North Salem High School baseball field to be renamed Outhouse Family Field


Wayne Outhouse's 6th grade class photo. Outhouse is standing next to the teacher, Mr. Caufield (Photo courtesy of Peter Yager)

A resolution recently passed by the North Salem Board of Education declared that the North Salem High School baseball field will now be named Outhouse Family Field, in honor of Wayne Outhouse, a lifelong North Salem resident who dedicated his life to this community.

Outhouse passed away in January, a few months shy of his 70th birthday. He and his two brothers, Drew and Purdy, all died within six months of one another, a devastating blow to the close-knit family that has called North Salem home for generations dating back to at least the mid-1800’s.

The move to name a local landmark after Outhouse was driven in large part by his childhood friend Robert Blake, who, along with fellow former classmates Cathy Kinsella, Kevin Fagan and Felix Nicodemo, reached out to North Salem Central School District administrators to advocate for naming a district facility in honor of Outhouse. All were eager to ensure that Outhouse’s legacy would live on in perpetuity.

Family and friends gathered at Outhouse Orchards in North Salem in August for a memorial service honoring Wayne Outhouse. (Photo by Peter W. Yager)

Throughout his life, Outhouse was well-known and well-respected in the North Salem community. He grew up working at the family business, Outhouse Orchards, sponsored countless town Little League and basketball teams, led floats carrying youth sports teams in town parades, donated money to local causes and generously lent a helping hand whenever he could, according to several loved ones who spoke with the North Salem Post.

“We get excited when we hear that somebody did this or that for 10 years,” Blake told the North Salem Post. “Wayne was five-plus decades of good deeds. And it would be more if he was still alive. He was 50-plus years of donating his time, energy and resources to the North Salem and Croton Falls community, and never asking for anything in return.”

The decision to have the baseball field carry the Outhouse name felt more than fitting. In 1967, the North Salem High School baseball team won the sectional championship, a game that Outhouse witnessed as a NSHS 9th grader. Nearly 50 years later, in 2016 (and again in 2017) the Tigers won the New York State Championships. Outhouse was in attendance for those games, too.

“It goes back to his sense of community,” Blake said. “He sponsored baseball teams, basketball teams, refereed, coached…if anybody needed anything equipment-wise, he would do that.”

Kathy Outhouse, who was married to Wayne for 38 years, said of her late husband, “ I think he lived like, you have to work the rest of your life so enjoy your younger years, play sports, and have fun.”

Reflecting on what Wayne might say upon learning that a local field now carries his family name, Kathy remarked, “I think he would probably be a little embarrassed. He would probably feel that he wasn’t deserving of it, or that’s not why he did what he did. He never boasted that he did this or did that.”

After the Board of Education unanimously approved naming the high school baseball field the “Outhouse Family Field,” organizers had next to decide where to visually represent the name. Blake and Kathy, along with Kinsella, Fagan and Nicodemo, met at the field to talk it over. “Kathy said she’d like to see it on the scoreboard, with the idea that whenever anybody was to look at the score, they would see that the field is named after Wayne and his brothers, because of all the things they’ve done for the community,” Blake said.

“I’m very grateful for his schoolmates who really pushed this,” Kathy said. “They did want to honor him and felt that this was the best way to do that. Now, people can always say ‘the Outhouse Field.’”

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