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October 12, 2012     Post-Gazette
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October 12, 2012

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Page 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 12, 2012 Tony DeMarco Statue to be Unveiled October 20 th A landmark event will take place in Boston's North End on Saturday October 20, 2012. There, at the corner of Hanover Street and Cross Streets, at I:00 pm, a statue of Welterweight Champion Tony DeMarco will be unveiled. A favorite son of the city of Boston, Tony DeMarco grew up on Fleet Street in the North End, and with the en- couragement of his family, friends, and neighborhood rose to the heights of the boxing world when he be- came undisputed Welter- weight Champion of the World on April 1, 1955 with his defeat of Johnny Saxton at the Boston Garden. The city celebrated that win for days. The kid from the neighborhood, "The Flame and Fury of Fleet Street," was the Champ. On October 20 th, the city and neighborhood will cel- ebrate again in recogni- tion of Tony DeMarco's championship win and his very successful boxing career in which he fought eight World Champions, in- cluding two epic battles with Carmen Basilio. The culmination of four years of planning, the statue was commissioned by the by Ellen Zappala Massachusetts Chapter of the National Italian Ameri- can Sports Hall of Fame, and sponsored by the Privitera Family Charitable Founda- tion. Created by renowned sculptor Harry Weber, whose body of work includes the iconic Bobby Orr and Doug Flutie statues, the new Tony DeMarco statue is a fitting tribute to one of the great- est and most beloved ath- letes ever to come out of the city of Boston. The very active 80-year-old former Champ will be on hand to take part in the statue unveiling ceremony which will take place at 1 p.m. at the site of the statue on the corner of Hanover Street and Cross Street, the Gateway to the North End. The public is invited to at- tend the ceremonies for the unveiling of the DeMarco statue, where remarks will be made by dignitaries and members of the boxing world. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, Tony DeMarco will take the po- dium to speak to his family, friends and fans in atten- dance. Anyone who played base- ball professionally in the last 60 years knows-who Satchel Paige was. Paige was a black baseball pitcher. In the year that he started pitching, blacks were not permitted to play in Major League Base- ball. His pitching ability in the Negro League was leg- endary. Paige was born on July 7, 1906. In 1926, he started playing profession- ally for the Chattanooga Black Lookouts when he was 20 years of age. He was paid $200 per month and given a Ford Model A car. In 1927 another team, named the Birmingham Black Barons, offered him $276 a month and he ac- cepted the offer. During a game on June 27, 1927, he caused a riot by beaning three star players in a row. He ended that year by win- ning eight games and losing three. In 1929 he struck out 17 batters in one game. Paige later played in the Cuban league, receiving $100 per game. He stayed in Cuba for only 11 games. He didn't understand the lan- guage and when the mayor asked him if he intention- ally lost a game, he smiled and nodded his head. He al- most got beaten for that. He promptly left Cuba and re- turned to the United States. In the Negro League, it was permitted to rent ball players to various teams so from time to time he was rented out. Later he played for the Chicago American Giants and later the Phila- delphia Stars. On both July 16, 1932 and July 4, 1934, Satchel Paige by Attorney David Saliba Paige pitched a no-hitter. He moved around, later playing in Mexico for a while. He later signed with the New York Black Yankees. He became such a celeb- rity that 50,000 people showed up to watch him pitch in Comiskey Park on July 23, 1941. On July 7, 1948, Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians, needed a good pitcher and signed Paige to play in the Major Leagues with a $40,000 a year contract. When he signed that con- tract, Paige was 42 years old. Paige was famous for his hesitation pitch, but in 1948, Will Harridge, the American League president, ruled that the hesitation pitch was illegal. Paige later said, "I guess Mr. Harridge did not want me to show up those boys who were young enough to be my sons." Paige went on to be a great pitcher in Major League Baseball and in 1971 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Satchel Paige was famous for many memorable quotes. Some are as follows: "Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." "How old would you be ffyou didn't know how old you were?" "My pitching philosophy is simple, keep the ball away from the bat." "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." "Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines." "Mother always told me, 'If you tell a lie, always re- hearse it. If it don't sound good to you, if won't sound good to anyone else.'" "Don't look back, some- thing might be gaining on you." {The last quote is my favor- ite. Don't look back at past events or errors because fear and depression will gain on you.) Joe DiMaggio said, "After