Black River Baseball Fields Improved

by Timothy W. Scee II
Special to N
Published May 16,

—  Coaches, players and spectators of the Tri-Village Black River Baseball Little League Saturday welcomed the addition of four new dugouts built upon the village’s Luke Burns and Cody J. Chirico memorial baseball fields. 

League Commissioner David J. Daily said the idea for field dugouts came four years ago and through “several fundraisers,” sign sponsors, registration fees and concession sales during games, the project became a reality. 

Two scoreboards were also provided to the league through a $5,000 donation from Black River American Legion Post 673. 

“Altogether with the dugouts and scoreboards, we’ve got about $21,000 into our field,” Daily said. 

Although two dugouts on the Luke Burns field were finished within the past week, the league commissioner noted construction for dugouts on the Cody J. Chiroco field is still in the works.

“The construction for the two dugouts on the Luke Burns field started last year,” Daily said. “This year, at the dugouts for the Cody Chirico Field, the weather has set us back, obviously, or these would have been completed by now.”

Daily said Luke Burns was a man who “spent a lot of time in the recreation league and baseball league,” however, the field was named in memory of Burns before the commissioner joined the league in the early ‘90s when his sons were involved in little league baseball. 

The more recent field, adjacent to the Luke Burns baseball field, was named in honor Cody J. Chirico, a 16-year-old Carthage High School student who was tragically killed in a car accident while driving to school in November 2001. 

Daily said Chirico played baseball for the league in the mid ‘90s. 

“Every year we give out a Cody Chirico memorial award to a kid who represents the great traits that Cody had,” the league commissioner said. 

The Felts Mills Fire Department Saturday teamed off against Way Cool Ice Cream on the Luke Burns field, while the Black River Fire Department faced the Black River American Legion team on the Chirico field.

“It’s a little rainy, but we can play in it,” said Lucas J.Piroli, a member of the Felts Mills Fire Department team. “It’s really exciting, there’s new scoreboards and dugouts and it’s really fun.”

Fred L. LaVancha, who coaches the Felts Mills Fire Department team, said the adults enjoy the fields’ improvements just as much as the kids. 

“What the village does is unbelievable,” LaVancha said. “We’re just hoping to let kids enjoy baseball.”

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