By Sunnyside Post on Mar 12, 2012. Posted in General News
Grew up on that block, along with my Mother’s entire Family! Very proud to say Celtic Park(Ave.) was where I once roamed as a young boy! Down on the Farm! Eire!
According to the board, the Winged Fist has racist connotations and would be offensive to some. The crowd that attended the renaming event sure didn’t look like the Klan to me; just good, decent neighborhood people that appreciate the achievements of the I-AAC without giving a second thought to racial politics or political correctness. As it should be.
All the way from Wisconsin, land of the cheeshead and clenched fist protests against our duly-elected and capable Governor.
I DISAGREE with the protest here in Wisconsin. But I am not about to feel terrified by a fist (winged) in another context. If that’s the Board’s concern, may it RELAX a little — while considering the compelling history at their doorstep. (And perhaps, going forward, well-meaning people can agree to disagree without the whole fist-in-the-air thing.)
I would love to get in a time machine and attend one of the Celtic Park events. Who wants to join me?
The IAAC stands for many of the things that makes out country great. Ever since I heard about this issue, I have failed to understand why the plaque is not allowed. The board’s various excuses, are just that, excuses. Here’s hoping goodness and decency win out.
velociraptor – I’m not underestanding the “racist connotations”. Do you have any idea?
I think it is kinda cool. I saw this “Winged Fist’ group at Sunnyside’s St. Pat’s parade and mentioned to my Irish immigrant friend what a cool t-shirt that would make. He agreed.
The members of the Irish-American Athletic Club of 1908 were the core of the most dominant Olympic team the USA has ever produced. Their athletic field was sold for residential development as the group faded. The Celtic Park apartments owe their very existence to the IAAC club. If the club had not sold a unified property, this area would have looked very different for the last 3/4 century. It boggles my mind why the apartment complex would not want to publicly share and celebrate where their name came from.
That seems a decision that should be left up to the BOD to make, not outsiders. And the BOD should poll Celtic Park’s shareholders first. The shareholders are the controlling power, not the BOD.
Let the owners decide what signs to allow on their property.
I agree with Wayne Baker. My great grandfather, Mel Sheppard, was among those great Olympians. I would love to see him, and all of those who were IAAC athletes honored on a plaque located on the actual site. I would think that many of the owners would also agree. This should not be just a BOD decision.
This is simple.
Please Read The Celtic Park House Rules.
Rule #8 – No Sign, advertisement or illumination shall be inscribed or exposed on or at any window or other part of the buildings, except such as shall have been approved in writing by the lessor or the managing agent.
This has no bias against the “Winged Fist” exclusively.
It is simply a way for the CORPORATION (which is what Celtic Park is) to cover itself from law suits.
Let’s say they did put up a plaque honoring the Irish-American Athletic Club.
Now what happens in six months when someone wants to put up a plaque on the side of Celtic Park honoring the fact that the first meeting of the “insert any questionable organization” was held within its walls?
If the Lessor or The Managing Agent declines’ said person or organization can claim Bias since a previous request to place a plaque was granted to the The Irish-American Athletic Club and sue said corporation for discrimination and bias.
Come on folks, it is HISTORY and should be marked and celebrated.
Outsiders, does that make you special living inside ???? Went to St Teresa’s with many kids who lived n Celtic Park Apts and never felt like an “outsider” …
The buildings as such would not be except for the Celtic groups who came from all over the five boroughs to celebrate on that site ..
Can still hear my Dad remarking how it was so beautiful to see all of the
lovely ladies in their long dresses and big hats coming up Queens Blvd from the Rawson St stop (then the last stop on the 7 line) on a Sunday to attend the events at Celtic Park …
what happened to my earlier comment? ? ?
hey Krissi one of my favorite t-shirts is my winged fist one that I bought on line from Winged Fist – everyone loves it.
On 46st there is an elegant plaque on the building where the great jazz musician Bix Beiderbeck died in 1931. As far as I know, it’s not offensive to people who don’t listen to jazz, nor was there any great drama about having it placed there to begin with.
@ you all make me laugh
What a load of baloney.
The entire Celtic Park property owes its existence to the former stadium and athletic club that played there. The property even takes its name from it for goodness sake. If there is another group or entity that can make that same claim, then they should get a plaque too. The fact is, there isn’t one.
Nice try, thanks for playing.
Thanks for a Great and Insightful Reply!
Baloney… Hmmm… I never thought of it like that!
Owes it’s existence? Really? I didn’t know the Irish American Athletic Club purchased the land and built these structures! That’s amazing! I guess they were doing more then running around in circles in those cute short shorts!
Please take five minutes out of your day and get yourself a clue……
Thanks in advance……
I abstain. Why should my vote matter?
I want a recount.
