The History of J. Richard "Dick" Green Rugby Field
In 1973, following their years playing for Albany Law School, Dick Green, Chip Ennis, Paul Keitzman and Jim McSparron helped organize the Albany Knickerbocker Rugby Club. While some of the other founders retired, Dick served as the leader and chief benefactor of the club up to the time of his untimely death in May of 1993. During those early Knickerbocker years, Dick served as Treasurer, Captain, and President as well as the employer of a long line of Knicks who worked at Green's Appliances.
Lincoln Park had been the home of the Knicks since their earliest days, but by the early 1990's the wear and tear on the pitch from football and the presence of numerous softball games caused the park to be unsuitable for regular practice and play. As a result, in 1993 the then officers of the club went looking for an alternate site for a new pitch. On Frisbee Avenue, there were some unused fields which had contained a speed skating oval that looked like a great location for the Knicks' new home. Working with Mayor Jennings, a lease with was entered into with the City of Albany, and in November of 1993, the field was dedicated.
Work on the field began the following spring with the acquisition of some soil to level the surface. Plans were drawn to set the dimensions of the pitch, and the long task of raking, planting and watering took place over the succeeding years. Finally as part of the Twenty Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the club's formation the first match was played on the field. On August 30, 1998, five years after Dick's death, the Valley Kangaroos from Seattle, Washington faced the Knicks on Dick Green Rugby Field.
As stated on the plaques commemorating the field: JAMES R. "DICK" GREEN MEMORIAL FIELD HOME OF THE ALBANY KNICKERBOCKER RUGBY CLUB THIS FIELD WAS NAMED TO HONOR DICK GREEN FOR HIS TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE ALBANY KNICKERBOCKER RUGBY CLUB (1973-1993) SERVING AS CLUB TREASURER, CAPTAIN AND PRESIDENT DURING THIS PERIOD. HE LED THE ALBANY KNICKS WITH PRIDE AND DETERMINATION, AND HELPED FOSTER THE GROWTH OF THE CLUB INTO ONE OF THE PREMIER RUGBY CLUBS IN THE NORTHEAST.