Baseball is eternal. These beloved Boston Park League friends once graced the ballfields of our city, but have moved on to the perfectly manicured fields in the sky. They will be remembered forever.
Bill Conroy, BPL Hall of Famer 1988, passed away on February 18, 2022.
Bill was a 4-sport athlete at Dedham High School. Baseball was his game. A tall, lanky left-handed pitcher, he signed a pro contract right out of high school with the Boston Braves. He had instant success being assigned to the Carolina League at High Point Thomasville, going 15-7 with an ERA of 3.35. From their he was sent to Eau Claire the following year where he again had a big year with a 16-9 record and a 3.25 era. It was there in Wisconsin that he played with a young outfielder by the name of Hank Arron. Bill pitched in Canada for a couple of years before coming home and was recruited by St. Paul’s Manager John Kelliher (HOF-1982). He was one of the mainstays of of a very talented team, many ex-pro’s, that dominated the league in the 50’s, winning 6 titles in 8 years. As the Braves had Spahn and Sain, the Saints had Conroy and Nowell. Their battles with the Bryan Club and McCormack Club were classics, drawing upwards of 12,000 fans in the playoffs.
Jack Fahey, BPL Hall of Famer 1995, passed away on January 6, 2022.
Jack loved baseball and golf, not necessarily in that order. Jack was a proud graduate of both BC High and Boston College. He was an outstanding outfielder, playing all of his Park League career out of Dorchester Town Field. That included the 1950 league champion Kane Chevrolet, following up the next year with another winner playing with the Boston Elks, and finally the McCormack Club. He had no fear diving for balls in the outfield and was a steady influence at the top of the batting order. With his baseball career in the rear view mirror, he turned to golf, becoming a senior member of the Easton Country Club. The Park League continues to hold their Annual Golf Tournament at the Easton CC, and he never missed a tournament. Jack was a member of the BPL Hall of Fame Committee. To add to his interests, he was a member of the Barber Shop Quartet Society for over 60 years. He lived in West Roxbury for many years.
John Bitetti, BPL Hall of Famer 1987, passed away on December 16, 2021.
John grew up in the Neponset section of Dorchester, playing baseball for the champion St. Ann’s CYO team, prior to attending Boston English High School, where he attained All-Star and All-City of Boston status, playing centerfield for legendary coach Bill Stewart Jr. (BPL-HOF 1982). John went on to U. Mass Amherst and played centerfield for the Minutemen for 4 years. John was small in stature (Little Bit) but made up up for it in speed, an excellent glove, and a solid left-handed bat. After playing in Canada for a couple of summers, he joined the Hal Crosby Club over at the Fens in 1952 as they won the league title for their first and only time. For the next 8 years, he was the regular center fielder for the McCormack Club, a perennial power house in the 50’s. They made the finals 3 straight years before breaking through in 1956 beating St. Paul’s. John was a steady .360 hitter who loved the game. John was on the Hall of Fame Committee and was an active supporter of the BPL Annual Alumni Reunion – Hall of Fame Dinner. He lived in West Yarmouth for many years, attending Cape Cod League games, passing out bubble gum to the younger fans. They called him Bazooka John!
Bob Powers, BPL Hall of Famer 1994, passed away on September 6, 2020.
Bob Powers passed away at the age of 70. In 1973, Bob joined the Boston Park League as a pitcher for the Mass Envelope Team. From 1984-1992, Bobby was the manager of the Great Scott’s team. During this time, he produced two semi-finalist teams, losing to Town Club in 1985 and Triple D’s in 1987. From 1992-1995, Bob was as assistant baseball coach at Boston University and then from 1992 through 2003 he was the assistant manager for the Larkin Club of the BPL. It is because of Bobby’s efforts that the Larkin Club became a dynasty in ’95, ’96, and ’97 with a 3-peat of BPL championships. After his playing career was over, Bobby showcased his front office skills. Bob was President of the Boston Park League from 1990-1992, was honored as the 1990 Manager of the Year, and was the assistant baseball coach at UMass Boston in the early 2000s.
Bob Wilkinson, BPL Hall of Famer 1993, passed away on February 28, 2020.
Dr. Bob Wilkinson passed away at the age of 85 due to Alzheimer’s. Bob was the lead pitcher on the St. Paul’s team of the 50’s & 60’s that won 6 league championships in 8 years. He also pitched at Boston College. He served in the US Army with a rank of captain in Germany. He received his medical doctorate from Tufts University, and worked at the South Shore Hospital’s Radiology Department for 40 years. Bob was inducted into the BPL Hall of Fame in 1993 and was elected President of the Boston Park League in 1996 and served 6 years, the second longest tenure in league history. His support of the Park League never wavered over the last 25 years. Bob leaves his wife Marilyn, they had 6 children, and has 20 grandchildren.
