Phil Rizzuto in 1949. (Photo: Bettman, via Reuters)

Smokey Oval Park, a 4.4-acre cluster of ballfields and playgrounds in Richmond Hall, Queens, was formally rechristened Friday morning for Phil Rizzuto, the Yankee great who died in August.

The park had been informally known as Smokey Oval since it was acquired by the city in March 1938. That name — which referred to the soot and ash that once emanated from a nearby Long Island Rail Road terminus — became official in 1987. The name is also inspired by an oval-shaped mound at the front of the park.

As City Room reported last October, the name change also had the support of the sizable Sikh community in the area. Some Sikh leaders believed the original name evoked activities like smoking and drinking, which are prohibited by their faith.

The park is near the intersection of 126th Street and 94th Avenue, adjacent to Atlantic Avenue. (A 40-foot strip of the playground was used to widen the avenue in 1944, according to the Parks Department.)

Assemblyman Rory I. Lancman, a Queens Democrat who sponsored the renaming, attended a ceremony to mark the occasion, joined by community officials and Dorothy Lewandowski, the Queens borough commissioner for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Rizzuto grew up in nearby Glendale but played baseball in Richmond Hill as a high school student. Famous residents of Richmond Hill have included Jack Kerouac, Jacob A. Riis and the Marx Brothers.