Broadway Show League on Deck for New Homefield Due to Central Park Renovation

By Ernio Hernandez
20 Jan 2006

Construction has begun on the Heckscher Ballfields in New York City's Central Park, which have served as the home field to the softball players of the Broadway Show League in past seasons.



The renovation to the fields in the south end of the uptown greenery (located near 63rd Street) is part of a larger project which also includes the recently completed work on the nearby Heckscher Playground, according to a Central Park Conservancy spokesperson.

Work is expected to be completed by the year's end, but will certainly not be done in time for the park's prime baseball and softball season, which—as the Damn Yankees song "Six Months Out of Every Year" goes—is April to September.

New York City Parks Department representative Nelson Fung told Playbill.com that this will displace a number of city-based leagues including the Broadway Show League, and that they are actively working on scheduling permits at Central Park's other fields at the Great Lawn and North Meadow or other parks.

"The Great Lawn would be perfect or North Meadow," current Broadway Show League Commissioner Carlos Martinez told Playbill.com about his hopes for the upcoming season. "You want to try to keep it located all at the same place. I've got 30 teams playing so we need five fields."

Martinez, a stagehand by trade, is now in San Francisco with the out-of-town tryout of Lestat. He submitted the League's application for permits back in late October 2005 and expects to hear back from the Parks Department by the end of February.

The humble theatre worker — who has handled the year-round side gig as Commissioner for two years — revealed that he may hand off the torch next month during elections, because his time in California may cut into his preparatory work for the League's opening day in April. "It's pretty demanding. You have to start working in January to get ready for April. The season runs through September and you have to file for permits October-November to get where you want."

Perhaps not willing to call it "over till it's over," he laughingly quipped: "They could re-elect me, I wasn't planning on running again, but if nobody else wants the job, then I'll keep doing it."

Last season, the Beauty and the Beast team beat out three-time defending champs The Producers for the 2005 Broadway Show League softball championship, with a score of 13 to 3. Martinez expects about 30 teams to take part in this coming season's games.

For more information on the Broadway Show League, visit www.broadwayshowleague.com.