"Field of Dreams" Community Story of Mattos Field

Patti Amaral writes-

Hello Joey, Here is a wonderful story about Mattos field and local artists I know you will love. Great community effort, thanks for all you do.   Patti Amaral Clean City Initiative



Field of Dreams

The rock at the top of the hill states: This playground is dedicated to the memory of Joseph S. Mattos Jr. Born Oct. 4, 1899 and killed in action Oct. 5, 1918. Dedicated 1935.
During World War I, Joseph S. Mattos Jr. “died with honor in the service of his country”, just one day after his eighteenth birthday.  World War I officially ended just over a month later (11/11/1918)
Joseph S. Mattos Jr. was probably one of the youngest Gloucester men killed in action during WWI.
  The area known as the Joseph Mattos Field or Playground was originally a low-lying natural basin with a brook running through it.  In the 1840s Nathaniel Webster Sr. dammed the brook creating a pond.  In the winter he cut the ice from the pond to supply the fishing fleet.  Around 1900 his son, Nathaniel Webster Jr., sold the business to Cape Pond Ice Co.  In 1924 Cape Pond Ice Co. sold the property to the city for a public recreation area. Ten years later the city built Veterans Memorial School, adjacent to the field.  
For the past 30 years Mattos field has hosted The Cape Ann Women’s Softball League. This year the league started a campaign to raise money for new lights for the field that can cost up to $100,000. The CAWSL “Light up Mattos” field campaign has sponsored several local fundraisers to raise money for the lights.
Two years ago the women painted the bleachers with donations from the Building Center. After searching for a local artist to paint “Mattos Field” on the back of the freshly painted bleachers, in an attempt to brighten up the area, local artist Jason Burroughs stepped up and donated his time to paint the new “Mattos Field” mural. Jason and his friend Enza Dimaio spent last weekend painting the mural. Jason has been part of Cape Ann Art Havens Teen Artist Guild for over a year and a half now, which is led by Executive Director Mat Schetne. Jason has shown his work for the last two summers at the Farmers Market, and his most recent showing on October 1, 2011 called “Wet Paint”. He states,” in some ways my form of art is abstract but at the same time its got an urban feel to it, I pretty much have no boundaries to define my artwork”. Jason attended Veterans Memorial School and played at the field throughout his youth. “Painting the Mattos Field Mural meant a lot to me because when I went to Veterans Memorial School, I always remember the ugly bleachers in the corner of the field that we were not allowed to go near (because of their unkempt condition). I think painting the mural brightened up the bleachers and made it look a lot more inviting. I’m glad to say that I did something for my city.”

Enza Dimaio worked with Jason on the mural too. She is a local girl who played softball for the Raiders at Mattos field for many years. She doesn’t consider herself an artist, but when I saw her down the field helping Jason, I could tell she truly enjoys the work. Enza is happy to be giving back to the local field that she played on in her youth as well.

Two young local residents giving back to their community through what they love to do, Paint.
Patti Amaral
Clean City Initiative



  • Thanks,Patty,This is a nice story about our town and I appreciate efforts to include our young artists in community wide activities!! Great in so many ways.


  • Patty, you rock! It’s beautiful.


  • Awesome job!


  • Neat story–and a great example of community at it’s best!


  • Thanks Enza and Jason! And Patti too! What a great story!


  • A big shout out to Patti! She has been a fierce supporter for Mattos Field and very instrumental in keeping it clean as well as sprucing it up. Much of what Patti does is a thankless job, but I hope she knows how much she is appreciated. Thank you Jason and Enza for your awesome mural! The Cape Ann Women’s Softball League needs a place to play, and the hard work Patti, Jason, Enza and countless others have put in has certainly helped that cause. 30 plus years and still going strong….Thank you Thank you Thank you!!


  • Capt Joseph P Santos

    Awesome story that field was name after my uncle ( my mom brother) i remenber the Amaral family that lived on the corner of Fair & Taylor St In Gloucester when i was kid one of the son was Matt. we live on Sadler st then before we move to Essex Ave in 1941 Skated on that pond many winters and when that put up the first lites on it it was only one pole back then ofcouse that was long before your time. I so nice to see it being taken of again.

    Capt Joe Santos
    Palm Beach Gardens Fl


    • Capt Joe Santos
      We have secured funds to start rehabbing Mattos field…As a member of the CAWSL and have been playing on this field for over 30 years I am very excited to be part of this project Especially after finding out that I am related to the Mattos family…Much pride for myself and my family. We will keep you updated on our progress.
      Denise “Goulart” Pascucci


  • what a great job!!! I have spent a long time enjoying Mattos Field and I have never seen it look that good…thanks so much to everybody involved…we are very lucky to have a ballfield with lights that is accessible to local athletes…KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!! It is greatly appreciated by many…


  • camilla macfadyen

    Great job Jason and Enza!
    Jason has been doing great things for a while down at Art Haven.
    We are big fans and have started a collection of his art.
    Keep up the good work.


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