of 1953 and opened for use that summer.




Kirsch Drive at Biltmore Street, looking north. This was the entrance to the Mattydale Ball Park from 1953 until 1958. With the completion of the Roxboro Middle School in the summer of 1959 a new ball park on the east side of Mattydale was constructed. The original fence and gate were of chain link construction. The present gate seems to be a little less formidable.


The pink house on the right was that same pink color back in the 50s when I lived on Kirsch Drive. Up through the early 70s it was the home of the Fred Bauer family. Fred was on the school board for the North Syracuse Central School District at one time. He was also the one who found a building in Skaneateles that was free if the new owner would haul it away. Bauer arranged for it to be disassembled, moved to Mattydale and reassembled on the site at 105 W. Molloy Road, on land that had been donated by John Kirsch. It became the new home of the Salina Free Library, at least for a while.



[1953-04-16] - "Mattydale Plans Sports Program For Youngsters," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, April 16, 1953.

[1953-04-20] - "Volunteers Work to Complete New Mattydale Playground," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Monday, April 20, 1953.

[1953-05-03] - "Little League Baseball Notes," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, May 3, 1953.

[1953-06-04] - "Mattydale Parade Will Open Leagues," The Syracuse Herald-Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, June 4, 1953.

[1953-06-05] - "New Athletic Field At Mattydale to Be Dedicated Sunday," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Friday, June 5, 1953.

[1953-06-09] - "Mattydale Organizes Recreation Program," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, June 9, 1953.

[1955-04-14] - "House Drive Is Planned For Sunday," The Herald-Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, April 14, 1955.

[1958-01-12] - "School Board to Deny Use of Mattydale Baseball Site," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, January 12, 1958.

[1958-04-20] - "Ball Meeting Set Monday At Mattydale," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, April 20, 1958.

[1958-06-08] - "Little League To Open Today," The Syracuse Herald-American, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, June 8, 1958.