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April 5, 2013     Post-Gazette
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April 5, 2013

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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 5, 2013 ..'"4 y. ,. by Sal Giarratani Welcome to the Malden Field of Dreams On Sunday, March 17th over in South Boston for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, I bumped into an old friend Domenic D'Ambrosio, who I knew years ago when he worked at the Mayor's Office at Boston City Hall doing special events across Boston neighborhoods. Now- adays, he is still doing spe- cial events and community relations, but this time with Baseball Field of Dreams LLC over in the City of Malden. This groups is developing the project hop- ing within 14 months or so to open a new state of the art "green" ballpark with a 6,300 seat capacity, have a Kids Zone and a grassy fam- ily-oriented picnic seating area. All monies to build this project will be privately financed. Two excellent architectural firms are designing the park. Pellham Phillips Architects is one. This firm designed Hammond Field out in Mis- souri which is now the home of the Double A Springfield Cardinals. The second firm is The Architectural Firm based right here in nearby Chelsea. When ready for use by an Atlantic League minor league team it will also be available for use by the Malden High School varsity baseball team for its home games. The developer also proposes to use Malden Park, as it is being called, for busi- ness meetings, musical con- certs and other community and commercial uses. This looks like a win-win for all involved. It will create jobs, both in construction and long-term at the facility. It will provide an economic boost to the City of Malden and the region surrounding it. As I stated, the develop- ers are seeking a Malden franchise in the indepen- dent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Most of the ballplayers in this league have already moved through developmental mi- nor leagues. Roughly, 35 per- cent of the players in this league have some Major League experience. Players like Ricky Henderson and Ruben Sierra played in the Atlantic League. The league plays a 138-game regular season (69 home games) and the season starts in late April until mid-September, depending on playoff games. The team has no name yet. The Field of Dreams folks are looking at a com- munity contest to name the team in 2014 and naming rights will help with the fi- nancial projection~s. If all goes well the Malden (name to be picked later) will be on the field throwing out the first pitch to home plate in April 2015. As a baseball fan, I hope all this comes to pass because it would give kids and fami- lies a way to see baseball live without going fiat broke. The Malden Field of Dreams can hopefully do for Malden what the Brockton Rox and Lowell Spinners have done for their respective host cities. Diced Pineapple Department Bad news for Dice-K as the Cleveland Indians released him from his Minor League deal and more bad news for ex-Red Sox hurlers as the San Diego Padres dump Freddy Garcia too. Garcia who is 36 years old was not doing well in spring training. In six starts he has allowed 25 runs and 26 hits in 20.2 innings with an 8.71 ERA. Yankees Not Doing Well Want Wells The New York Yankees have a seemingly ever-grow- ing injury-depleted lineup and have eyed Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels. The 34-year-old outfielder has slumped since hitting 32 homers and 106 RBIs back in 2006. Wells is cur- rently owed $42 million over the next two years And the Yankees would have to pick up approxi- mately $12.5 million of that total. Right now the D.L. list is Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. Wells would take over in left field until Granderson's broken fore- arm heals. Pettitte Ready to Start Up Again Andy Pettitte has had a great spring training and is waiting to start the 2013 season as a NY Yankees starter. The 40-year-old re- cently struck out five batters in 6.1 innings in his long- est outing in the Grapefruit League this spring. Andy had retired after the 2011 sea- son then changed his mind last year and made 12 starts in 2012. The Yankees also signed up Chien-Ming Wang to a Minor League deal. He pitched for the Yankees between 2005-2009 going 55-26 and won 19 games two years in a row. They Don't Make Boston Celtics Team Jackets the Way They Were Once Made .Back in 1981 during the Larry Bird Glory Days, I purchased a great satin Celtics team jacket at Jor- dan Marsh. That jacket lasted into 1997. Back in 2007 during the team's World Championship sea- son, I purchased another Celtics team jacket and this time over at the Pro Shop inside TD Garden. It was a $150 jacket, much more than my old satin one. I can no longer afford a satin jacket today. However, I need to take it to a tailor since the nylon zipper doesn't really work well any- more. Back in 1981 they used real zippers made out of metal that work endlessly. One would think that a $150 jacket wouldn't have a zip- per not even worth $1.50. Eliot Scool children along with Principal Traci Griffith had the opportunity to see the Harlem Globetrotters work their magic at DeFilippo Playground on Tuesday, April 2nd. (Photos by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography) Carrying on a tradition of dribbling over bridges across the U.S., Harlem Globetrotters stars TNT Maddox and Buck- ets Blakes arrived in Boston in unique style -- dribbling and spinning basketballs down the Freedom