I got that hit off Satchel (Paige), I knew I was ready for the big leagues." Casey Stengel said, "If the Yankees don't get ahead in the first six innings, the (Cleveland) Browns bring in that damned old man and we're all sunk." Ted Williams said, "Satch was the greatest pitcher in baseball." If Satchel Paige was al- lowed to play in Major League Baseball when he was 20 years of age, who knows what records he would have set? ANOTHER CHIARELLI TO CHEER -- It was buried in a Boston Globe feature piece on women's gymnastics highlighting the American Gymnastics complex in Burlington that produced local Olympians Alicia Sacramone and Aly Rais- man, but there was a third name mentioned -- one that would be familiar to hockey fans in New England. The name was Chiarelli. Peter Chiarelli, of course, is the general manager of the Boston Bruins, the man who put together the team that won the 2011 Stanley Cup. But this wasn't about him. It was about Talia Chiarelli, Peter's teenage daughter, who was referred to in the article as "the other elite gymnast at Brestyan's." The reference was to coach Mihai Brestyan, who along with his wife Silvia, has been running the gym- nastics program, which started in Ashland but is now located in Burlington, for the last 12 years. Talia has been with the Brestyans since her father was named the GM of the Bruins back in 2006. Coming from Ottawa when her father took the job, "We had to find a new gym to go to and the first one that came up when my mom searched Google was this one," Talia stated in the article. And what of the Olympics? Well, it looks as if unfortu- nate circumstances may have intervened. A back injury kept her from trying out for the Canadian Olym- pic team this year and four years from now (2016) is a long way off in gymnastics. But she's already indicated that she'll be participat- ing in college gymnastics when she joins the Univer- sity of Michigan's team next year. She's earned a four- year scholarship to a Big Ten school, making her one of more than 30 gymnasts who have gone on from Brestyan's program to com- pete in college. STILL ON THE JOB -- Remember Hoosiers, the movie that depicts a small rural high school in Indiana going all the way to win the state basketball champion- ship by defeating much bigger rivals? The historic run took place in the early 1950's and the school that won was Milan, not Hickory as depicted in the film. But here's something more interesting. The man who was there calling those games on the radio is still on the air, continuing a championship run in his own right. His name is Bob Chase and he's still behind a radio microphone calling games, hockey games that is. In fact, this year will mark the 60 th straight sea- son that he takes his seat in the press area to call the games of the Fort Wayne Komets who compete in the East Coast Hockey League. And who would notice after all these years? The NHL for one. Bob had tears running down his face when NHL Commissioner Gary Bett- man called to tell him he is this year's recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy. Bob is one of only four people in the media to be presented with the award over the years. The others are legendary broadcaster Dan Kelly, current top voice in hockey Doc Emrick plus veteran hockey writer Stan Fischler. Emrick said in an piece that he was inspired as a teenager to become a hockey broadcaSter after he saw Chase broadcast a game in person back in 1960. Yes, it was a Fort Wayne game against the Muskegon Zephyrs. And so it continues for Chase who, at 86, shows no sign of slowing down. Best wishes for continued suc- cess as the years roll by, Bob. THE CELTICS ARE BACK-- The first Celtics home pre- season game is set for Octo- ber 16 at the Garden against the Brooklyn Nets. The sec- ond and final preseason home game will be Sunday, October 21 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Both games start at 7:30 pm. The Celtics will then open the regular season on the road, facing the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat in Florida on October 30. The C's home opener will be Friday, November 2 against the Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 pm. AND IN THE COLLEGES -- As the college hockey sea- son opens in earnest, Hockey East has three of its 10 member schools nation- ally ranked. Defending national champion Boston College is ranked No. 1 while UMass-Lowell is ranked seventh. Boston Uni- versity starts the season ranked 13 th. Over on the women's side, BC is ranked 4 th while BU is 6 th. These rankings may well change as the season progresses, especially after a number of regular season games are played. They pro- vide good talking points dur- ing the regular season and perhaps some extra motiva- tion for teams. But when all is said and done, it is the actual quality of play on the ice that matters. The rankings are just opinions. By the way, notice that col- lege hockey competes the longest, playing the regular season from October into March. Men's teams that go all the way to the Frozen Four will play until the second weekend in April -- literally a six-month season. No other college sport plays for as many months across the academic year as does college hockey. WWW. BOSTO N POSTGAZETTE.COM