Respecting the past, Building the future

“Astoria Character” Neil Herdan is Pitching Whitey Ford Field

Nancy Ruhling’s “Astoria Characters” series in the Huffington Post  and collected on her own website, have featured a wide variety of people living in our community—a Tiffany glass curator,  a hairdresser,  the couple who own the Victory Sweet Shop and Victory Garden Cafe, the principal trombonist for the Astoria Symphony Orchestra,  the baker behind Aloria Cakes and Gourmet Sweets,  and OANA”s own Dominque Perrot and Richard Khuzami.

This week another OANA member, Neil Herdan is profiled. The focus is on Whitey Ford Field, and the Friends Group of which Neil is co-chair, together with Blair Clancy, Whitey Ford’s granddaughter. OANA Board members Richard Khuzami and Brett Harris are on the Advisory Board of the Friends of Whitey Ford Field, and OANA actively supported the recent successful $2 million funding request for the renovation of Whitey Ford Field from our Councilman Costa Constantinides and Borough President Melinda Katz.

Neil, originally from London, did not grow up playing or even watching baseball. He has lived in Astoria since 1988 and it was his passion for history that first made him aware of Yankees Hall-of-Famer Whitey Ford’s connection with our neighborhood when a tour he was taking with the Greater Astoria Historical Society took in the park that’s named after him.

“I want {the Friends of Whitey Ford Field} to be the best there is,” Neil says.

“And I want Whitey Ford Field to be the best ballfield in New York. I want it to be the envy of New York.

Friends of Whitey Ford Field: photo credit Clare Doyle


Avatar for Clare Doyle

Clare Doyle is a graduate of the M.A. program in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, UK. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies as well as a B.A. in Archaeology and History from University Dublin, Ireland. She has worked for 30 years in library reference publishing in New York. Clare is the Vice President of Green Shores NYC, a non-profit group that advocates for a cleaner, greener and more connected waterfront in Astoria and Long Island City

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