Parks & Baseball Fields

Parks & Baseball Fields
Since parks and baseball fields are most of the time one in the same, this category includes both.
Cushing Park – Located next to the old CBS-Hytron plant in the corner of Kent and Washington St.  Locate It This park was leveled during the Bossy Gillis reign to make way for additional parking for the CBS-Hytron plant’s employees.  Bossy received a call from plant officials and the rest is history.
Cashman Park – Merrimac St next to Towel Silversmiths.
Atkinson Common – Located on High St.
Mosley Pines–  Renamed Mosley Woods for some reason.  I can only think that an  individual or group of people in Newburyport, believed the person or group who originally named the park way back when, didn’t name it correctly.  Unless you actually tell people what it is apparently,  no one will ever figure it out on their own????  Correct me if I’m wrong.

Pioneer League Fields – Field /Includes Hawkes Field, A & B League fields located at 453 Merrimac St. Locate It
Original Field was located at the end of Fulton St at Fulton St Pit. Locate It
Every year after the championship there was the awards. One year on 8-27-1977 Red Sox player Denny Doyle was the guest at the pioneer League Banquet at the Armory on Low St.
Tom Mc Kinney or Mc Kenney- he was a well known umpire in the late 70’s for the Pioneer League.
John Pepe

Parker Field –
Perkins Playground –
Marches Hill –

20 Responses to Parks & Baseball Fields

  1. March’s Hill… It was on the circuit, of the playgrounds the kids(myself included) use to go to in the 70’s

    Lori C April 21, 2008 at 4:06 am Reply
  2. Regarding the original Pioneer Leage Field. Although it’s a bit before my time, I believe the original field was at Fultons Pit, located behind the fire station. I think the first couple of seasons were played there before the move to Merrimac St.

    P.S. I was there for the Denny Doyle vist at the Armory. That was quite a big deal.

    Mike Savitkas May 11, 2008 at 10:46 am Reply
  3. Thanks Mike, I never knew that about the original field. As you stated that was way before our time.

    Shawn Gearin, Mod May 11, 2008 at 8:13 pm Reply
  4. Don’t forget about…

    Parker Feild ( Between Ashland and Jefferson ) : Home of the Newburyport Little League, and High School softball. Condo’s are there now.

    Perkins….of us “north-enders” didn’t venture down there very often

    I was at that banquet with Denny Doyle…Music Center….B Leage Champs !

    Martin Crowley June 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm Reply
  5. Can’t forget Atwood Park ( where the Jackman School stood ) Played much basketball , baseball and football there . Always a lot of broken windows in Mr. Fullers house when we got “home runs” . As we got older we went to “Perkins” to use a real field …

    jfrost November 27, 2008 at 9:03 pm Reply
  6. Does anyone know any history related to Atwood Park? A group of neighbors is getting organized to try to get some improvements made.

    Dick Monahan December 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm Reply
  7. What history are you looking for ? I still remember the big crane with wrecking ball taking down the school as a kid . Sometime in early/mid 70s . It was a bit of a mess for a while till the town put in benches , shrubs and big wood play set for the kids . I unfortunately do not have any photos from there at that time . Long before digital photos…

    jfrost January 3, 2009 at 1:47 pm Reply
  8. Cashman Park was the best park in my day, that is where the Carnivals were held. I lived in the park (bottom of Whites Ct.) and it was awesome waking up early and checking out the rides and the games. It was great living there in the 70’s.

    dmeaton March 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm Reply
  9. In the early 60s there was only the Little League at Cashman Park, no Pioneer League. When the Pioneer league did start in was in Fultons pit, of course the fire station was still in Marlet Square then.

    When I attended Jackman School (61-64), our baseball & football teams played at Perkins playground field.

