BLLA Parade - April 22, 2000
Brookline Little League Parade and
50th Anniversary Dedication
APRIL 22 - Opening Day games for the 50th anniversary season were washed away by a stubborn low pressure system that dumped three days of rain on the Community Center fields, but the lousy weather could not dampen the spirits of our Brookline Little Leaguers. Despite the gloomy weather, our boys and girls shined as they paraded down Brookline Boulevard in the annual BLLA parade with their finely decorated team banners. Afterwards, everyone gathered on the upper lot to pay respect to Frank D. Debor, who was honored with a beautiful crystal trophy for DeBor Funeral Home's 50th season as a team sponsor.
The morning began with high expectations as several teams were prepared for the Opening Day games, but reality set in early when coaches and players saw the quagmire conditions of both Danny McGibbeny and Sam Bryen Fields. The wet weather, however, took an afternoon break and allowed the parade to proceed as scheduled, and what a fine event it was.
The teams lined up at the Brookline firehouse with their banners at 10:30am. Shortly after the eleventh hour, league president Tony Colangelo sent them off down Brookline Boulevard, trailing a police escort and the firetruck from our own station #26. Starting with the Instructional Leaguers and ending with the Senior girls of Speedy Printing, hundreds of our proud ballplayers made their way towards the Community Center, strutting their stuff for a host of parents and fans who lined the parade route.
Once the uniformed throng reached Sam Bryen Fields their banners were displayed in the tennis court area while the teams gathered in the upper parking lot for the anniversary dedication ceremonies. Three very special individuals, who have spent a combined 120 years of service to the Brookline Little League, were honored.
League president Tony Colangelo and City Councilman Michael Diven presented Frank D. DeBor and his family with a stunning trophy to commemorate DeBor Funeral Home's unprecedented 50 years as a team sponsor. The lengthy tradition began in 1951 with the late-Frank F. DeBor and continues with his son Frank D. DeBor. This truly golden Brookline family has shown unquestioned loyalty to the children of our community, not only in the Brookline Little League but in many other local youth activities over the past half-century. Today was the day for Brookliner's to show their appreciation for the DeBor's many years of generosity.
Also honored for their service to the league were Angelo Masullo Sr. and Bob Schwemmer, both team coaches with 35 years apiece to their credit. Many a Brookline baseball player has been taught the fundamentals of the game by these two well-respected mentors, whose coaching careers spanned the decades from the 1960s through the 1990s. Unfortunately, the gloomy weather prohibited both Mr. Masullo and Mr. Schwemmer from attending the ceremony, and their gold watches will be presented at a later date.
After the dedications were completed all of the children were treated to hot dogs, chips and drinks while the DeBor family had the honor of judging the many team banners. The children put a lot of effort into their banners and the selection process was not easy, but in the end the three winning entries were Marshall's Lounge, Skip's A.C. and Bellisario's Pizza. Each of the three winning teams will be presented with a pizza party complements of the Brookline Little League Association.
Once the children were fed and the banners judged, the day came to a premature halt due to the soggy field conditions. Mr. DeBor and Councilman Diven were to have had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitches, and the championship teams from last season were to have battled it out in the kickoff contests, but all that will have to wait until after the Easter holiday. By Monday evening, weather permitting, the fields should be usable and the umpires ready for those two words that mean so much this time of year, "Play Ball!"
Until then, it's time for the Easter Bunny to do its thing, bringing chocolates and goodies to kids around the world. We baseball fanatics will have to settle for hard-boiled eggs and sweet-tooth satisfaction. But, when Monday night rolls around ... let the games begin!
The BLLA would like to extend its sincerest thanks to everyone who helped out with the parade. Many hours of preparation went into pulling off another successful outing. The names of those dedicated individuals are too numerous to mention, but never-the-less, the league and the children of Brookline thank you all.
* Photos and article by Clint Burton *
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