Trail and over the Charles River via the Charlestown Bridge on Tuesday, April 2n~. TNT, the first female Globetrotter since 1993, led the one mile trek that ended with a Pep Rally at DeFilippo Play- ground with students from the Eliot K-8 School. The Globetrottes will be in action for two games only at TD Garden on Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7u~. Tickets are available at HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss IN MEMORIAM -- Remem- bering veteran Boston sports- writer and columnist D. Leo Monahan, who passed away on March 27 at his home in Belmont. Leo woi-ked for the Daily Record, Record-American and Herald American, the pre- decessors of the Boston Her- aid, for over three decades.. In addition, he was a spe- cial Boston correspondent for Sports Illustrated for 30 years, back in the era when the well-known magazine had correspondents in many key cities across America. In addition, he also penned a weekly column for The Sport- ing News for 15 years, back when that publication was known as "the Bible of Baseball." But it was his coverage of pro hockey for which he is best remembered. Leo cov- ered the Bruins and the NHL for more than 30 years, an impressive run that led to his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1986. Later, he became the sports infor- mation director at UMass- Boston. As a person who grew up in Western Massachusetts, it was interesting a number of years ago to read that a writer for the daily paper in Springfield (the Republican) had kept a scrapbook full of clippings of her favorite sportswriter during her child- hood years. The writer of those stories: D. Leo Monahan. Leo was half of a writing dynasty in the Monahan fam- ily as he and his late brother Bob were well-known to all members of the Boston sports media for generations. Leo preferred the professionals while Bob, who died in 2007, concentrated on college sports (particularly college hockey) while writing for the Globe for over 30 years. Both were attracted to writ- ing and the journalism life early on while growing up in South Boston, decisions that would lead them down simi- lar professional paths and keep them active into their senior years. They were splendid examples of the ad- age: Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. This writer came to know both men late in their profes- sional careers, often sitting near Leo at Bruins games (he served as editor of the Bruins alumni newsletter at the time) and having friendly con- versations with Bob at the Beanpot and Hockey East Tournaments. NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF -- When both the Boston University and Boston Col- lege women's hockey teams lost to the University of Min- nesota in the Frozen Four games in late March it was truly something not to hang their heads over. The BU women finished the season at 28-6-3, the best season in the history of the women's program there. The fact that they lost to a more powerful team in the National Championship Game by a 6-3 count is just one of those things that happens in sports. Minnesota completed a storybook season by beating the Terriers, finishing unde- feated at 41-0-0, the only col- lege hockey team in the land to wind up with more than 40 victories for the 2012- 2013 campaign. It was the second consecutive national championship campaign for Minnesota. The Golden Gophers were so good that they posted 21 shut- outs over the course of the season, a string that included not being scored upon at all during the WCHA league tournament. In addition, Minnesota had only had a single game dur- ing the regular season that resulted in a one-goal mar- gin of victory, a 3-2 overtime win over Bemidji State at home in mid February. As they advanced to the NCAA playoffs, however, the Gophers were tested in a pair of overtime contests. The first was a 3-2 triumph over North Dakota, a game that went into the third overtime. Then in the first game of the Women's Frozen Four, which was played this year at Minnesota's home arena, it was Boston College that took Minnesota into overtime before coming up on the short end of a 3-2 count. The loss meant the Eagles finished at 22-5-1 for the season. Both the BC and BU women's teams represented Hockey East well in the NCAA Tournament and are to be congratulated for the free sea- sons they put together over the course of the winter. A LOYAL SON COMES HOME -- He was wandering, he was moving from job to job in the hockey world. But there was one place that was always in his mind. That was Boston University and the coach and program David Quinn had played for back in the 1980s. Actually, he had returned once -- from 2004 to 2009 to serve as the right hand man to legendary mentor Jack Parker. He was there in 2009 when the Ter- riers came from two goals be- hind in the final minute of the National Championship game against Miami of Ohio to tie the score and win the game in overtime. But then it was off again to explore additional dimen- sions of the hockey world, one that included a stop in the AHL and eventually an assis- tant coaching position with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. Yes, David Quinn can come home again. To the campus where he played hockey for four years as a defenseman, becoming an All Hockey East and All New England selec- tion in addition to serving as co-captain during his se- nior year. This time he re- turns as captain of the ship, taking over for Parker who is retiring. He says he wishes it was early October so he could start practice. It'll be here soon enough, David. It surely will. IF