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Little piece of Fenway at Attleboro's Finberg Field PDF Print E-mail
Written by GEORGE W. RHODES SUN CHRONICLE STAFF   
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

ATTLEBORO - The paint was still a little wet, but Attleboro's own Green Monster was unveiled Monday at the rededication of J. "Ray" Cooney Field.

The 8-foot high wall, a smaller version of Fenway Park's famous 37-foot high left field legend, was built as part of an effort to refurbish the field after 47 years of use by Attleboro Youth Baseball and to restore the memory of Cooney, who dedicated his life to the children of Attleboro.

Cooney Field is part of the Finberg Field complex and was first dedicated in 1961 in honor of Cooney, one of the founders of Attleboro Youth Baseball and a physical education teacher in city schools for decades.

Cliff Wells
Cliff Wells of C. Wells Painting peels off a piece of a template on the replica Green Monster at Cooney Field at Attleboro's Finberg Field. (Staff photo by Mark Stockwell)

Bad weather last week forced workers to rush the job for the dedication, but the wall was finished - complete with many of the familiar Fenway markings.

It's meant to inspire dreams and create memories, and it did so right away.

Allan McClure and Tim Walsh of AYB's Astros smashed the first homers over the Fenway facsimile Monday in a game with the AYB's Red Sox.

"It was a real thrill for both of them," said Recreation Director Dennis Walsh, who is the father of Tim.

The wall also contains a joyful image of the past for Boston Red Sox fans everywhere, with a scoreboard that records Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series with the New York Yankees.

With the Red Sox down 3 games to 0, David "Big Papi" Ortiz hit a two-run, walk-off home run in the 12th inning of that game to begin a long comeback that eventually led to the Red Sox' first World Series Championship in 86 years.

Cooney Field
An Attleboro Park and Recreation Department employee rakes peastone around the perimeter of the newly-constructed replica of the Green Monster at Cooney Field at Finberg Field. (Staff photo by Mark Stockwell)

As the Ortiz homerun began an historic string of eight straight victories that "reversed the curse," it's hoped the Cooney Green Monster will give new life and joy to the historic youth baseball field, Walsh said.

When the field was first opened, it was the gem of the city's baseball fields, he said.

A new backstop, an improved infield and outfield and the wall have combined to restore it to its former glory, Walsh said.

Now all it needs are games.

"We want kids to leave here with a lifetime of memories," Walsh said.

The wall was built with donations of cash or labor from the Attleboro Youth Baseball League, C. Wells Painting and the 3rd Platoon 716th Engineer Co. of the Army Reserve stationed in Attleboro.

Recreation workers prefabricated and primed the wall sections during the winter.

Click here to view the article at TheSunChronicle.com

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 May 2008 )
 
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