Brookline Little League Association
Little League Parade - May 16, 1976

The teams make their way down
Brookline Boulevard towards the cannon
on their way to the Community Center.

On May 16, 1976, the Brookline Little League held an opening day parade, celebrating 25 years as a chartered organization in the Williamsport Little League Association. With the United States of America celebrating the Bi-Centennial and just about everything that year being dedicated to the "Spirit of '76", the local Little League held a special dedication for two of it's own founding fathers, Joe Powers and Bud Auen, both 25 year members of the neighborhood organization.

Children in Revolutionary War
outfits lead the way playing the fife
and drums in the Spirit of '76.

In keeping with the Bi-Centennial spirit, a police escort led the way down the Boulevard, followed by an honor guard dressed in traditional Revolutionary War clothing and playing the fife and drums. The parade began at the firehouse and ended at the Community Center fields. All of the league's eighteen teams were present, with the Minor Leaguers, Little Leaguers and Senior Leaguers all joining in the celebration. The Boulevard was lined with cheering residents, who came out on this special day to cheer on the community's young ballplayers.

Bud Auen and Joe Powers being
 honored at beginning of 1976 season.

Once the uniformed throng arrived at the fields, they all lined up along the Little League outfield fence for the special dedication. Mr. Auen, a former coach and longtime umpire, and Mr. Powers, a twenty-five year manager, were both awarded special gifts and allowed to throw in the first pitches to start the new season.

I had played for Mr. Powers with the B.Y.M.C. team during my four years in Little League and remember how thrilled I was at the time to see him honored for his service. He was not just a skilled manager, but a friend and mentor, one that I would never forget. The same can be said for Mr. Auen, a man who umpired behind the plate nearly every game for as long as I could remember. He was a fair man who had a special way of dealing with the kids. He was respected by everyone and his contributions to the league and the children of Brookline can never be understated.

Today, the parade is an annual event, marking the start of another season of Little League baseball. Below are a few more pictures taken by Joe Brendel documenting the 1976 Little League parade. It seems like only yesterday that this took place. For so many of us present that day, playing Little League baseball at the Community Center will always be one of our best memories.

The American Legion Senior League team.

Denmarks's Cafe Senior League team,
followed by DeBor Funeral Home. When the season
ended in August, DeBor had taken the Senior title.

Denmark's Cafe Senior Leaguers in the summer of '76.
Gerard Loy, who passed away in a car accident a few years
later, is sixth from the left in blue. We miss you, G-Man.

The uniformed throng make their
way past Creedmore Avenue and start down
the hill towards the Community Center.

Mr. Carmen Tripodi (light blue shirt and shorts),
the Volpatt Tile and the Boulevard Lounge Minor Leaguers
lead the way towards Oakridge Street.

Click Here to see a short sequence of photos from the first game played on opening day, featuring B.Y.M.C.'s Chris "Fritz" Brendel scoring the first run of the 1976 season. The photos show a lot about what Little League baseball was "back in the day."

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