Joe Flanagan, BPL Hall of Famer 1984, passed away on January 13, 2020.
Joe Flanagan was a World War II veteran serving in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines. He was a hard hitting first baseman/pitcher on the 1952 Champion Crosby Club, a team that produced multiple Hall of Famer’s in the Park League. His son Paul was also an outstanding player who signed with the Red Sox. Joe retired from both the Boston Police Dept. and the Suffolk County Probation Dept. as an Assistant Chief Court Officer in Suffolk Superior Court. He then he went to work for the Boston Red Sox for many years in security. Joe regularly attended the BPL Annual Alumni Reunion – Hall of Fame Banquet with many of his old teammates.
Harvey Mills, BPL Hall of Famer 1987, passed away on December 24, 2019.
Harvey Mills, 84, was a life long resident of Somerville who graduated in 1954 from SHS, winning All-Scholastic Baseball honors from the Boston Globe. He had a very stylish left handed pitcher with a high kick and delivered straight over the top. Most batters struggled to make contact, particularly left handed hitters. Harvey signed a professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He entered the Boston Park League and became one of the premier all-star pitchers with the Supreme Saints and the Jerry McCarthy Club. In the 50’s and 60’s, he was one of the most sought after pitchers in E. Mass. Harvey gave his team a chance to win in any game he pitched.
Bernie Accardi, BPL Hall of Famer 1987, passed away on September 30, 2019.
Bernie Accardi, 90, graduated from Roxbury Memorial HS in 1947, where he was captain of the baseball team. He played shortstop for the Champion Hal Crosby Club in 1952, playing along side his brother Mel. Both brothers were inducted into the Boston Park League Hall of Fame. He was also a shortstop for the Boston Typos and traveled around the country playing in many Major League parks. Bernie was a decorated veteran of the Korean War.
Jack Valinote, BPL Hall of Famer 2001, passed away in the Spring of 2019.
Jack Valinote, 87, came from Roslindale, graduated from BC High, and went to Brown University, where he led his team in hitting his junior and senior years. He also played safety on the football team, graduating in 1953. He enlisted in the Army, completing his tour of duty in 1955. He played 15 years in the Park League, hanging up his spikes in 1965. Jack played outfield for the champion Boston Elks in 1951, later with the Hal Crosby Club, and the Carlevale Braves. A solid .350 career batting average, Jack often talked about the 8 game Park League Finals that Crosby lost to St. Paul’s (one tie due to darkness) before 8,000 fans at Town Field in 1957. Jack retired to Ft. Myers. Florida, a neighbor to his longtime teammate and Park League Hall of Famer Ron “Dutchie” Howlett.
Stephen C. Ryder, BPL Hall of Famer 1987, passed away on November 2, 2018.
Stephen Ryder, 79, was a 21 year heart transplant survivor. Steve signed a contract with the Milwaukee Braves in 1958, and donated his bonus money to his father who started Ryder Sand & Gravel in Milford, NH. After a successful four year career he came back east to marry the love of his life Margi, and continue his education while still playing baseball in the Boston Park League until 1968, eventually being inducted into its Hall of Fame. Steve taught at Marian High, Coolidge Jr. High School, Natick, was the Athletic Director at Framingham State College, as well as a counselor in continuing education. He coached baseball, basketball, and football at Marian High, Natick High, Framingham American Legion Baseball, and Framingham State College. Affectionately known as Mr. Framingham, he loved his community, following local politics, and was proud to help out in anyway he could.
Jim Collyer, BPL Hall of Famer 1983, passed away on October 23, 2018.
Jim Collyer passed away at the age of 90. In addition to being a member of the Boston Park League Hall of Fame, he was a United States Army Veteran who proudly served in the Korean War. Jim played his first official Park League game in 1951, and continued pitching, sometimes in front of thousands of spectators, until he was 63. Collyer joined the ADSL board of directors in 1989 and was dedicated to enriching children’s lives through baseball. In 2014, the All Dorchester Sports League (ADSL) dedicated a city-owned field house in Fields Corner to longtime coach and mentor.
Arthur Hartung, BPL Hall of Famer 1987, passed away on September 26, 2018.
