From: Manchester Mayor Michael Fressola
The township is delighted to release the following information regarding the recent history of the Manchester Township Little League and the Joe Carter Stadium, which should make all residents very proud.
In 2010, Manchester Township Little League, part of District 18, Section 3 in New Jersey, hosted District and Sectional Little League tournament games. Toms River National hit 87 home runs in these 2 tournaments on their way to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. Based on the sizes of today’s players and the construction of expensive graphite and aluminum bats, Williamsport suggested Little Leagues move fences back from the current 200 feet to up to 225 feet from home plates.
The solution was to convert the Major League field into a stadium with an outfield based on three all-time great professional Major League baseball parks. The Boston Red Sox have their “green monster” left field wall in Fenway Park. The Chicago Cubs have their Ivy covered outfield brick wall. The New York Yankees have their famous stadium façade and Monument Park!
This project was proposed by League President Rich Zingaro and Major League Player Agent Bob Kiefer in July 2011. That same month, it was approved by the Manchester Little League Board of Directors as a three-year project with a cost of $25,000.
Even better, it would not cost the league one penny! This money was to be donated by a person who only requested anonymity. The purpose was to build a stadium that would attract teams from all over.
A nine-man committee of Manchester Little League board members was created. The committee consisted of chairman Bob Kiefer, co-chairs Henry Wernock and Rich Villano, Dean Renzi, James Poss, Derek Schmidt, Dennis Hice, Martin Lynch, Pat Barry and league president Rich Zingaro. They met every Monday starting that September. Their tireless efforts resulted in the three-year project being completed in six months and ready for opening day on March 31, 2012!
The final project consisted of a 12-foot-high, 80-foot-long left field wall (Fenway Park); an 8-foot-high, 80-foot-long right field brick wall (Wrigley Field minus the Ivy); and in center field, 225 foot from home plate, stands Manchester’s own Monument Park complete with 14-foot-high, 64 foot-long-replica of the Yankee Stadium façade.
The entire project was supported by over $100,000 in community sponsors and volunteers. Major sponsors of this project were: Hess Construction, Carter’s Heating and Cooling, Three B’s Bistro, Appolo Trucking, Pine Belt Chevrolet, Pemco Electric, Harley Davidson Motorcycles of Ocean County, Hilltop Nursery, Shore Imaging, Lester Glenn Auto Group, Jim Curley Kia, Smart Carpet, Carl’s Fencing, Girtain Sign’s, Clayton Concrete, Woodhaven Lumber, Ocean County Vo Tech School Brick and Press Communication.
This is a field that little leaguers want to play on! A Manchester Little League sponsored tournament on the field of Joe Carter Stadium will attract teams from all over. That tournament is called the M.I.T.