    Rick Eck March 17, 2009 at 6:55 am Reply
  10. Perkin’s Playground was the second choice south end playground. There was one across from the foot of Salem St.. It was more of a hang-out for “Joppa Toughs” and usually avoided. The south end waterfront winos also head-quartered at the nearby abandoned oil tanks. The entire complex resembled a glass re-cycling yard due to all the broken Pabst, Muscatel, and Frostie bottles covering almost every square inch of the “playground”… I remember learning how to run and evade effectively as an occasional visitor to this place in my younger days. I was captured only once and received several blows with a baseball glove from a very rugged girl in her mid teens. She had seen fit to pursue me all the way to what I thought was going to be the safety and sanctuary of my driveway on lower Franklin St. Any way, the Playground was taken back by the city in the early sixties. It became the sight of the present day sewage treatment plant,. How appropriate… Perkins was oddly located right next to a hugh “floating” gas tank, ( the kind that drops lower as it dispenses its contents so as to keep a constant pressure through the gas pipes under the streets). I think it was owned by the Haverhill Gas co. As an added bonus to the neighborhood, this site was also a dumping ground for junk transformers and other electric utility cast-offs. These of course leaked their witche’s brew of toxic chemicals into the surrounding soil and water. Coincidently, also poisoning the the playground most of us south-enders now used due to the taking of the old Water St. park. Supposedly, an early city dump had also been very near by Perkins. Notice that a current public utility has mention on some of the present day signage at the playground. They are small signs and I assume these were not quite big enough to include words like ” super fund”, “toxic waste clean-up”, etc. A fitting memorial to a less caring era is the empty house lot on the site of the gas tank and waste site. That lot used to have a house on it. Actually not just any house. It was the newly constructed home of a one time mayor of Newburyport. It had to be dismantled and disposed of along with the thousands of yards of soil effected by the dumping ground. Carefull walking your dog down there, they may sniff up some left-overs from the good old days. Those in the know who use the facilities at Perkins can be recognised by their yellow chemical proof suits…