Arthur Hartung passed away at the age of 85. A Brighton HS product, he was simply the best shortstop in the City of Boston in 1952. Extremely talented at both in the field and at bat. He signed pro contracts with both the Cleveland Indians and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Arthur was tall and lean, but returned to Boston a little heavier than when he left, which meant he hit the ball even further. He was the player manager of the Boston Elks for 12 years. He hit some of the longest home runs ever seen at Dorchester Town Field. He cleared the left field fence numerous times, well over 400 feet. Arthur managed his own batting school in Stoneham. He retired as a teacher from Woburn H.S. His son Andrew followed in his Dad’s footsteps as an outstanding outfielder for the University of Maine and signed a professional contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Len Johnson, BPL Hall of Famer 2009, passed away on September 1, 2018.
Len Johnson passed away at the age of 88. Len was an All Scholastic catcher out of Boston Trade H.S., highlighted by hitting 3 home runs in one game and stroking 12 hits in a row. He joined the Crosby Club at the age of 17. Len signed a pro contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, playing minor league baseball for 2 years. He had a long and productive career in the Park League, interrupted by a 2-year stint in the Air Force. Len joined the Boston Fire Dept. in 1959 and reached the level of lieutenant, retiring with over 30 years of service.
He leaves a legacy of Park League Baseball, as his son Bob is the current Manager of the 2017 Park League Champion TJO Sports.
Harvey Soolman, BPL Hall of Famer 2015, passed away on May 13, 2018.
Harvey Soolman, who played, coached and umpired baseball for more than 50 years, was on a walk when he suffered an apparent heart attack. A longtime fixture in the Boston Park League, the Brookline native had spent the last two seasons coaching the Newton South JV team. Read Newton South mourns loss of JV baseball coach Harvey Soolman, A Long Ride: The Harvey Soolman Story, and Harvey Soolman’s Obituary from the Boston Globe.
Tom Bilodeau Jr., BPL Hall of Famer 1988, passed away on October 15, 2017.
Tom was a powerful intellect and gifted athlete. Born in Boston in 1942, Tom graduated from Boston Latin in 1960 having left his mark as one of the more storied New England athletes of his era. He later would be inducted into the Boston Latin Hall of Fame and the Boston Park League Hall of Fame. After a post-graduate year at Exeter, Tom entered Harvard College, where he became a three-sport athlete and set several Harvard records in baseball and football. He attended Navy OCS graduating as Regimental Commander at the top of his class. During the Vietnam War, Tom flew A7 fighter jets for the 86th Attack Squadron aboard the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. He flew 232 combat missions, survived being shot down twice, and was awarded numerous medals, ribbons and commendations. Following his naval service, Tom entered the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College, graduating in 1976. Thereafter, he settled his family in St. Louis, Missouri and embarked on a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures including several companies and real estate developments.
Charlie Hanafin, BPL Hall of Famer 1998, was 86 years old when he passed away on October 1, 2017.
Charlie was born in Boston as one of 8 children born to Cornelius and Margaret Hanafin. He grew up in the Mission Hill Section of Roxbury. He was a 1948 graduate of Mission Church High School who went on to earn an Accounting Degree from Boston College in 1952. He then commissioned into the Marine Corps. He achieved the rank of Captain. He and his wife Rose were proud to see their family grow to 11 children and their spouses, 65 grandchildren, many of whom have married, and 26 great grandchildren. When he was inducted into the BPL Hall of Fame, he brought in the largest group of family and friends since the Hall of Fame began 36 years prior.
Mary Hines passed away on September 29, 2017.
Mary was co-sponsor of the Hines/ADSL team (league champions in 2001) from Dorchester. She was instrumental in the formation of the All Dorchester Sports League, and was especially proud of the baseball team’s trip to Cuba in 2002.
Mary was the Assistant Commissioner for the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department under Mayor Thomas Menino. She was affectionately known as “The Swan Lady” as she oversaw the return of the swans to the Boston Public Garden each spring.
Bob Power, BPL Hall of Famer 1991, was 82 years old when he passed away on July 26, 2017 after a long illness.
Bob was a hard hitting left-handed batter who played first base for the Boston Elks in the 1950’s. They played their home games at Dorchester Town Field, and drew tremendous crowds. Bob was a big slugger who batted third or fourth in a lineup stacked with quality players. He was a very personable guy who grew up in Jamaica Plain, and made his mark as a two sport athlete at Boston English High School, playing both football and baseball for coach Bill Stewart (BPL-HOF 1982), graduating in 1954. Bob was a long time employee of the Boston Edison Co.
