The first banner was dedicated in 2001 to Brendan Grant, a Belmont native and baseball player at American International College who was just 19 when he suffered fatal injuries when he collided with his center fielder during a game. Though Brendan never played in the Oldtime Baseball Game, he was made a posthumous selection in 2001. Each year, a Belmont High School graduate represents Brendan in The Oldtime Baseball Game. The torch has been passed from Matt McEvoy (2001-03) to Bill Watkins (2004-07) to Bryan Watkins (2008-10). The Brendan Grant Foundation is dedicated to the betterment of parent-child relationships. Visit its web site at www.BrendanGrant.org.
When Tom Cassell coached in The Game in 2002, he wore the uniform of the 1918 Chicago Cubs. Following Tom’s death, we remembered him in 2003 with the unveiling of our second banner. To further keep Tom’s memory alive, a member of the Cassell Club of the Intercity League wore his Cubs uniform in The Oldtime Baseball Game from 2003 to 2008. Andrew Green of Lexington wore it in 2003, followed by Tim Dunphy of Cambridge (2004-06) and James Likis of Cambridge (2007-08).
Catherine Buckley was an annual fixture at The Oldtime Baseball game from its humble beginnings in 1994. Each year, she would park her beach chair behind home plate and wile away the evening holding court with baseball fans young and old. Even when Catherine was waging a battle with cancer, she still attended The Game. In 2003, in the midst of undergoing a summer of radiation treatment at Mount Auburn Hospital, she threw out the first pitch at The Oldtime Baseball Game. Her banner was unveiled at the 2004 Game, which was played in her memory.
Most fans who attend The Oldtime Baseball Game marvel at the beauty of St. Peter’s Field, a gem of a ballpark whose very existence seems to conjure up images of baseball as it was played in earlier, simpler times. This is because of the tireless work done by the crew at the Danehy Park Athletic Complex. Shawn Megan was a proud member of that crew, and, as his brother Scot notes, “Shawn and I would always anticipate the day The Game was coming near so our staff could transform St. Peter’s Field into a field of dreams for that special night in August.” Shawn died on April 11, 2005. A banner was unveiled in his memory for the 2005 Game.
In 1946, Eddie Pellagrini began his major-league career in uproarious fashion, hitting a home run off Washington Senators pitcher Sid Hudson in his first at bat. He went on to play eight seasons in the major leagues with the Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, Phillies, Reds and Pirates, after which he went on to coach at Boston College for more than 30 years. Eddie was a coach in our game from 2000 to 2002, and during those years told stories that many of our players will never forget. His banner was unveiled before the 2007 Oldtime Baseball Game.
Jim Bejoian was an institution at The Oldtime Baseball game with his bluster and his pride of what this game meant for the community and the charities it helped throughout the years. Even as Jim’s health began to fail over the last few years, he always insisted on being at the game each year, even if it was for just the first few innings. Jim never got to see the 2008 Game, the first one he missed. He will forever be a part of the Oldtime Baseball Game as one of our “Angels in the Outfield,” with a banner unveiled in his memory in 2009.