    p.j. nichypor June 2, 2009 at 5:06 pm Reply
  11. A lot of years have past since I first “frolicked” on the broken glass strewn macadam that was the Joppa playground in the south end. I made reference to this vanished public park that was across from the foot of Salem Street. The whole area has been greatly changed. It wasn’t a collection of sold and re-sold “investment ‘ properties then, but a neighborhood of family homes. Our yards were tucked behind or beside the houses that crowded the surrounding streets. Most were built at the front of the property line so as to have the front steps on the sidewalk. The Joppa playground was a venue that we usually avoided due to the genuine existence of “a clear and present danger”. As a result, we played very near where we lived. Our back yards were the places we could build a cardboard and scrap wood fort. Or create a miniature battlefield for our dime store bought armies of plastic soldiers, ( influenced no doubt by shows like “Combat” and “The Gallant Men” we’d seen on our black and white T.V.s…). Most of those south end yards were diminutive, so the play area extended to the street and sidewalk. A “pinky ball” could be used by two or more kids for a game of outs. A piece of brick mortar substituted as chalk to draw a football gridiron or a tennis court on the pavement. I can imagine the”Hoopla” from a present day property owner if a child had the audacity to use chalk on their expensive “custom” brick or stone sidewalk they’ve had installed in front of their house lots… I remember a simpler and more reasonable time when not only were the sidewalks fine the way they were, so was the entire neighborhood… We spent much of our play time on the streets that at the time weren’t choked with the overflow of cars from former back and side yards that are equally jammed with two, three, or more S.U.V.s. The occasional vehicle that came down the street so many years ago, may have interrupted our activities for a few seconds. Some commercial or municipal vehicles would invite our interaction though. Number one had to have been the “Ice truck”, ( we had one elderly woman on our street who still had an “icebox” instead of a refrigerator…). When the truck turned the corner, the call of “ICE TRUCK” went out from the kids playing outside at the top of Franklin Street. We would drop whatever we were doing and converge on the truck as it slowed to a stop mid way down the block. The “Ice Man” would alight from the cab and make his way to the tall back doors. We followed a strict protocol and stood out of the way as he pinched a huge crystal clear block of ice with large menacing tongs and disappeared into the customers house. As the ritual unfolded, as it had dozens of times in the past, the ice man re-entered the back of the truck and chipped off big chunks of ice and placed one in each pair of waiting hands. Next in popularity was the city street sweeper. We could hear it coming from the surrounding streets and with equal zeal, would fall out to the sidewalks to watch it make several passes up or down the street. The added novelty of this vehicle was that as its huge brushes stirred up anything in its path with a thrilling cacophony and swirling clouds of dust, it also shed bristles… Those shed bristles were always a much sought after and coveted find. These were made of a particularly springy and very tough steel material. With the technology we kids had discovered and shared, we would begin the task of sharpening one or both ends using the rough texture of cement curbs to grind them into dangerous points… Others were patiently bent back and forth repeatedly until broken. This process duplicated until you had made several smaller segments for future use or just to have had something interesting to do… Milk trucks from the various dairies were commonly sighted in the neighborhood. Not all of the families on our street retained the services of any one given dairy. So several different trucks would make deliveries on the same day. Ours was Riverside Dairy, owned by the Websters. The delivery driver was known as “Red”, ( I believe due to his hair color and not for his political affiliations…). again, protocol was in order upon the appearance of “your” milk truck on the street. As was commonly accepted, a friend, (one only) no matter his or her family’s “dairy allegiance” was allowed to chase the truck down with you before it got to your house. The trucks had the very cool attributes of being “stand up” drive, as well as having a huge sliding door on either side of the operator’s compartment, ( for more efficient exiting and entering the truck from both sides of the street…). If “Red” could be cajoled into allowing us to catch a short ride the rest of the way to his next house stop, I would further haunt him for carton of chocolate milk, orange juice or other dairy treat to share with my tag-along cohort. He usually provided us with both a ride and a hand-out. some other trucks were high on our list of worthiness to take time out from play to either watch or follow. The occasional coal truck was one in that it was extremely loud with the added bonus of creating a cloud of black dust while dispensing its product into a cellar chute. Municipal vehicles included the “Rubbish” truck and the very different “Garbage” truck. The latter was a once weekly visitor and was neat to watch as the two guys would hop down from their purpose built foot holds on both sides of the back of the truck to lift the barrels that lined the street. They would slam the barrels on the back collector trough of the truck and with as much noise, slam the vessel back to the pavement. a new rubbish barrel looked new up until its first handling buy the collector crew. After which it would begin to take on the look of an accordion… An added bonus to this all too brief show was when you heard the engine R.P.M.s loudly rise. This indicated that the hydraulic ram was being activated and that all kids in attendance should adjourn to the back of the truck in order to watch the once large and bulky trash getting compacted and moved forward into the main compartment,( it didn’t get much cooler than that…). The “garbage” truck was something most of us looked upon with a morbid curiosity. Mostly due to not only the unorthodox shape of the vehicle but also to the very bad smell it carried with it. As the truck turned onto Franklin St., we all took up positions on the “high ground”, a stoop or front steps would suffice. We watched the truck and its crew, a driver and two “collectors” ease down the street toward us. In hotter summer weather, the collectors worked shirtless and wore baggy pants with work boots. They each walked on either side of the truck, their gait and facial expressions resembling those of members of a funeral procession. I wondered to myself what these unfortunate souls had done to be a part of this detail, maybe a lottery, or were they being punished for something? We watched as the bizarre scene unfolded in slow motion, a collector would leave the side of the truck and enter one of the yards carrying a medium sized metal barrel, he would emerge with it on his shoulder and empty the foul swill he’d collected, into one of the several open hatches located along the sloped sides of the container body. In those days, rubbish and more specifically “garbage” were two entirely different things and were collected using entirely different methods. The garbage we disposed of was vegetable and animal in nature, all organic… It was tossed into a “garbage pail”. This was a bucket stored either above ground or in some cases, in a lined hole with a metallic, foot pedal operated lid. Ours was located out back next to the “clothes reel”. On pick-up day, the collectors would enter your yard with their barrel. They would pop the lid on the pail and empty it into the barrel and carry that back out to the garbage truck that was creeping slowly down the street. From our vantage points, we saw the inside of the main container on the truck, loaded with its witch’s brew of rotting goo, and on hot days it literally writhed with maggots… As is the way with all cool things, this one too, came to an end. So it was with milk trucks, ice trucks, games of outs and comic book sales from the front steps. The south end evolved, as did the rest of Newburyport. The yards we once played in were paved over and overly tall “Berlin wall’ like fences erected so the new wave of property investors wouldn’t have to see their next door property investors… homes became “Prime Real Estate” and families began a mass exodus to less “affluent” towns. The playgrounds we couldn’t play at disappeared too, because the corner office at Green and Pleasant Streets, ignored and neglected them, allowing their inevitable decay. Not unlike what was happening to the rest of the city. I can’t say I blamed the municipal powers of the day, given what there was to work with. Think about an abandoned bunch of buildings in place of a downtown. And know that it all spilled over into the neighborhoods. The wrecking ball was the first choice. When I drive through present day Newburyport, I recall that nearly one half of the original downtown has vanished. Long gone are Unicorn Street, the “real” Elbow Lane,( not a feeble incarnation of it…). Entire blocks of “less than significant” buildings fell,merely because they didn’t fit in with the plan of the day. And there were many “plans”… My first experience with “civic vandalism” was witnessing the razing of the old “Brick” Neptunes Fire house that faced Purchase St. in the early 1960s. The club having retreated to the original wooden structure one street over. More destruction followed as places on the east side of Inn St. vanished… Merrimack st. from the old firehouse to the foot of Green St. on both sides were turned into vacant, brick strewn lots…The Joppa playground was probably created with good intentions for the people of the south end. Ironically, the abutters were a junkyard on one side, the city railroad and river to the north, and an abandoned oil storage and distribution facility to the east. All I recall is a scary and tough place that inspired most of us kids to make our own playgrounds. Fittingly’the city took the park and in its place, made a sewage treatment plant….