Bill Hogan, BPL Hall of Famer 1989, passed away at the age of 90 on May 29, 2017.
William T. Hogan Jr. served in the Navy, then led Massachusetts state’s correction, welfare, and human services departments. After serving in the state’s executive offices, Mr. Hogan was a district court judge, and was the father of 10 children. Before this distinguished career, Mr. Hogan was offered a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school. Instead of pursuing baseball professionally, Mr. Hogan entered the social work master’s program at Boston College, where he pitched for their baseball team before joining the Park League with the Jevelli Club. In the BPL, he was a recipient of the league’s Red Johnson Memorial Alumni Award in 1987.
Albie Gould, BPL Hall of Famer 2010, passed away on March 5, 2017.
Albie passed away at the age of 90. He played in the mid 40’s and 50’s for the Hal Crosby Club, Troy Club, and the Linehan Club, and was a big lef-thanded first baseman who gained a reputation for hitting long home runs at Dorchester Town Field. Albie attended Boston Latin where he played baseball, football, and hockey, and graduated in 1943. He became the starting center on the Boston College football team as a freshman, and later enlisted into the Marine Corp. After discharge, he enrolled at Dartmouth College, playing football and baseball. He transferred back to Boston College, lettering in three sports, and graduated with his degree from BC. While there, he set a pass catching record against Mississippi with 9 receptions, that stood for 4 decades until broken by Darren Flutie. Albie was later inducted into the BC Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also a Class A handball player at the Huntington YMCA and the L. Street Bathhouse in South Boston. Albie played everything, including the ponies. He was active at St. Gerald’s Church in Canton as an usher.
Phil Kelly, BPL Hall of Famer 1984, passed away at the age of 93 on September 29, 2016.
Phil played third base for the Dick Casey Club, the premier team in the BPL during the 40’s, winning 8 league titles in 11 years. He was a player/coach on the 1958 & 1961 Championship Charlestown teams. Phil was a true Townie and dedicated to youth baseball in Charlestown, and was recognized by the City of Boston for his efforts by naming the baseball diamond at the Ryan Playground in his name. Phil was a U.S. Marine veteran and long time reserve NCO.
Lee Hutchens, BPL Hall of Famer 2016, passed away at the age of 77 on July 20, 2016.
Lee was a member of the BPL Umpiring Staff for the last 25 years, being recognized as the Umpire of the Year in 1993. An outstanding sports official, Lee refereed high school football and college baseball games. He was also a regular official at the New England Patriots home games, tending the 10 yard markers. Lee was a passenger in a tragic small plane accident in mid-July, 2016, a few miles from the Norwood Airport. Lee was a Navy veteran, a substitute school teacher, and a consultant for Factory Mutual of Norwood.
Harvey Krupnik, BPL Hall of Famer 1994, passed away at the age of 71 on May 26, 2016.
Krupnick coached Holliston High from 1974-2006 and his teams posted an overall record of 408-311. He won six Tri-Valley League titles and a pair of EMass championships (1987 and 1991).
Harvey started the first baseball hitting school in the country and coached hundreds of players over the years.
Joshua Powell, BPL Hall of Famer 2003, passed away at the age of 70 on January 30, 2016. He was an integral part of the Boston Park League dating back to 1986. He was the field manager of the ADSL Club (All Dorchester Sports League), and produced highly competitive teams year in and year out, playing his home games at Dick Casey’s Dorchester Town Field. In the 6 years between 1989 to 1994, he produced 2 league championships and was in the Finals two of the other 4 years. ADSL won again in 2001. He was elected President of the league in 1989. His life revolved around baseball as he touched all the bases. Josh was an assistant baseball coach at U. Mass Boston, the pitching coach at Suffolk University for 12 years, and the assistant baseball coach at Roxbury Community College for 4 years.
Josh graduated with degrees from both Boston University and Boston State College. He was the Executive Director of the All Dorchester Sports League for 22 years, overseeing 1500 youths each year. He was also the Director of the Baseball Overseas Academies at International Select for 12 years. He also umpired in the Greater Boston area for 30 years, at times working games in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Josh also found time to volunteer for Steve Buckley’s (Boston Herald Sports writer) annual Old timer’s Baseball game in Cambridge, a charitable event.
