VIDEO: Community Celebrates 60 Years of Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball
Scenes from Medfield's 2012 Little League Parade and Opening Ceremonies at Metacomet Park on Sunday, April 29.
The Medfield community welcomed spring and the start of youth baseball and softball Sunday with a parade and opening ceremonies at Metacomet Park to celebrate 60 years of Little League in town.
There are roughly 550 players in Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball this year and many of them marched 35 minutes from Memorial School Field on Adams Street through downtown Medfield and into Metacomet Park where Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball President Jerry Potts conducted opening ceremonies.
Family, friends and community members who support Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball were in attendance, enjoying a breezy Sunday afternoon at the ballpark and celebrating the program's 60th anniversary.
"It was a beautiful day to celebrate," Potts said. " It was a great day [Sunday] for baseball and softball."
Those in attendance joined Potts and the rest of the Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball organization in recognizing its most successful team in the program's 60-year history and paying tribute to the late Vincent "Red" Palumbo, who was instrumental in bringing youth baseball and softball to Medfield in 1952.
"If Yankee Stadium was the 'House that Ruth Built,'" Potts said. "Then Metacomet Field is the 'House that Red Built.'"
As part of the Opening Ceremonies, Potts introduced the 2011 Medfield 12A Williamsport team that captured the town's first ever District 11 championship and finished fifth out of 350 teams. The team, dressed in their Sunday best – the 2011 Williamsport jerseys – held their championship banner proudly as Potts presented each player a plaque detailing their accomplishments and the Medfield Patch headline, "_Medfield Makes History: Captures First Ever District 11 Williamsport Title_" to immortalize their historic run.
In turn, the players presented their coaches – Joe Petrucci, David McGrory and John Dold – with signed baseballs.
"You can't find those on E-Bay," Potts joked. "Not with those signatures on them."
Later in the ceremony, Potts invited members of Vincent "Red" Palumbo's family to the infield as he paid tribute to the lifelong Medfield resident who co-founded Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball. Palumbo, who was 93 years old, passed away on March 29.
"There probably isn’t Medfield Little League without Will and Red Palumbo," Potts said.
A moment of silence was held for Palumbo before Potts presented the Palumbo family with a letter from the Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball Board of Directors, thanking them for Vincent Palumbo's service to the town and detailing a plan to keep Palumbo's legacy ever present in the community.
"Red Palumbo's legacy will live on in Medfield Youth Baseball through the following awards," Potts said.
- The Palumbo Trophy - "We have a Championship Day where we give all the championship teams a trophy and that trophy will now be known as the Palumbo Trophy," Potts said.
- Red Palumbo Award - "A player from each level of Little League will receive this award based on the core principles Red Palumbo instilled in the league 60 years ago – sportsmanship, tolerance and understanding," Potts said.
- Palumbo Circle of Excellence - Will be a featured section on Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball's website that highlights and details excellent achievements by teams and players in the youth programs.
"We as a community value what was Red was able to do, what Will has done and what the entire Palumbo family has done," Potts said.
Invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitches to begin the 2012 youth baseball and softball seasons were captains of the Medfield High School baseball and softball teams.
MHS seniors Lucy Allen and Kristin Foster represented softball and seniors TJ Valente and Brian McCloud represented baseball. Potts said Foster has been playing softball since third grade and will be going to Assumption College in the fall. Allen, a four-year varsity softball catcher, has been playing the sport since she was in first grade and will be attending the University of Denver next year.
Valente, according to Palumbo, played for the Reds team in Medfield Youth Baseball and will be playing baseball at Dean College next year. McCloud, a member of Braves, who won the Medfield Youth Baseball championship, will be playing baseball at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in the fall. Medfield baseball's third captain, Will Cousins, was unable to attend Sunday due to a "family matter," according to Potts.
All four players threw out pitches to two youth baseball catchers. Shortly after, Potts picked out a youngster from the crowd to shout everyone's favorite words ...
And just like that, the Medfield Youth Baseball and Softball seasons were underway for a 60th year.