By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Like many people, Steve Bagnera drives by McMackin Field on Winthrop Avenue every day and he can’t help but wonder what will ever happen to the baseball field that he played on as a kid.
Little League officials stopped using McMackin Field in 2013 because the field was too wet. With a soggy outfield and an abundance of fragmites making their own Green Monstah on the field.
“The field is in permanent state of flood,” said Revere Little League President Rich Minasian.
Bagnera has launched a fundraising drive to raise $500,000 to properly fix McMackin Field. He’s set up a Go Fund Me page with all proceeds going to Revere Little League and he’s encouraging people to make direct contributions to the Revere Little League, P.O. Box 96, Revere, MA 02151. So far Revere Little League has $230,000 toward the project, money it had hoped to use for a new concession stand.
The field was opened in 1952 and has a batting cage, concession stand, press box, lights and cement bleachers.
Bagnera fondly remembers playing baseball on McMackin Field and recalls there was a flood issue then but that it was manageable.
“We could always play and it was maintained, but now it can’t sustain the water,” Bagnera said as he stood by the chain link fence keeping people off the field. “I was told there is a blocked pipe leading out to the marsh.”
Minasian said to fix the field, including raising it six inches and making the field accessible for all, the league would have to raise $1.2 million. Bagnera said there has been discussion of installing two high power pumps. Two hydrologists have done water studies. The city engineers have looked at it.
“We just got our second water study and we’re going over the report,” Minasian said.
A group of Little League leaders attempted a couple of years ago to get the city to fix field, but it was not possible because the city does not own McMackin Field, it is owned by Little League.
The Field has been there for 65 years and many claim that since the condos in the outfield were built and the city undertook water and sewer work, there has been a massive flooding problem with water getting deep enough to attract ducks on a rainy day.
“This is a landmark,” Bagnera said, adding a Facebook video he made highlighting the field has received over 8,000 viewings. “My father, cousins, brothers and I all played here.”
Minasian said they even toyed with the idea of donating it to the city.
“One person said, ‘why would the city want to take an aquarium?’,” Minasian said.
Since there is no Little League field the teams have dried up or kids opt to play for other baseball organizations in the city. When the league stopped using the field it had 190-210 kids playing in a season.