DeSorgher: The Tradition Continues—Happy 60th Birthday to Medfield Little League
Happy 60th birthday Medfield Little League ... from thousands and thousands of former and current grateful Medfield kids.
In 1939 Carl Stotz of Williamsport, Pennsylvania came up with the concept and founded today’s Little League Baseball.
In the early 1950’s, Medfield’s Vincent "Red" Palumbo got together a group of baseball enthusiasts here in Medfield including Jim Frame, Paul Seeley, Eugene Preston, Joe Marcionette, Larry McKenney, Francis Scribner, Bill Palumbo, William Sullivan, Joseph Kennedy, Earl Kerr, Lawrence Rossi, Morris Geller, Bob Coulter and Charlie Boehm.
From these individuals a constitution was written, officers were elected, including Red Palumbo being elected Little League’s first president, and coaches were selected for the first four Little League teams in Medfield: The Red Sox, Braves, Indians and Yankees. The year was 1952 and Little League Baseball in Medfield was born.
Each of the first four teams had 15 boys and games were played at the newly built field at what is now Metacomet Park, the former Grange Field off Pleasant Street. In the 1980’s the field was officially named in honor of Robert Capers, town official, long time coach, Little League President and vocal supporter of Medfield Little League. But in the beginning, the Little League Founders would go to the field every evening after work and rake out the rocks.
The American Legion was located next door, where Medfield Garden Condominiums are now located. They took the old outdoor wooden dance platforms used by the Legion for outdoor dances, and had them cut to become the outfield fence. A backstop was installed and welder Paul Seeley was able to take the discarded bleachers from Harvard Stadium, move them to Medfield and weld them into place next to the Little League Field, where they still stand, 60 years later, and where they serve as the park’s bleachers.
Bill Palumbo bought the team’s first uniforms, town businesses and individual residents chipped in with donations, and the Little League program in Medfield had begun. The end result of their labor was the building of what is today Medfield’s prime Little League field, the Fenway Park of the Medfield system.
In that first fundraising letter, Red Palumbo put out to the Medfield community back in 1951, he said that “the future players would take pride in wearing their uniforms; they will know that should they engage in malicious mischief, they will lose this privilege. While playing together they will learn the fine principles of sportsmanship, tolerance, and understanding. In communities where the Little League program is already established, the boys behave and have made their towns better places in which to live.”
Sixty years later the crack of the bat will ring out again on Opening Day, (April 29, 2012) from Metacomet Park; young boys and girls will race around the bases, sportsmanship, teamwork and understanding will be learned, coaches and individuals will still give freely of their time and efforts and Medfield will continue to be a better place in which to live.
For 60 years, thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers and coaches, the dream, vision and goals of Little League’s first president Red Palumbo has withstood the test of time.
Sixty years later current Little League President Jerry Potts continues the tradition with a pledge that “Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball will provide a safe, competitive environment promoting the enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of baseball and softball. Little League in Medfield will encourage competition and at the same time emphasize skill development, fair play and an equal opportunity for all participants. The Little League program is committed to creating a partnership with parents of players and improving community participation. Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball honors the idea that first and foremost these programs exist for the benefit of our children.”
Happy 60th birthday Medfield Little League: from thousands and thousands of former and current grateful Medfield kids.