A CEREMONY TOOK PLACE ON SUNDAY AT CHRISTIE PITS TO COMMEMORATE A PARK BENCH AND TREE IN MEMORY OF MORT
A ceremony was held Sunday (May 5) afternoon at Christie Pits Diamond 1 (a.k.a. Dominico Field at Christie Pits) to officially commemorate a park bench and tree in memory of Mort Greenberg.
Mort passed away in April 2018 at the age of 89 after a long, full life as a sports photographer, philanthropist and neighbourhood favourite. The bench and tree are located where Mort used to sit watching the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) Toronto Maple Leafs play on many spring and summer Sunday afternoons.
Beneath a picturesque ceiling of blue and sunny skies, there was a good turnout for the ceremony, with Mort’s family and friends in attendance, including representatives of Toronto Playgrounds (TP) Baseball.
As Mike Zimmerman from TP Basbeall explained at the ceremony, Mort, his siblings and their friends were part of the Harbord and Spadina community and, when they were kids, played on the local sports teams known as the “Lizzies”, which were based in Christie Pits for many decades.
The name Lizzies comes from the long-gone Elizabeth Street playground. The kids who played there lived in the mostly vanished old part of downtown Toronto known as The Ward. As the families in The Ward moved north, the kids’ sports teams moved too but the Lizzies name stuck.
As Mike further explained, the connection of the Lizzies to TP is significant. When the league that became TP was started in the late 1980s, it was supported financially by the Lizzies Old-timers Association and was based in the Bob Abate Community Recreation Centre on Montrose Ave. which had been named after the man who coached the Lizzies for many years.
Basically, as Mike explained, thanks to Mort and the rest of the Lizzies, we still have kids playing ball in Christie Pits and the Lizzies name lives on.