The various poems were written by those connected to the Boston Park League, and remind of the good ol’ days on the ballfields. Enjoy!


by Father Bill Schmidt, 11/8/02

In his own eloquent words, he said, We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For the emerald green grass that recedes into the evening shadows, for the warm summer evenings with cooling breezes, for rain delays pregnant with the possibility of play.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For the startling crack of the ball against the bat, for the streaking pitch that evades the batter’s swing, for the fielding plays improbable and memorable.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For base hits and grand slams, for sacrifice flies and perfect bunts, for double plays and stealing home.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For fastballs and knuckleballs, for sinkers and sliders, for the grace to deal with what life throws at you, with faith and hope undiminished.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For friendships forged on fields of dreams, for an encouraging word after striking out, for perseverance in hope during long batting slumps.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

The first cold beer at Santarpio’s Pizza, for the post game analysis at the Pleasant Cafe, for remembering mosquito repellent when playing at Kelly Field.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For life’s lessons learned on city fields, for the sights and sounds of the city around us, for the focused attention on the continually unfolding drama of the game.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For car trunks equipped with coolers after games at Cleveland Circle, disparaging the “open container law” with public drinking: “Good Lord, what were we thinking?”

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For all the memories of seasons past, for all the players, coaches, sponsors, and fans of past generations, legendary figures connected to us still by their love for the game: Father Joe Fahey and Father Leo Pollard rooting on the Towne Club, and a fond remembrance of Edgar Grossman and John Kelliher of Mass. Envelope days.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For the personal achievements and the total team efforts, for the patience honed by disappointing losses, for the championships that crowned extraordinary seasons.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

For colorful new vocabulary words learned at Park League games, words that I never could use in church, or in the company of
women and children.

We thank you Lord, for baseball.

The blessing that has brought us together this night, may it continue to work it’s particular magic, during all the season that lie before us.

Amen and Play Ball!!!

by Gerald F. Kenneally

Back on November 1, 1991, Gerry “Radi” Keneally, a 2nd baseman for the 1956 Champion McCormack Chub was inducted into the Boston Park League Hall of Fame. On that night, Gerry recited a poem that he wrote, just for this occasion. He did so from memory, without reference to written notes.

“I have come tonight to relive an old dream. So I’ve put it in verse to show what I mean”

For like many of you here within this hall,
I fondly recall those days playing ball.
In our youth, it gave purpose to our life,
shaped our character to face later strife;
So now that we’re older with time to see,
Those days playing ball were precious to me.

For it is tough to get sixty, stout and slow;
Looking down a bumpy road, no where to go.
One takes a moment to think about his past;
Knew that those good times would never last.
Yet there is little harm in what I do,
Though age has made us melancholy or blue.
We escape life’s demands in reverie,
And we dream of our youth as it use to be.

Just picture that scene in those days gone by,
When we were the gleam in our Father’s eye,
How he did lob that ball to us underhand,
As we stood perplexed with bat in hand.
Then he taught us to swing and to stand.
We were so proud in our uniform and matching belt,
With that old Braves hat and his worn out glove;
As he planted that seed of our first love.

Oh weren’t we lucky when we were small,
That he encouraged us to play some ball.
We’d rise in the morn to do some chore;
Then we’d sneak away early long before.
We would call for friends along the way,
And get them right out of bed to play;
Then all of our gang would stay at the park,
To practice our game until it was dark.

Oh weren’t we lucky with that big brother,
Who hit those hard grounders off our knee,
And seemed to delight in our agony,
As he urged, “keep it in front on thee.
The next one he’d hit harder than before;
He seemed to relish our pain more and more,
As he challenged us with that stern cry,
“You can master your play with another try.”

Oh weren’t we lucky that we tanned in the sun,
As every day, that practice would be fun.
We learned to hit, to catch and field,
And prayed that our time would never yield.
We played each dat as was our fashion.
Nurtured that love became our passion
We sought perfection emulating a pro;
And always gave what we could – a decent show.

Oh weren’t we lucky that we did find,
That many of our pals were a similar kind.
Who loved the thrills of this fine game,
Who practiced their skills, enjoyed their fame.
They too had to labor long, hard, and well;
Just to hear some obnoxious fan yell –
“That bum’s last play was surely great,
but you should see him at the plate.”

Now just recall, the thrill that it was,
As each ballgame became a special cause;
And every at bat, another crucial test;
As we rounded each base as if possessed;
Shook off superstitions that second-guessed.
Oh. how we loved to hear that crowd roar,
As we raced around third base to score.
We vowed our game would last forevermore.

