Cambridge’s Annual Celebration Of Baseball Returns To St. Peter’s Field
It’s throwback uniforms. It’s period music. It’s top-notch local baseball talent. Put it all together and you have the Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game, which will be played Monday night, August 23 at 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Field on Sherman Street in North Cambridge.
Cambridge’s annual summertime celebration of baseball, founded in 1994, returns to St. Peter’s Field after a one-year absence. What makes the Oldtime Baseball Game so special is its dazzling collection of flannel uniforms that represent 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, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Athletics.
Representing the Negro Baseball Leagues are uniforms from the Homestead Grays, Kansas City Monarchs, Cleveland Buckeyes, Baltimore Elite Giants, Detroit Stars and Boston Royal Giants.
Long, gone minor-league teams are represented by the Oakland Oaks, San Francisco Seals, Wichita Falls Spudders and Hollywood Stars.
The Oldtime Baseball Game even has a uniform representing a team that never actually existed: The New York Knights, for whom Robert Redford’s Roy Hobbs character hit a dramatic home run in the blockbuster film “The Natural.”
Although the Oldtime Baseball Game includes players from schools throughout the Boston area, more than 40 past participants have gone on to play professionally. Former Haverhill High and Northeastern University standout Carlos Pena, who played in the 2008 World Series and the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, was a participant in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 1996 and ’97 and was the first veteran of the game to reach the big leagues. Former Boston College pitcher Mike King, who appeared in 14 games with the New York Yankees this season before going in the Injured List, played in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 2015.
During pregame ceremonies Monday, Cameron Monagle of the Cambridge Fire Department will be the recipient of the Greg Montalbano Award, presented annually to a former player from the Oldtime Baseball Game. The award is given in memory of Greg Montalbano, a former Northeastern University pitcher who was only 31 when he died of cancer in 2009.
Monagle, 24, a Cambridge native, made his Oldtime Baseball Game debut when he was just four years old — as a batboy. He later played in the game during his years as a member of the Merrimack College baseball team. In 2016 he hit a home run and was named the game’s MVP.
The late Greg Montalbano, a Westborough native and baseball standout at Northeastern University, 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, he 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 Montalbano 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.
As is Oldtime Baseball Game tradition, Cameron Monagle will play in this year’s game and wear the 1926 St. Louis Cardinals uniform that Montalbano wore when he played in the game in 1999.
Admission to the Oldtime Baseball Game is free. Fans are asked to bring a beach blanket or chair and camp out along the foul lines, as it is the crowd that makes the game so electric.