Name the Van Cortlandt Park Stadium Baseball Field after Joseph Coppo

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Baseball has been part of our American experience for over half of the time that we have existed as a nation. Before the sport was played in professional leagues, it started as a community-building activity, with Manhattan College laying claim to one of the oldest collegiate baseball programs in the country. With the Manhattan College Jaspers baseball program set to return to Van Cortlandt Park next spring, an initiative has been started to name their field after Joseph Coppo, Class of 1975.

This movement has been underway for several months now and the passion behind it is best captured by this quote by Mr. Coppo's wife, Pat: "I've been overwhelmed by the number of people who have been working tirelessly on this project for so many months. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by great friends like Kevin Monaghan and Fred Marro who have never forgotten Joe for a minute, but having President Brennan O'Donnell and Rob Walsh be so enthusiastic and supportive is extraordinary- and very humbling."

Joe began his collegiate baseball career with the Jaspers in 1973 and was recognized by his teammates as a power hitter, excellent pitcher, and a great man. He was named the captain of the team for his senior season in 1975 and went on to coach his children’s Little League baseball and softball teams in later years. Tragically, Mr. Coppo passed away in the events of September 11th, 2001. He was posthumously honored with an induction in the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 as well as having a baseball field named after him in his town of New Canaan, Connecticut. Joe is survived by his wife Pat and four children. 

A man that gave back to his community and lived out the mission of Manhattan College would be a great candidate to honor by dedicating the Van Cortlandt Park Stadium Baseball Field in his name. This is a field that will not only serve the Manhattan College community, but also the surrounding neighborhoods as a place where all can take part in this great American tradition, on a field renovated to NCAA standards. 

Joe loved wearing the Jasper uniform and playing ball in Van Cortlandt Park. Now that our team has come home, there would be no better time to honor this special Jasper and the great legacy of our baseball program. Please join me in showing the support of the Manhattan College community and the surrounding neighborhood for naming the Van Cortlandt Park Stadium Baseball Field after Joseph Coppo, Class of 1975. This is a fitting way to commemorate the life of a beloved Manhattan College alumnus and a great New Yorker.

Thank you and see you out there!