For we had to be that person at the plate,
With the sacks loaded and the inning late;
We guessed the kid would throw his curves,
As we fought to steady down our nerves.
When that crowd screamed, we heard no noise;
In deep concentration, we held our poise.
We just had to avoid that double play,
And safely reach base would make our day.

Yes, we were driven to star at this game;
Swore the next play would honor our name,
And not mistake that brought us shame.
As we avidly awaited our moment of fame.
But their reliever soon slammed the door,
As we sat and stared at the locker room floor;
Yet given enough time, we learned to cope;
That with another dawn, there came new hope.

So salute all players of varied abilities,
And team mates from different nationalities.
For in joint pursuit, we overcame rivalries,
By blending talent and personalities.
For that’s what it meant to be part of a team,
Working together to capture our dream.
Oh wasn’t it great to be that young boy,
When playing baseball was our ultimate joy.

But now that I’m older, I watch the game –
try not to be critical or place any blame;
Yet soon, I’m screaming at what I see –
“If only Joe Morgan listened to me.”
All the other kibitzers, we can agree,
That our Sox should have four runs, not three,
In a flash, my mind starts playing tricks;
I’m at bat, at Fenway Park, it’s 1946.

As reality returns, I love all these scenes;
For now these memories are our field of dreams.
So I come here annually to see some old friend,
And pray that these good times will never end.
I just yearn to hear some old timer say-
“Walt Mortimer was a player in his day.”
Then that rebuttal that Kenneally will shout-
“He was not that good, just an easy out.”

Now that is what my story is about,
That my ramblings have left me little doubt,
That this game of baseball has given me
A lifetime of love, filled with ecstasy.
So if ever we meet, may we just recall,
That these simple words try to say it all,
Oh weren’t we lucky when we were small,
When our Dad threw us a black taped baseball.


Boston Park League Hall of Fame – 1991

A baseball story for young and old
at town field was seen to unfold
twas the last of the ninth, two outs to go
and the crowd to the exits started to flow.

Up at the plate, klumpp laid down a bunt
for this big goon, it was no simple stunt.
Ah, but klumpp was safe, a new life was born
if only goldstein could move him along.

And move him along, he did just that
with adept little flick, of his bat.
All the Macks needed was just one run.
Now it was all up to Mrs. Power’s son.

The faithful Mack followers sent up a prayer.
But wait, who was this man without any hair.
He took off his hat, twas a god awful sight
for from his forehead shone a beacon of light.

In one big hand, the bats numbered three
or so it seemed to the pitcher, who couldn’t see.
Power was ready, his false teeth he grinded
for he knew if the sun was right, the pitcher would be blinded.

The pitchers one eye, almost popped from it’s socket.
That gosh darn Power, had his cap in his pocket.
The scene was set, the crowd was tense.
If only yul could clear the fence.

The pitcher shrugged, and let it fly.
His aim was good, despite his blinded eye.
Our boy stood at the plate, with a carefree air
until he noticed the ball, it had more hair.

Green with envy, he swung from the hips.
A scream of jealousy, escaped his lips.
The bat met ball, and up it flew.
That it was gone, everyone knew.

Now games are won, and games are lost
and very few realize the cost.
But to appear in public with hairs that number zero
could only be done by our Brylcreem hero.


Boston Park League Hall of Fame – 1983

As my years drift by and the summers grow shorter, I sit and think of the days gone by.

If I was to sit real still and listen hard, those exciting days could be heard again.

That thud in the mitt when the batter swung and missed.

The sound of the bat on the ball.

Yes, if we could return to those days it would be so nice.

“Go Bitetti, catch that ball. Turn that double play Gerard. Hit that long ball again, Klumpp and Henue.”

“Ah! Curley, block that plate. Give no ground.”

“Throw that smoke Kearns. We’ll need it for McDonald, Kelliher and Mortimer, and to face those pitchers on the other side.”

“Concanon, Wilkinson, and Nowell was a match in itself.”

Yes , the fifty’s were exciting years, and the years before as well.

The Cateruis brothers, Bird, Jackman, Settino, Festa, Kallenberg, and many more as great.

Then along came the ping in the bat.

The homers came many and far.

The long ball was here, and the pitching had to be great.

Paublo, Higgins, Blaine, and many more would take the mounds.

The Hill brothers, Rentas, Anderson, Castro, Riley and many more, would send those balls into space.

Now here at the start of the next century, the ping has left the bat.

The sound of the forty’s and fifty’s can be heard in the parks again.

Defense and pitching is back, wood is the name of the game.

Let’s make sure it never leaves again.

For there is no greater sound than when the ball meets the sweet part of the bat.

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