Courtesy of the Canarsie Courier:
John Malone Honored At Bergen Beach Founder’s Day
By Jason Linetsky
In 1981, following a short career in professional baseball, John Malone brought a new age of athletics and sports recreation to Bergen Beach with the creation of the Bergen Beach Youth Organization (BBYO). Ten years later, Malone passed away but his legacy continues through the new athletics facility named in his honor.
Located in McGuire Park, the John Malone Community Center was completed in 2002 and was slated to be the home for the BBYO, as well as a clubhouse and summer camp. Featuring a food vending area, bathrooms and a large common room for events and meetings, the building is the center piece for the park’s roller hockey rink, three baseball fields, tennis courts and playground.
On June 15th, Bergen Beach Youth Organization Administrator Paul Curiale invited relatives of BBYO little leaguers to join the players for Founder’s Day in honor of Malone’s achievement and lasting testament to his name. Teams of youngsters stood around the edge of the infield and faced the pitchers mound to congratulate 10th graders on completing their final regular season in the league. Children were chosen to present special bats to three players followed by the singing of the National Anthem. All participants received trophies for the season.
One highlight of the day came shortly after the main ceremony, when the BBYO was surprised to have Brooklyn Cyclones’ General Manager Steve Cohen appear and join in the festivities. In a fitting testament to Malone’s legacy, Cohen threw a ceremonial first pitch to begin one of the day’s playoff games. Not to be outdone by the excitement of Cohen’s visit, the league’s Yankees team ended their day with a walk-off win in their playoff game shortly after the ceremony.