Brooklyn Boro

Bay Ridge street corner named after Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack

September 20, 2021 Jaime de Jesus,
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Bay Ridge residents, family, friends and others on Saturday attended the street renaming ceremony for the late State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Schack at the corner of 89th Street and Ridge Boulevard.

In addition to being a judge, Schack, who died on May 2, 2016 at the age of 71, was very much involved in the Bay Ridge community, Schack was the chairperson of Community Board 10 from 1993 to 1998, leaving when he became a Civil Court judge.

He was active in the Guild for Exceptional Children, Friends of Historic New Utrecht, the Boy Scouts of America and the Bay Ridge Historical Society. Before becoming an attorney, he was a teacher at Bay Ridge High School, now the High School of Telecommunications and Technology

On the bench, Justice Schack handled civil cases such as real estate disputes, contract disputes, personal injury cases to foreclosures and mortgages.

After leaving teaching and going to law school, Schack’s first job, which he kept for 16 years until being installed as a judge, was counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association. In this capacity, he had frequent contact with baseball superstars and their agents.

Many friends believed this to be an ideal job for Schack, who was an enthusiastic baseball fan and had several full sets of fully-signed baseball cards every year for the years he worked as counsel. Just before he became a judge in 2003, a columnist wrote a (paraphrased) headline saying, “Why Would Someone Give Up Being Lawyer for Major League Baseball Just to Become a Judge,” according to the Eagle’s Chuck Otey.

Family members proudly holding the sign honoring Justice Arthur Schack. Eagle photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Community Board 10 voted unanimously to rename the street after Schack in 2018.

“Justice Schack exemplified how giving back to the community and volunteer service can truly make a difference,” said Josephine Beckmann, district manager for Community Board 10.

“We speak about it lightly, but he dedicated so many of his personal hours to this community and I will forever be grateful for his advice when I became district manager. He shared with me how important it is to give people a voice on matters that come before us in the community,” she added.

The unveiling of the sign that reads Justice Arthur M Schack Way. Eagle photo by Arthur De Gaeta

“It was a beautiful ceremony with so many speaking of Artie’s commitment to justice, the truth, and doing the right thing even if it wasn’t always the most popular thing,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights). “Naturally, as a diehard Mets fan, Artie always fought for the underdog. He is missed but he will not be forgotten.”

Justice Schack’s wife, Dilia Schack, is also active in the community and has been, at various times, a Democratic state committeeperson, chair of the Ragamuffin Parade Committee and a member of Community Board 10.

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