Huntington Names Field After Jets Legend-Emerson Boozer
Following a football career that included helping Jets win Super Bowl III, Emerson Boozer served almost 20 years as Town’s parks director
The Town of Huntington held a ceremony October 15, 2016 to officially name the turf field at Manor Field Park after Emerson Boozer, the former New York Jets star running back who went on to spend almost 20 years as the Town’s parks and recreation director and who continues to serve as a member of the Town’s open space committee.
“In the Town, he was truly loved, and he did many more things than being parks director,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said in his remarks at the ceremony. “He was there for every kid who came forward, because he really believed in kids. He believed in what images are important for our young people. And the parks department through his leadership became an image for our youth. It became a place where opportunity can happen.”
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, who led the effort to rename the field, said in his remarks, “How proud we were to have him as our parks director for all those years. We have a cutting edge parks program due in no small part to the efforts of Emerson.”
Added Councilwoman Susan A. Berland, “The thing I love the most about Emerson is his smile. He always has a smile for everyone, he makes you feel like you’re the only person in the room, and that smile brings such happiness to you. There is nobody I can think of in the Town of Huntington more deserving of this honor.”
Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards said, “This is a wonderful day for us because not only is Emerson Boozer a legacy in the Town of Huntington and because he is the ultimate Jet, but because you can still walk up to him in any place within the town of Huntington and he is still the same. He is a kind person, he is a humble person, he is a straight talk person and I am so proud to consider him a mentor and a friend.”
Supervisor Petrone and Council Members Cuthbertson, Berland and Edwards were joined at the ceremony by Tax Receiver Ester Bivona and members of the Long Island Bulldogs youth football team. Councilman Eugene Cook was unable to attend. They presented Boozer with a proclamation and with a Jets commemorative football the Board signed.
A Georgia native, Boozer went to college at what is now called University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He was drafted in 1966 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (7th round) and the New York Jets (6th round) in the American Football League. The leagues were separate then; they combined after the end of the next year.
Boozer played his entire career with the Jets, from 1966 to 1975. He gained 5,135 yards rushing, 1,488 yards receiving and scored 64 touchdowns (52 rushing, 12 receiving). He was a two-time AFL all-star and one-time all-pro.
Most memorably, he played on the Jets team that won Super Bowl III in January 1969, defeating the Baltimore Colts, 16-7. His blocking, especially on Matt Snell’s touchdown run, was a key to the Jets’ success that day.
After retiring from football, Boozer went into broadcasting, invested in a tool-and-dye machine shop, and owned a bar, Em Boozer’s Pub 32 (after his uniform number) in the building that is now the Town’s Business Incubator on New York Avenue in Huntington Station.
In 1986, he took a job as deputy parks and recreation director with the Town as was appointed director a year later. He served as executive assistant to the Supervisor in 1998 and returned to the post as parks director in January 2001. He retired in 2005. In 2010, he was appointed to the Town’s Environmental Open Space and Parks Improvement (EOSPA) Committee. He still serves on that committee.
In his remarks, Boozer noted that Manor Field Park had particular significance to him. “It is not Shea Stadium, Giants Stadium or Yankee Stadium, it is Manor Park – a great location, one that I have known for quite a long time. I have also trained here myself when I was playing ball. I would come and jog the perimeter…Manor Park has always been the first park that I would look to attend because I felt at home in Manor Park,” he said. “It is a place that is dear to me and to many youngsters who come and play the various sports here.”