The Boston Park League - America's OLDEST Amateur Baseball League opens its 78th season at various locations this evening. The Park League has been a staple of good baseball in Boston since 1929. The 2007 season will be an exciting one as the 9 team "wood bat" league begins play.
Here is a schedule of games for may 21. Admission is FREE and the Red Sox are out of town so pack up a lawn chair and bring the kids for some exciting amateur baseball under the stars at our beautiful Boston parks:
7:30PM - Hines/ADSL @ Mass Envelope
7:30PM - Towne @ Irish Village
8:00PM - Stockyard @ Carlson
Jim Rice Field
8:00PM - Padres @ Palmer
The Boston Park League was founded in 1929 by Bob Cusick, program director for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. It was his vision for the City of Boston to support and manage a quality amateur baseball league, and have most of the areas of the City represented. Charlestown, East Boston, South Boston, Hyde Park, Brighton, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mattapan, South End, and Dorchester all had teams at some period of time. Teams were sponsored by many different individuals, businesses, and churches. The popular after dinner league was highly publicized, and games were well attended. In the 1930's and 40's, it was not unusual to see 3,000 ' 5,000 fans show up for a regular season game. Come play-off time, the attendance would increase from 8,000 to 12,000 a game.
In the 50's and 60's, the league continued to draw 6,000 or more to post season playoff games. These were the most productive years. As attendance began to level off, the league continued to prosper, as a steady stream of skilled players were coming and going. The players came from High Schools, Colleges, and many were ex pro's, who's experience and desire influenced many a ballplayer to play in the best league around. The Boston Park League.
In 1982, the City of Boston decided to pass on the administrative duties to a small group of former players and coaches. The league named Bill Mahoney it's first President, Harvey Soolman Secretary Treasurer, and Walt Mortimer Umpire in Chief. With the need for more funding, the Budweiser Brewing Co. of Medford, Ma., distributors of Bud Light, sponsored the league for 4 years. The Yawkey Foundation came on board in 1986, and has continuously sponsored the Boston Park League for the last 20 years.
A steady stream of Presidents have served the league with dignity and dedication. They include Leo Casey (83 & 84), Bill Stewart Jr. (85), Walt Mortimer (86), Skip Landry (87 & 88), Josh Powell(89), Bob Powers (90-92), Eddie Miller (93-95), Dr. Bob Wilkinson(96-01), and Walt Bentson (02-06).
The City of Boston have made 4 fields available to the Boston Park League, and have done extensive maintenance and upgrading by adding new lights and new infields. They include Dick Casey Town Field in Dorchester, Bill Stewart Diamond at Fallon Field in Roslindale, Cassidy Playground in Cleveland Circle, Brighton, and East Boston Stadium near Logan Airport. The 5th ballpark is Kelly Field in Hyde Park, and is maintained by the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). They do an excellent job year in and year out.
The league celebrated it's 75th Anniversary in 2004. This is what sets the Boston Park League apart from other long standing leagues around the country. In 2006, there will be 9 teams competing. They include the Palmer Club, Stockyard, Irish Village, Hines/ADSL, Cannon Club, Carlson Club, Boston Padres, Mass. Envelope, and the Towne Club. They will play a 32 game schedule (subject to change) that will run through the first week of August. The top 4 teams in the final regular season standings will play a 3 out of 5 semi final playoffs, 1-4, 2-3, and the winners will play a 4 out of 7 series for the league championship.