We’re gonna get to that place where we really want to go. — Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run”
riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.
— James Joyce, “Finnegans Wake”
Yo, yo, yo!!! I never thought I could use that line above anywhere — ever, for any reason — on the blank page of a story. Ahh, but I did it, and I immediately can’t take credit, which, of course, goes to that master (or pretender) of the English language, Mr. James Joyce.
The line is the opener in Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake,” which is either a classic or a joke, depending on whom you are speaking with. My guess is that 99.3 percent of the people who pick up that 1939 novel will put it down within the first two minutes — or less. That’s because Joyce deliberately made it difficult to read.
And it can be a torturous experience for those who want information in easy bits (or bytes) and pieces.
Eh, I like a challenge, but admittedly, I have not been able to get through the whole thing and I only have a tiny grasp of what it’s all about despite various times in my life when I actually read long parts of it. Some say that Joyce meant for the reader to feel like he or she is in a dream, which makes sense because, often, you only have a tiny grasp of what a dream was all about. Well, aside from my amazing accomplishment of actually getting that line down on cyberpaper for a reading audience, the reason I used it is because the picture Joyce paints with those words can also refer to my endeavors in returning (through cyberspace) to my beloved hometown of Marlboro, Mass., to write about days and sports occurrences of long ago. Like in Finnegans Wake for those who can get into the meat of it, for me, these stories I’m posting on BedrockSportsMarlboro.com are a circling back to where and whence I came:
... Assabet river run past the Rice Homestead, from swerve of Fort Meadow and Lake Williams to bend of Parmenter and Berlin Roads, brings us comfortably to a recirculation back to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, Chet’s Diner and the boroughs.
Well, yes, you should right a book!!!
>> “Original Lou Brock red sneakers that he gave to each teammate on the Cardinals the year he broke Cobb’s record and before he manufactured and sold a version of these in show stores. They are red running shoes (very 70s!) that Brock hand numbered & signed then gave to each teammate! They have never been worn and are amazing!”
>> “1976 Hawaiian Islander trophy bookends! Each player received a pair of (wood-carved) tiki bookends with a gold plaque commemorating the season. They are beautiful! When Kenny was with the Padres, he played in Hawaii!,” Hedin’s direct message continued. “He was a member of perhaps the greatest PCL franchise in your area. The team of 1976 was amazing! Joe Pepitone, Diego Segui and Bobby Valentine were among his teammates.”
Another part of Billy’s collection: an 1880s Boston Bean Eaters (later, the Braves) solid gold pocket watch that he received from his parents (mom’s name Philomena) for high school graduation. “It has a player at each spot where the numbers go on the dial and it chimed every hour,” he added.
Through the years, Hedin sold most of his card collection to help both of his daughters go to college, and he intends to sell more of it to help his eight grandchildren through college down the road. After reading my Kenny Reynolds story in the Community Advocate, Hedin reminded me about the contribution Kenny’s older brother Byron Reynolds has made to Marlboro sports.
Hedin and Jay Marinoni (my former Grace Circle neighbor) have collaborated in the card business on and off since the late 1970s. Both were mentioned in the second installment of this series: Part 2: Talking Story With The Fine Sports People Of The Boroughs.
I still plan on doing a story on Mike Marinoni, Jay’s brother, a fantastic baseball and hockey player for Marlboro High who was taken from us too soon, tragically, in a car accident in 1977.
Ned Coen, whose father Ed Coen was instrumental in starting the Marlboro Pony League, is also mentioned in that Part 2 story. He is Jay’s cousin.
“About the Marlboro Little League park behind Hildreth, do you know who actually put the lights in there, did the cement dugouts and built the stand and everything else? You know who that was? It was very, very many people. I got all the names. John Gamache did the lights, the Collaianni brothers did all the cement work, guys like Val Roy, Don Morgan, Joe Paul the barber volunteered their time and it goes on and on the guys that were involved in there and I’m trying to not leave people out.
After publication, one of the sources for the story, coach Irene Mazmanian, sent some photos and more information on some of the coaches who were instrumental in leading the way back then. Here are the photos:
Some Marlboro women’s athletic mentors. Standing, left to right, Irene Mazmanian, Bernie Moffa, Marge Farrell and Paula Hutch. Seated: Mary Kelleher. (Image credit: Irene Mazmanian).
Eileen Blackney running a race at an MHS track and field meet in the 1976-77 season. (Image credit: Irene Mazmanian).
The 1975-76 Marlboro High varsity girls basketball team. Patty Miller is wearing jersey No. 42.
(Image credit: Irene Mazmanian).
The 1976-77 MHS girls track and field team. (Image credit: Irene Mazmanian).
Mike Burns, perhaps, is the biggest name to come out of Marlboro High soccer. He played for the U.S. Olympic team and had a long, successful career in Major League Soccer, including a stop with the New England Revolution.
His father and John Manton, I’ve been told, had a lot to do with the early success of Marlboro youth soccer.
Two Marlboro soccer captains, Len Fulham and Dom D’Allesio.
(Image credit: Rick Miller).
Dom D’Allesio, Brian Bane and Fulham were the captains that season. A year earlier, in the fall of ’74 (with Bolivar on the team) the Panthers won the Midland League but lost in the first round of states.
Former Marlboro High pitcher Derek Aramburu (Class of 1984), who played in the College World Series for the University of Maine, and former catcher Joey Grasso (Class of 1982), who went on to play for Wesleyan, were two of my sources for that recent Community Advocate article about Kenny Reynolds that was referred to way back in the beginning of this story. I wanted to add some more of their recollections of Reynolds, their former coach, and that fantastic time for MHS baseball in the 1980s.
“Be respectful of yourself, your opponents, your teammates and the game,” Aramburu said. “That’s what coach stood for and I took that from him. I’ve carried that through life and that’s how I live now. I didn’t live that way back then, when I was as brash and cocky as the next guy who could throw a baseball.”
“I was blessed to play for Coach Reynolds and the city of Marlboro was beyond lucky to have such a good, honest, humble man guiding those young minds.”
Grasso and Aramburu talked about some of their teammates from back in the day, too.
“Coach was a lefty and he took a guy like Mike Mulvey in and made him look like Sandy Koufax,” Grasso said. “With a 68-mph fastball and a screwball he developed, “Mully” was unhittable and posted a 5-0 record with an ERA hovering around 2.00.”
And from Aramburu: “In 1983, coach had Mulvey, me and Rick Tourville, all lefties, starting on the mound.” Aramburu rattled off just some of the other names he remembered from his time on the baseball team: Steve McStay, Scott Bemis, Billy Polymeros, Jeff DiBuono, Mike Reynolds, Jeff Jordan, Joe Battaglino, John Rabidou, Shawn Tessier, Kevin Adam, Dave Kelleher, Sal Turieo, Miguel Camacho.
Little things, he said, turned out big on the road to Midland League championships.
Reynolds, I was surprised to learn, used to live in Hawaii.
A photo of Paul “Mousey” Lombardo playing softball in later years.
(Image credit: Billy Hedin’s Facebook page).
ALSO At Bedrock Sports:
>> Part 1: Talking Story With Many Of The Ol’ Sports People In The ‘Boroughs’
>> Marlboro’s John Winske Is A Kentucky Derby Winning Horse Owner And A Hoot And Half
>> High Tops And No Socks: An Ode To The Doctor