    p. j. nichypor June 11, 2009 at 1:05 am Reply
  12. I used to play in the Pioneer League in 1967 on Merrimac St. I remember before the games we used to have to walk down the street to Harry Melvins house to pick up the bases for the game. Harry used to have a little candy store in his garage out back of his house you would go on his front porch and Holler his name HARRY and he would come out and unlock the padlock to the store and let you buy your Penny candy. Harry seemed like he was 90 years old then. Harrys house was right beside Fred Hawks house who was a great big part of the Pioneer League

    F. Rogers August 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm Reply
  13. okay so I played at Perkins LONG before it was a superfund cleanup site … my sister and I went to see Mayor Lawlor (It would be disrespectful to remind you of his nick name) several times to advocate for the tennis courts … and they were built long after we grew up. We would skate on the swamp and then walk through the dump and play “army” with our toy rifles in the fields up over the hill behind the dump, careful not to get too close to Mrs. Scratton’s dogs.

    Bob January 10, 2010 at 9:52 pm Reply
  14. Hehe …Bob, I remember skating and playing hockey on the swamp there too ! Was a neat place to hang out . All kinds of neat paths through there …

    J. Frost January 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm Reply
  15. It is kind of disturbing to know that those “McMansions” in back of Perkins are built on top of a dump. I wonder if that takes away some of the “Exclusivity” those owner/investors believed they had… Sort of like Newburyport’s version of the “Love Canal” with all that toxic waste from the site of Ed Molin’s house that was built on top of the old gas tank and transformer dump right next door too. It is amazing what a few hundred yards of loam, all nicely graded can conceal…

    p. j. nichypor January 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm Reply
  16. McMansions built on a dump…gotta love it !

    J. Frost January 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm Reply
  17. I remember the old bonfires down at Cashman Park on summer nights.

    mr January 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm Reply
  18. Moseley Memories:

    I recall the site of the Mansion, there were a few pieces of cement with tile still attached to them half buried in the grass. the tiles were small and white, I remember thinking they must have been from either a foyer or bathroom.

    The pet cemetary had a few headstones for cats and dogs, it was near the caretakers(?) house.

    One summer My friend Joe and I were launching our model rockets in the huge field near the entrance to the park. Unwittingly I had glued my rocket engine inside the tube of my rocket. We fired it off and decided that in order to get the now burned-out engine out of the fuselage, we’d take his smaller diameter rocket, put it inside of mine facing the dead engine and light his off…ostensibly shooting the engine out, allowing us to continue our day of fun. Well his rocket did fit inside of mine, we did light it off, but it failed to eject my engine, however what did happen (as we had laid the rockets on their side on the ground) was we had two rockets flailing all over the ground, tracing arcs of fire through the dry grass. We tore off after them (mine had simply caught fire) and proceeded to stomp out all of the fires before we burned down the park. Strange, Joe and I never messed around with model rockets after that!

    Chris Becker June 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm Reply
  19. Names to add to the Pioneer League list of umpires:

    Tom McKinney (proper spelling)
    Kevin Comick
    Rollie Nadeau, Jr.
    Roland Nadeau, Sr.

    Let me know if you would like to list the coaches….. some have passed on, most recently Bruce Duncan, whom I coached with in the B League many moons ago.

    Rollie September 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm Reply
  20. Learned to play baseball at Belleville School field – thanks to Jack and John Ronan. Jack would come out and pitch to John and I would shag the balls until I got a chance to hit. Later, Jack and my Dad teamed up and coached together in Senior Little League – John and I played on the same team together coming clost to winning it all for Jaycees.

    Rollie September 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm Reply

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