Sports and then Some…

By Kevin E. Kelly

THANK YOU from Little League baseball…Baseball honchos Al Carrier and Dave Cahill would like to pass along their heartfelt appreciation to the following sponsors for their generosity to the Charlestown Little League program:  Mass General Hospital Smart Choices, Charlestown Neighborhood Council, Bunker Hill Associates, Ironside Grill, Knights of Columbus, Century 21 Elite Realty, Ninety-Nine Restaurant, State Senator Sal DiDomenico, District Gas, Schnitzer Industries Northeast, Massport, Eagle Elevator Co., Veterans Memorial Hall, Charlestown Boys & Girls Club, Zume’s Coffee House, Johnnie’s Foodmaster, Charlestown Mother’s Association, Cronin Club, Jenny’s Pizza, Warren Tavern, Boston Sand & Gravel, Teamsters Local 25, Charlestown Against Drugs (CHAD), McCarthy’s Brothers, Firefighters of Engine 32 and Ladder 9, Griffin Catering, Law Office of John Iacoi, State Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, Humboldt Moving, Burke Electrical, Roger Sicotte, Howard and Darcy Goldman, Damian DeVasto, and Joe and Sophia Lowery.

I was just thinking

I have a new-found appreciation whenever Tyler Goldman has to miss an All Star baseball practice to compete in ballroom dancing (my jaw still hurts from hitting the ground when I saw him perform on “Dancing with the Stars”).  In my opinion, Aaron Titcomb would look much better in a Red Sox uniform than a Bruins uniform.  I wonder if Joey Upton still holds the City of Boston record for most high school wins by a pitcher.  Imagine having a frontcourt of Corey Gallagher, Patti Suprey, Ellen Crotty and Maureen Kelly Dagle, and a backcourt of Nicole Matson and Sharon Fidler (all Hall of Famers) in their prime.

Jimminy Cricket!!!  Nicole still holds the Division III women’s basketball record for making all eight of her 3-point attempts for Emmanuel College in 1998.  Believe it or not, baseball used to be king in Charlestown.  The champion Charlestown Cardinal team of the early 60’s would draw more than 3,000 fans at the “Neck” during the Park League playoffs.

I also remember watching the sensational Charlestown High basketball teams of the late 60’s play at the Armory at Bunker Hill Street.  Although my dad always took me to see their Park League football games, I could never actually see the Charlestown Townies play because I was too little and there were far too many people watching for me to view the field.

I could always hear the crunching tackles though.  I did get to see the “lunch-pail” Townies of the 70’s and 80’s and they always seemed to find a way to win.

Who were some of the best sports family?

While most of the athletes in the large families produced by the “greatest generation” were good in any sport, some left their mark in one particular sport.

When I was a kid, hockey brought to mind names such as O’Neil, Morrissey, Cullity, Fidler, Reardon, Considine, Chisholm, Myers, Yandle, Kelley, O’Connor, Tryder, Vesey, Cotter, Whelton, Murphy, Sodegren, O’Callahan, Jarasitis, Harty, Mansfield, Dobie, Wilkins, DeRosa, Devlin, Goodwin, Fratalia, Sullivan, Wrenn, Shackford, Humphrey, Kelly, O’Brien, Kyle, Hennessey, Doherty, Keough and Gould.  Baseball featured names like LaPointe, Coleman, Kelly, Ezekiel, Vraibel, Devlin, Allen, Collier, Mayotte, Cummings, Sharpe, Fabiano, Washeba, O’Brien, Collins, O’Donnell, Carr, McLaughlin, Lawrence, Burke, Harrington, Todd, Schrafenberger, Brennan, Donovan, Sullivan, Rodriguez, Dyer, Arroyo, Jackson, Cahill, Henry, Skinner, Celata, Walsh, Smith, Chisholm, Codair, Settipani, Martell, Galvin, Johnson, Tucker, Fratalia, Jones, McCollough, Murray, McNeil, Thompson, Powers, Titcomb, Mortimer and  Whelan.  For football it was Chevalier, McNeil, Killoran, Garvin, Brennan, Crotty, Peters, Murphy, Mahoney, Godding, Fratalia, Titcomb, Jones, Long, Campbell, Allen, Wilkins, Sullivan, Junta, Byrnes, Scanlon, MacIntosh, Ryan, Greteroux, McLaughlin, Celata, McMaster, Cowan, O’Connor, Fitzpatrick, O’Donnell and Nigro; and for basketball it was Smith, Walsh, O’Halloran, Gill, Scales, Fitzpatrick, Goggin, Maguire, Gallagher, Fitzz, Murphy, Blakie, Brennan, Mahoney, Burhoe, Moccia, Gauthier, Rock, Jackson, Driscoll, Burns, McClung, Drumgould, English, Brothers, O’Donnell, Woods, Garceau, McGonagle, McLaughlin, Pulliam, Remy, Castro, Collins, Houlihan, Sweeney, Borden, Powers, Lavallee, McDonald and Delaney.  The good thing about growing up during this time was that you didn’t have to go too far to get in a pickup game in any sport.

There was always someone playing tackle football at the “mawnimint,” or street hockey at the Tilkins parking lot, or Indian rubber baseball in the Prescott schoolyard, or basketball at the Boy’s Club, or softball at Hayes Square, or whiffle ball at the Harvard School, or halfball at the “old” Charlestown High.

It is the best of times

Today’s youngsters, and adults for that matter, living in Charlestown have access to the best athletic/recreational facilities money can buy.  The YMCA at the Navy Yard, the Boys and Girls Club, the Community Center, the Emmons-Horrigan-O’Neil Skating Rink, the Harvard/Kent School, Bunker Hill Community College, the Working Theater, the Charlestown High School Athletic Fields (including the tennis bubble) and both Ryan Playground (the “Neck”) and Barry Playground (the “Oilies”) all offer something for everyone.  Lacrosse, football, men’s and women’s softball, soccer, Little League, CYO girls softball, youth hockey, flag football, Senior League baseball, rugby, gym hockey, CYO basketball, cheerleading, and even cricket are continually searching for players, coaches, volunteers, officials, referees, umpires and, more importantly, sponsors to keep the youth of our community actively engaged in worthwhile activities.

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