Respect for those who came before us should be paramount for all of us. The people who thronged the land that was Celtic Park more than a century ago left a rich legacy for us that anyone who cares to go to the Winged fist website can absorb. Ian has brought these heroes back for us to return to them the honor they deserve in the 21st century that they earned in the 20th!. I hope those with the power to place a plaque on there old stomping grounds will do so soon! For goodness sake Michael Sheridan ran here! Jim Thorpe trained here! In there day they led the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! They were the guests of the president of the United States at his home out on Long Island. Look at Ian’s photos. Let us pay proper respect!
It seems reasonable to have a poll of the current residents/cooperators. The board is not representative. Were they elected in a proper meeting? With a quorum?
Place that plaque. NOW.
Richard O’ Connor
“hey Krissi one of my favorite t-shirts is my winged fist one that I bought on line from Winged Fist – everyone loves it.”
You realize you just helped me find Christmas presents for every person I know who lives in Sunnyside/Woodside, right????
Congratulations on a lovely ceremony on Saturday.
We hope you are able to have a plaque placed im Celtic Park.
Keep up the good work.
WELL DONE IAN
One more step to go to accomplish A Winged Fist Organization Plaque on the 43rd street side of the Celtic Park Complex. On this coming Saturday many of the great athletes who trained on this site will join us in the great beyond to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The United Forties Civic Association Officers, members and friends, the majority whom I can speak for join with me in wishing you congratulations and pledge our full support.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you your wife and family.
Whenever I travel in Europe, I often see plaques on buildings telling people that such and such a famous, writer, artist or statesman lived there. They seem to appreciate their own history. It’s a perfectly natural thing to them to acknowledge it. Americans, on the other hand, are generally ignorant of their own history – trust me, my dad was an immigrant and knew more about American history than most people born here. As for this coop board, they are the embodiment if this willfully ignorance and hostility to history and heritage.
*Please pardon the typos in previous comment.
Well done Ian, what a great victory in spite of some bigoted views of the co-op board of which three don’t even reside in Celtic Park. Just like you Ian, we kept pushing forward and were successful in ousting one of our entrenched resident board members (anti – plaque). That seat now belongs to Deirdre Feerick,a resident and a local Democratic District Leader (*she was not on the board when the plaque was voted down)
Hopefully, after this year’s board election the vote may come up again. Once again Ian thanks for a great day and the way it finished was so surreal–kind of hair standing up on your neck- – a kind of Field of Dreams moment, after a failed attempt to uncover the sign completely.(see video here) our giant congressman Crowley couldn’t reach the sign, but you Ian started climbing up the pole.I really didn’t think you could reach it but I believe the spirits those great athletes somehow- – yes that was the huge hand of Sheridan that pushed your arse up to finally unveil WINGED FIST WAY.
It $eems that coop boards in general don’t do anything unless proper “tribute” is paid. Don’t know if that’s the ca$e here but it wouldn’t surprise me.
It is great to see the people of Queens and NYC acknowledge the Irish American Club by co-naming the street ‘Winged Fist Way’.
Believe me, I would have nothing to do with any organisation that I felt was racist, terrorist etc.
I have spent years researching and writing about the Irish American Athletic Club and actually gained a doctorate for a thesis on the politics of Ireland and Irish America at the Olympics prior to 1924.
I believe it would be hard to find a more inclusive sports club 100 years ago than the IAAC, one which fostered not only a host of Irish American Olympic and American champions, but also the first African American and Jewish American Olympic champions.
The club’s ‘fist’ motto is derived from the ancient motto of the McCarthy clan in south west Ireland, and was intended as a rival symbol (portraying strength of hands i.e. weight throwers) to the ‘winged foot’ emblem of the New York Athletic Club. The most political thing the IAAC did in its day was to organise fundraisers for Irish freedom prior to the 1916 Rising. Now if that still classes a group as subversive…
Please put the plaque up.
Congratulations. Great to hear that Winged-Fist’s perseverance has succeeded in getting the plaque erected. Good look with stage two of your ambition.
A plaque was erected a few weeks ago here in Nenagh on the ancestral home of John J Hayes’s father, which is the house John visited to see his grandfather after his success in London in 1908.
Nancy & Donal A. Murphy
@Nancy Murphy — replicas of the statues of the athletes in front of the Nenagh Courthouse can be found on display in the window of the Winged Fist founder’s apartment, here on Winged Fist Way. I pass them everyday and smile to think of the originals in your town — my husband’s hometown!
Well done Ian, keep up the good work.
Thanks for info on the replica statues – I have one of Johnny Hayes in a prominent position in the sitting room.
The life size ones by the Courthouse have recently been given a ‘brush up’ and the information tablets have been refurbished also which has made them easily readable.
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