Kelliher is Ready for Park League Season

The Boston Park League, the nation’s oldest amateur baseball league, begins its 65th season tomorrow, and as usual, Milton resident and Mass. Envelope general manager John Kelliher will be part of the proceedings.

When Mass. Envelope won the league title last year, it marked Kelliher’s 11th Park League championship as either a manager or GM in a career that dates back to 1939, when he played for the old Hurley Club of Roxbury after graduating from Roxbury Memorial High.

“I’m retired from the MBTA now, so I’ve got more time to devote to baseball,” said the former Red Sox and Brooklyn Dodgers farmhand, “and I’m really looking forward to this season. Each spring, I kind of get rejuvenated because of baseball.” Read more

Cloudy future for Park League

America’s oldest organized amateur baseball league — the Boston Park League — begins its 64th season tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Kelly Field in Hyde Park when the defending champion Towne Club meets the ADSL/Avi Nelson team in the traditional league opener.

Nine teams will play a 32-game schedule, according to Park League president Bob Powers, who, despite optimism about the caliber of competition, expressed pessimism about the league continuing to stay afloat financially after the 1993 season.

“We’re still attracting some of the top players in the Greater Boston area and beyond,” said Powers, “but their opportunity to play in this league beyond this year may be in jeopardy. We’re facing serious financial difficulty because of major reductions in funding {from the City of Boston} and services.”

According to Powers, the league — which consists of former professional players, current college and past college players and a few high school standouts — will survive financially this year, “but if we don’t get a corporate sponsor or find an alternative method of funding, the chances of survival past next year are slim at best.” Read more

Towne Club Takes 1991 Park League Title

Chris Higgins pitched a complete game and catcher Tim Finnegan went 2 for 3, including a homer and single, to lead Towne Club to a 12-0 victory over Avi Nelson/ADSL and the Park League championship last night at Casey Town Field in Dorchester.

After losing the first game of the best-of-seven series, 3-1, Towne Club, rattled off four straight victories to take the title. Read more

Park League Rolls On: 63d Season-Opener Set For Tonight

The Boston Park League, the oldest organized amateur baseball league in the country, begins its 63d consecutive season tonight at Kelly Field in Hyde Park, where last year’s champ, Hyde Park Sports, hosts Triple D’s of Jamaica Plain, last year’s runner-up. Read more

Hyde Park Rips Triple D’S, 8-1, Leads Park League Finals, 2-0

B.J. Flynn was sending the runner all the way. Flynn, the Hyde Park Sports manager and third base coach, was determined to tie the game.

Trailing, 1-0, to Triple D’s with two outs in the fourth inning, Hyde Park Sports had runners on first and second. Richie Figueroa clubbed a single to left, and Flynn began pumping his arm in windmill fashion. He was sending runner John Mazzocca all the way.

The throw from left fielder Jay Adams got to the plate about the same time Mazzocca did. But as catcher Mike Ferraro reached to tag Mazzocca, the ball squirted out of his glove and scooted away.

Mazzocca was safe, and Barney Earle came in to score behind him after the ball had gotten loose. Hyde Park had more than tied the game. It led, 2-1, and went on to cruise to an 8-1 victory last night at Stewart Diamond in Roslindale to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Park League championship series. Game 3 is 8 p.m. tonight at Kelly Field in Hyde Park. Read more

This Player Doesn’t Act His Age; 46-Year-Old Krupnick Hit .392 In Park League

If anyone can appreciate 46-year-old Harvey Krupnick’s performance in the Boston Park League this summer, it’s longtime friend and Massachusetts Envelope general manager John Kelliher.

“I played baseball in this league until I was 38,” said Kelliher, “and by that time I knew I had to stop because I couldn’t do it physically anymore. But Harvey’s eight years older than that and he just hit .392 for the season.”

Mass. Envelope missed the Park League playoffs by one game after a slow start, but Krupnick, a resident of Framingham who coached the Holliston High team to the Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 title last spring, didn’t miss a beat all season long. Read more

Hyde Park Shuts Out Triple D’s

The last time Hyde Park Sports pitcher Ted Novio took a shutout into the seventh inning, he did not finish the ballgame.

Instead, he was replaced with one out to go and had to watch a reliever surrender two dingers to spoil his string of goose eggs.

In last night’s opener of the Park League best-of-seven final, Novio wasn’t taking chances. The University of Maine senior retired Triple D’s in order in the seventh to close out a picturesque three-hitter, leading Hyde Park to a 2-0 victory. Read more

ADSL Gains Park League Crown

Pablo Reyes hopes last night will be a preview of bigger and better things. Reyes, who plans to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays, pitched ADSL to a 12-2 victory over Hyde Park Sports last night in the seventh and deciding game of the Park League championships at a packed Casey Town Field in Dorchester.

Reyes aired it out from there, striking out five in the last three innings. Pinch hitter Ernesto Ovideo and DH Ken Pires blasted mammoth home runs over the right-field fence in the seventh.

Copyright © 1989 Boston Globe, all rights reserved. Written by Jack Burke.

City’s Veteran Players Still Live For Their Day In The Park

He had just spent the day teaching physical education and then throwing 300 batting practice pitches to his Holliston High School team that was two days away from winning its state Division 2 championship game. He arrived at Casey Town Field in Dorchester from Framingham just a few minutes before Mass. Envelope was to play the Larkin Club in the Boston Park League.

So the best that tired, 43-year-old Harvey Krupnick could do in a game against Larkin recently was to single, triple, homer, lay down a crucial sacrifice bunt and knock in three runs in his team’s 5-4 victory.

“They used to tell me I was a bit too slow when I was younger,” laughed the wiry Krupnick, who runs a batting school in his backyard. “Now they tell me, ‘hey, you’re pretty fast for an old guy.’ ”

Krupnick who started in the Park League in 1968, was carrying a lifetime .370 average with 551 hits in 1,497 at-bats through the month of June. But he’s obviously getting better with age, because this season he was off to a 30 for 56 start (.535 for 16 games) at the plate and playing a smooth first base as well.

But Krupnick isn’t the oldest active player in the 10-team Park League — that distinction belongs to television station owner, political analyst and talk show host Avi Nelson, who says that at age 45, “you learn to make some changes in the way you bat and throw to compensate for the loss of quickness.” Read more

Boston Goes Bush League; City’s Fields Suffering From Neglect And Overuse

The baseball skips off the dusty, uneven infield and nearly decapitates the shortstop. It takes another crazy hop in the outfield, forcing the left fielder to perform acrobatics in order to hold the runner to a single.

Such is life on this early June night at Fallon Field in Roslindale, home field of the Triple D’s club in the Senior Boston Park League.

“If anyone wonders why we’re losing ballplayers to the Inter-City League or the South Shore League, all they have to do is look at the shape of our fields in Boston,” says Walt Mortimer, former Park League star and now an umpire and league secretary.

Losing players may be one thing, but losing teeth is another: Two years ago, Triple D’s third baseman Brian O’Leary took a bad hop grounder in the face at Fallon, knocking out two teeth. Three years ago, Jim Gill of the Towne Club was hit by a line drive in the throat at the same park as he sat on his unprotected team bench. Read more