Weâ€™re sure we are not alone among long-time Revere residents in welcoming the news that the city, under the leadership of Mayor Brian Arrigo, has assumed the ownership of McMackin Field. The former mecca for Little League baseball has not been used since 2014 and had fallen into a sad state of overall disrepair, its formerly-pristine landscape having turned into an overgrown and swampy weed patch.
In its hey-day, McMackin Field — which was named after Staff Sgt. Charles G. McMackin, a Revere resident who was a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator that was shot down during Operation Tidal Wave on Aug. 1, 1943, in a raid on the Nazi-held oil fields and refineries at Ploiesti, Romania — was a field of dreams for Revere Little Leaguers from the time it was constructed in 1952 by parent-volunteers of the then-nascent Revere Little League program.
Over the course of the next six decades, tens of thousands of Revere Little Leaguers trod onto the well-kept field, and tens of thousands of parents filled the stands, when Little League literally was the only game in town for local youth.
It was the premier Little League field in the region and was referred to as â€œLittle Fenway,â€ providing a thrill even for opposing players from other cities when they competed in the district playoffs against Revere.
Taking to McMackin Field in your uniform as a 10 year-old youth was a magical experience that still evokes warm memories decades later for all of us who did so.
But all good things must come to an end. McMackin, which always had been susceptible to flooding, had outlived its usefulness.
Yes, the news of McMackin Fieldâ€™s taking by the city represents a bittersweet ending for those of us who have fond memories of our beloved â€œLittle Fenway.â€
But we look forward to its future use, whatever that may be, that will benefit our city for future generations.