Field Named for Fordham Grad in Need of Funding


Named for Fordham alumnus Frank Frisch, FCRH 1920, the Frisch Field is located off Mosholu Parkway and is in need of better maintenance (Kevin Stoltenborg/The Fordham Ram).

By Helen Stevenson

Frisch Field is a park off Mosholu Parkway named after Frank Frisch, FCRH ’20, and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, for the last 20 years, the park has not been fully maintained.

According to Barbara Stronczer, president of the Bedford Mosholu Community Association, the park is in need of a better drainage system, new sod, an improved dugout area and repairs to the bridge over Mosholu Parkway, which floods the area near the bleachers.

Miles Burnett, director of communications for the Office of Andrew Cohen, said the council member is looking to invest up to $5 million into this park to ensure proper improvements.

“What has been established is that the council member is urging Parks [the New York City Parks Department] to find a plan that is $5 million or less, that addresses the drainage of water that accumulates on the field and that makes the field more than just a baseball field,” he said. “We don’t want it to be a single sport usage kind of field because we think that is really what is holding it back from having more programs there, is that it is underutilized because it’s under-supported.”

However, Burnett said the funding will not come directly from the Bronx borough budget.

“That’s really not how our budget works,” he said. “The councilman is looking to find a project so he can get a few of my community partners and government partners together so to get the funding, and then we will make it a reality.”

According to Burnett, the need for renovations to the park has been a point of discussion within the community for several years.

“The council member, as a result of urging from community members over the past six years or so, has been looking at what we can do for Frisch Field so it becomes a more active, engaging part of the community,” he said.

Burnett said the council member approached the Parks department a couple years ago, and they came back with a $12 million and $8 million project. However, the councilmember did not feel that amount of money was necessary.

“The council member said he didn’t think it was appropriate for this field; that’s a lot of money and a lot of overhaul on this field when really all we are trying to do is make it more multipurpose and have better drainage systems. Let’s find something more fiscally responsible,” Burnett said.

However, the parks department has not yet established a new plan, and there is no deadline to do so.

“We do not have a deadline that we are asking them to get it by; we have a lot going on, but we are trying to get a plan in place as soon as possible, hopefully in this fiscal year,” Burnett said.

When asked about timing for the new plan for Frisch Field, Bronx Parks press officer Anessa Hodgson said the parks department is revising the scope of the project and looks forward to sharing an updated estimate with Council Member Andrew Cohen in the future.

According to Burnett, the community has voiced their concern that renovations to the field are important to ensure the park remains intact.
“I think it is a fear within the community that if the field continues to be underutilized and also has drainage issues, it becomes an eyesore, then eventually they are going to deem it not worthy of being a field anymore and try to change it into something that isn’t recreational,” he said.

According to Stronczer, since the rezoning of Webster Avenue for residential development, the community has seen many new buildings constructed. She feels that Frisch Field is an imperative part of the Bronx that must maintain its recreational purpose.

“We feel it is important to provide an active sports area for this growing community,” she said. “The goal is to keep Mosholu for passive recreation purposes.”

Currently, Stronczer said Frisch Field is permitted for use by young people for softball teams, baseball teams, pick-up games, walking dogs and daily runs. She said it must be renovated to remain an integral part of this community.