Smokey Oval Park opened in 1938. It was officially named Smokey Oval in 1987, named after its location across the Long Island Railroad for collecting soot and for the oval shaped mound at the front of the park. [1] In 2008, the park was renamed after the Yankee shortstop, Phil Rizzuto, who passed away in 2007. Rizzuto grew up in Glendale, but played baseball at his High School in Richmond Hill. He became a role model to the community, going from a local boy to a big athletic star, and will be an inspiration to “new Americans in Richmond Hill,” said Assemblyman Lancman. The main reason for the renaming of the park is because community members requested to have the park renamed after Phil Rizzuto.[2] A majority of the Sikh community in the neighborhood wanted to change the name of the park because the name Smokey Oval gave the wrong impression. ” Some Sikh leaders believed the original name evoked activities like smoking and drinking, which are prohibited by their faith.” [3]

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