Day 3 – North Kingstown’s Baseball Fields and RIBBE Memories
Day 3 of my Rhode Island Baseball Field Bike Relay Ride was all about my hometown of North Kingstown. I have played on, coached on, cheered at, practiced on, and thoroughly enjoyed 8 baseball fields in North Kingstown for the better part of 40 years. I love writing about all Rhode Island baseball leagues, players, clinics, and fields. However, there is nothing like the familiarity of your home baseball fields. Here is a recap of my 8 baseball field Rhode Island Baseball Field Relay Ride Special Edition – North Kingstown.
Leaving from my house just off Stony Lane, I traveled the back roads over to School St. and McGinn Park. This park is located at Davisville Middle School and the school uses the fields and grounds for DMS activities throughout the year, including baseball and softball. There is a multiple use field for Jaguars Football and soccer games. Back in my high school days, I played Babe Ruth league games at Davisville Middle School – the fields were configured differently back in the 1980’s so the current setup is nothing like I played on. McGinn Park is now one of the many fields utilized by North Kingstown/Wickford Little League. Juniors/Seniors have a field as do the Minors/Majors divisions.
From McGinn Park, I headed back up School St., down passed the NK Town Dump, then over to the bike path behind Dave’s Marketplace. A short ride on the bike path and I exited at the corner of Fletcher Rd. From there, a short burst up to Signal Rock Road and to Signal Rock Field. This field offers tons of parking, basketball courts, playground, and two baseball fields. It was used by the former North Kingstown American Little League before they merged with Wickford Little League a few years back. Personally, I believe Signal Rock is a hidden gem of the Town of North Kingstown Recreation Department. It has a quiet, neighborhood baseball field feel and I would love to see some upgrades to the park in years to come.
Back down Signal Rock, onto Fletcher, back on the bike path, then onto Post Road, I rode my bike on a hot, humid first day of Fall. I took a left Interpid Dr. to go in the back way to Wilson Park. Wilson Park is one of the best recreational complexes in the State of Rhode Island. It offers a massive field area for youth sports like lacrosse and soccer as well as basketball and tennis courts. There are three baseball fields at Wilson Park along with an awesome concession stand. I have spent a lot of time at Wilson Park over the years and it never gets tiring. It is by far one of my favorite fields to visit and photograph and watch a baseball game.
Just a short ride up from Wilson Park on Tower Hill Rd is Wickford Middle School, home of the 2019 Rhode Island State Middle School Baseball Champs. This field is very special to me for a lot of reasons. First, I played on this field in the 1980’s for Coach Al Southwick, RIP. Second, I have coached games on this field for my son, Harrison, while he was in North Kingstown/Wickford Little League. And third, the 2019 WMS team that won the state tournament featured players and Coach Bill Brew whom I have coached or coached against for many, many years. This baseball field at WMS holds a lot of great memories for me as a player and a coach.
Down the hill, through Wickford Village, passed the Town Beach, and the pond with the gorgeous flowers (Hamilton Village), there is Hamilton Elementary School. No, I did not attend Hamilton. I attended Wickford Elementary School back in the 1970’s. But, my first baseball experience took place right back there against the stone wall (see photo above) with the St. Bernard’s Saints Tee Ball Program. My first catch, my first throw, my first base hit – all took place on this field way, way back in 1970 something. Very cool that I still live in the same town as my childhood and can revisit great memories like this.
Taking a shortcut down Annaquatucket Road, I arrived at North Kingstown High School. I attended and graduated from NKHS in 1990 and now my three sons attend the school. I played 4 years of baseball (2 JV, 2 Varsity) for North Kingstown and have some awesome memories of playing baseball alongside some incredible baseball talent. The baseball field I played on is no longer there and I would guesstimate that the field location as it stands is now the football field. The entire school configuration is different, having been modernized some years back from my original high school building setup. While I was at the school, construction teams were busy working on the new athletic complex, which is set to open sometime this fall. Great to see progress at my North Kingstown High School. Go Skippers!
Back up Boston Neck Road, through Wickford Village and up the hill to another childhood spot. Wickford Little League had a baseball field at Wickford Middle School for their minors/majors division back before Wilson Park was built. This field (shown in the photo) was my home field and it featured a outfield fence that I used to love to hit home runs over. My brother and I played for several years here, all with the watchful and most enthusiastic fan sitting on the stone wall cheering us on every game. My mother, never missed a game, still doesn’t miss a game her grandchildren play. She is a true fan of baseball and an incredible role model of a parent.
Last stop of the day took me up Ten Rod Road, left onto Lafayette Road, and then right on a dirt road with a dog leg left turn up to Feurer Park. This park is part of the North Kingstown/Wickford Little League network of fields. It is used primarily for the Tee Ball and Single A youth baseball programs to help develop skills and the love of baseball with players 5 and up. Traditionally, it is one of the best fields to practice and play on in North Kingstown. It is surrounded by a wooded area for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. It definitely a hidden gem field here in North Kingstown. I remember hosting a clinic here years back and a home run derby event that was just awesome.
Lots of great memories throughout the fields of North Kingstown. I cherish the times I had on the field as a player and coach and fan on these many baseball fields. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make baseball remain a part of North Kingstown sports. All for now. Next ride will continue our relay throw and catch from field to field, live from Slocum’s Lischio Field.
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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.
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