Emmons Levine, BPL Hall of Famer 2002, passed away December 24, 2015 after a long illness. He was 63. Emmons pitched for the Supreme Saints from 1971 to 1979. A dominant right handed pitcher, the first game he pitched in the league, he threw a no-hitter against the Patio Club. He went 11-2 in 1972, then posted a 31-9 record over the next 3 years. His career stats up to and including 1979, which culminated with a Park League Championship for the Supreme Saints, were 82-23, with an ERA of 2.83. Most impressive was his record in playoff games, winning 27 and losing only 4. “One of the best pitchers the Saints ever had,” said Manager Dick Paster. Emmons worked at Channel 5 for over 30 years, moved to the Cape, and coached the Sturgis Charter School Baseball Team.
Frank “Porky” Porter BPL Hall of Famer 1988, passed away in early April, 2015. He was 81 years old. A hard hitting third baseman, Porky anchored the BPL Champion McCormack Club back in 1956. One of the strongest teams in the 1950’s, they went to the league finals 3 years in a row from 1958 to 1960. Frank originally came from Dorchester, played for Bill Stewart at Boston English High School, worked for Boston Edison for over 30 years, and settled in Sagamore Beach near Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod. A career in the Park League that spanned 11 years, he averaged well over .300, and hit the long ball with the best of them.
Joe Reardon, BPL Hall of Famer 1984, passed away on December 28, 2014. He was 87 years old. Joe played with Warren Spahn & Eddie Mathews (both in the HOF in Cooperstown) in the Braves organization in the late 40’s and early 50’s. He also faced Hank Aaron & Willie Mays. He played at Hartford & Pawtucket, high minors. He returned home to play for St. Paul’s of Dorchester, winners of 6 Park League titles in 8 years. His 2 sons Stephen & Joseph followed their Dad in the Park League, and were outstanding ballplayers. Joe worked 38 years for Boston Edison. The Honorable Ray Flynn, Boston Mayor, once said of Joe, “I recall as a 17 year old kid from South Boston, playing against many great professional, amateur and college baseball players… Joe Reardon’s knuckle ball… [was an] early challenge that I had to encounter.”
Bernie Curley, BPL Hall of Famer 1986, died on Nov. 1, 2014. He was 81. After being named All Scholastic in 1952 out of Dorchester High School in both football and baseball, he was one of the best catchers in the BPL during the 50’s. He was the mainstay of the McCormack Club, a team that would contend for the league title each year and produce a long list of future Park League Hall of Famers.
Rev. Jim Keurulainen died on Oct. 29th, 2014, the father of Scott Keurulainen, a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee. He was 67. Jim was kind enough to give the invocation at our Annual Alumni Reunion – Hall of Fame Dinner for a number of years. He was very eloquent in his presentations to intertwine the word of God and the game of baseball. He loved watching his son play for the Palmer Club at Kelley Field in Hyde Park.
Paul Carey, BPL Hall of Famer 1993, passed away on August 20, 2014. Paul had joined the Bryan Club in the Boston Park League while in college and beyond. His club made the playoffs each year, and Paul was a solid performer on a team that was loaded with future league Hall of Famers.
Born and raised in West Roxbury, Paul and his wife Maureen raised 4 children in Needham, where he lived most of his life. In high school, Paul was an athletic legend at St. Sebastian’s School, starring in baseball, football, hockey, & basketball. Paul attended Boston College where he was a hockey goalie and a catcher on the baseball team, both teams nationally ranked in the early 50’s. He was elected captain of the baseball team his senior year. He played for Bryan Club in the Boston Park League while in college. Following his playing days, Paul became a successful teacher-coach in high school and college. He then took up golf, and mastered the game winning back to back championships at the Needham Golf Club. He was also a Eucharistic minister, visiting hospitals and nursing homes caring for residents spiritual and physical needs.
Louie DiTullio, BPL Hall of Famer 1997, passed away on April 28, 2014 in Florida. Louie was an outstanding left-handed pitcher for the Carlevale Braves and the Supreme Saints. He also played for the Easton Huskies of the Cranberry League and later became the League Commissioner.
John Tedeman, Boston Park League legend, passed away on February 6, 2014 in his home surrounded by his loving family. The Class of 2004 Hall of Famer was 69 years old. John Tedeman was a hard throwing righthander who could make a batter wish they were somewhere else. An overpowering fastball that would easily charge a radar gun at 90+. He had a very successful college career at Suffolk University, his signature game being against Brandeis, when he struck out 21 batters. He signed a Red Sox contract and played 2 years of minor league baseball. He joined the Carlevale Braves in the early 60’s, player-managed by Mike Donato and general manager Tom Menino, the former Mayor of Boston He pitched for the 1969 BPL Champion Craven Club, and finished up with the Supreme Saints.