The New Concession Stand - 1959

Sam and volunteers laying out
 foundation for new Concession Stand in 1959.
Lining up the foundation for the new stand: (left-to-right) Bud Auen, Ed Mathias, John Pascarosa, Sam Bryen, Rudy Reinheimer, James Klingensmith and Elmer Rowlands, the local builder who designed the building.

The original concession stand was built in the spring of 1959, in anticipation of the coming All-Star season, when Brookline hosted the Little League State All-Star tournament, the stand was a small one-room structure that included a concession area, equipment storage area, press box and announcing section, running water and electric service.

The 16" by 12" building was located behind home plate of the Little League field, and funds for its' construction were obtained from the Women's Civic Club of Brookline. The Kravec Construction Company pitched in with excavation work and building supplies, all at no cost. Volunteer labor from Brookline faithful and material assistance from other local merchants made the project a low cost success.

The available inventory consisted of an assortment of penny candy, pixie sticks, candy fish, bubble gum, popcicles and cold pop in returnable bottles. For those with an unquenchable thirst, but no spare change, there was the old water cooler and tin drinking cup.

Picture of the original Concession
 Stand in 1959.
Mrs. Leonard Zankel and Mrs. Rudy Reinheimer volunteer their time to work the stand in 1959.

The stand was enlarged to two rooms in 1963, when the adjacent Senior Field was completed. Additions included an expanded concession area and a seperate equipment room. Soon, the inventory included a pizza machine and an ice crusher, for the now legendary iceballs, or sno-cones ... with extra syrup. The water cooler and tin cup remained heavily used.

I vividly remember the bottles of cherry pop, and looking for empty pop bottles to return, 5 cents apiece, so I could buy the little baseball bubble gum balls, superstitiously checking each ball to see whether I'd get a "Single", "Double", "Triple" or the elusive "Homerun". Balls that were printed with "outs" were discarded, or given to members of the opposing team! I also recall chugging gallons of water from that old tin cup, something the modern parent might consider unsanitary.

The original refreshment stand served Brookline baseball fans until the early 1980's, when the park was reconfigured and the new "Sam Bryen Fields" were built.

From 1982 until 1994 the concession stand was located in the equipment room behind the Brookline baseball "Wall of Fame." Finally, in 1995, Tony Colangelo organized a volunteer work force and built the present concession stand.

The inventory of available goodies has increased some with the added space. You now have a choice between nachos or pizza, hotdogs or hoagies, bottled water or flavored All-Sport, and much, much more. There are shirts and caps for sale. Gone are the iceballs, replaced by an assortment of ice-cream treats, but the little red candy fish will never die!

To the generations of parents who volunteered their time during these fifty-plus years to make sure the players and fans were well-fed, we all express our thanks. The memories of summer days spent sucking down iceballs, popcicles and cold pop will last forever, like the pride we all felt as Brookline Little Leaguers.

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