Red Sox infielder Merloni return’s to Cambridge’s summertime celebration of baseball to benefit Sportss Museum’s “Boston vs. Bullies” program
(Media Day is Monday, August 15. Info below.)
Lou Merloni, who played nine seasons in the major leagues, six of them with his hometown Boston Red Sox, returns for his seventh appearance in the 23rd annual Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game, to be played on Thursday, August 25 at St. Peter’s Field on Sherman Street in North Cambridge.
Pre-game ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
This year’s game is being played as a fundraiser for “Boston vs. Bullies,” a program sponsored by the Sports Museum. Boston vs. Bullies (bostonvsbullies.org) is an award-winning educational program that leverages the power and example of Boston sports to help stop bullying in our schools and in our community. Nine current Boston athletes are featured in the video-based educational program, which to date has been experienced by more than 30,000 upper elementary and middle school students in Greater Boston.
The Oldtime Baseball Game is a celebration of our national pastime. From its humble beginnings in 1994, the game has grown considerably over the years yet remains loyal to its mission of offering a glimpse of what it was like in the old days, when hundreds of fans would turn out to root for their “town” team in various local semipro leagues.
What makes the Oldtime Baseball Game so special is its dazzling collection of flannel uniforms from virtually every era in baseball history. Used just once a year for the Oldtime Baseball Game, the uniforms represent such long-ago teams as the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns, Homestead Grays and Kansas City Monarchs.
Although the Oldtime Baseball Game includes amateur players from schools throughout the Boston area and beyond, more than 40 past participants have gone on to play professionally. Three former participants in the game – Carlos Pena, Chris Lambert and Nate Freiman – have gone on to play in the big leagues.
The pre-game ceremony at this year’s Oldtime Baseball Game will include the presentation of the sixth annual Greg Montalbano Award to former Brandeis University pitcher Tim Dunphy, a native of Cambridge.
The award is named in memory of Greg Montalbano, a former Red Sox minor-league pitcher who was only 31 when he died of cancer in 2009. A native of Westborough and later a standout at Northeastern University, Montalbano was a participant in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 1997 and ’98. Selected by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 1999 amateur draft, Montalbano played six seasons of professional baseball before illness ended his career. In 2001, he was named Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Red Sox.
The award, instituted in 2010, is presented to a former participant in the Oldtime Baseball Game who best exemplifies Greg’s spirit, competitiveness and good nature. Dunphy, who graduated from Brandeis in 2006 with a degree in American Studies, now teaches history at Full Circle High School in Somerville. He continues to pitch for the Andre Chiefs in the Intercity League.
As has become custom, Dunphy has been invited to play in this year’s game. He will wear the same throwback 1927 St. Louis Cardinals uniform that Montalbano wore when he played in the 1998 Oldtime Baseball Game.
Additionally, the pregame ceremony will include the presentation of the first Bill Novelline Award. It was Bill Novelline of Abbot Financial Management who worked to continue the Oldtime Baseball Game after its inaugural 1994 edition, and he remains a member emeritus of the game’s board of directors.
The Novelline Award, presented to an Oldtime Baseball Game volunteer who has gone “above and beyond,” will be presented to three longtime employees of the City of Cambridge — Richard Rossi, Paul Ryder and Bob O’Loughlin.
Rossi, who is retiring as Cambridge’s city manager, a post he has held since 2013, has worked for the city for 45 years and been a spirited supporter of the Oldtime Baseball Game. Ryder served as Cambridge’s director of Parks & Recreation for 34 years until his retirement earlier this year. O’Loughlin, who retired in 2003 after 25 years working for the city of Cambridge, is best known as the longtime manager of the Danehy Park Athletic Complex. Yet one of his best moments took place in 1987, when, at age 38, he graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.
Ryder and O’Loughlin were involved in staging the original Oldtime Baseball Game in 1994 and have remained with it ever since.
This year’s first pitch will be thrown by 87-year-old Bertha Brickley of Melrose. One of Greater Boston’s most ardent fans of amateur baseball, Mrs. Brickley has attended the Oldtime Baseball Game each year for more than a decade and is a regular attendee at Intercity Leagues.
Fans are asked to bring a beach blanket or chair and to camp out along the foul lines, as it is the crowd that makes the game so electric.
The rain date for the Oldtime Baseball Game is Friday, August 26th, also at 7 p.m.
INFORMATION ON MEDIA DAY
Media Day will be held, rain or shine, on Monday, August 15, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Field on Sherman Street in North Cambridge.
Most of the players selected to participate in this year’s game will be in attendance at Media Day, wearing their throwback uniforms. All participants in the Oldtime Baseball Game who attend Media Day will be available for interviews and photographs.
DIRECTIONS TO ST. PETER’S FIELD
St. Peter’s Field is located across from 59 Sherman Street in North Cambridge, not far from the Fresh Pond Traffic Circle. From Route 128, take Exit 29A, picking up Route 2 East. Continue on Route 2 about 6.3 miles, to Route 16 East, being sure to bear left at the fork, following the “Arlington-Medford next left” sign. Follow to Massachusetts Avenue and turn right. Follow to Rindge Avenue and turn right. Follow to Sherman Street and turn left. Follow to St. Peter’s Field, which is on the right.
From Harvard Square, follow Massachusetts Avenue north about one-quarter of a mile, turning left on Linnaean Street. At the end of Linnaean Street, turn right onto Garden Street. Bear right at the firehouse onto Sherman Street and follow to St. Peter’s Field, which is on the left.