Opening Day Ceremonies for Pelham Little League
by Lynne Ober
Spirits were bright under gray skies as players, coaches, parents, and friends gathered for the official kick off of 2005 baseball season.
“Mr. Baseball” Little League President Bob Blinn opened the ceremonies by introducing the Little League Board. “We have 774 players from five years old to fifteen years old and 61 teams,” he told the gathered audience. “When I started [working with Pelham Little League] eighteen years about, we had 300 players.”
Each Board member introduced a set of teams. When introduced players and coaches ran the bases and lined up between second and third.
Little League has definitely changed over the years. Now some coaches are women and many players are female. It’s not unusual to see a bright pink baseball glove being carried by a proud player or a coach running the bases with her purse clutched in her hand.
Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Victor Danevich, told the audience that “This is for the kids. Look around and see all the work that has been done. It’s for the kids.” Danevich thanked both Bob Blinn and “Mr. Football” Andy Vanti before presenting Blinn with a copy of Pelham’s Town Report that had been dedicated to Blinn and Vanti.
After Mandy Beauchesne sang the National Anthem, Blinn presented her with a card and a gift. “Mandy has been doing this for years for us and she’s getting married in June. We wanted to do something for her.”
Blinn announced that the Pelham Little League person of the year was Terri Gleason, who couldn’t be with them. “She’s worked for us for nine years and she doesn’t even have any kids in the program.” He displayed the plaque that will be given to her.
Five players, Jordon Parece, Rebecca Lyons, Bobby Haverty, Matthew Thistle, and Joy Costa, came forward to catch the opening pitches. “The baseballs were signed by Pelham Selectmen,” said Blinn. The players lined up to receive the catches from Selectmen Danevich and Gleason and three Little League Board members.
Then it was off to start the baseball season. Good luck to all the teams!
Vandals Caught in the Act by Pelham Police Chief
On April 30, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Pelham Police Chief Evan Haglund observed a vehicle stop and vandalize a mailbox on Apple Leaf Road in Pelham then flee the scene. The Chief was able to stop the vehicle with his cruiser on Garland Drive where three suspects were taken into custody for the vandalism. Recovered from the vehicle were two baseball bats and a metal pipe.
Further investigation revealed that the suspects had damaged numerous mailboxes in the Mammoth Road, Dutton Road, and Apple Leaf Road area, not only that night, but also two weeks prior.
Charged was Brian J. Gorman, age 17, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts with Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief (Vandalism) and Allowing an Improper Person to Operate a Motor Vehicle (Violation). The subject was released on $2,000 per recognizance bail for a court appearance on May 23 at the Salem District Court.
Also charged with Criminal Mischief was a 16 year old male juvenile from Pelham. Charges will be before the Salem District Court Juvenile Division.
If you believe you are a victim and have failed to report the damage to your property, contact the Pelham Police Department at 635-2411.
Selectmen Decide Not to Repair Tennis Courts
by Lynne Ober
At a recent Pelham Selectmen’s meeting Selectman Tom Domenico objected to spending $8,500 on repairing and resurfacing the tennis courts at Pelham Veteran’s Memorial Park (PVMP) despite a presentation by Parks and Recreation Director, Darren, McCarthy that said that if not repaired this year, the tennis courts would be beyond repairing. McCarthy presented data from experts in tennis court construction at that time, but the reality of the default budget keeps rearing its head.
After discussing the cost of building new courts from the ground up [estimated at $20,000] versus the cost of repairing the costs, Selectmen did not make a decision at that meeting.
According to Town Administrator Tom Gaydos some of the Selectmen visited those tennis courts and, outside of a posted meeting, they decided not to repair the tennis courts.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Victor Danevich acknowledged at the last meeting that this had been decided, but did not say who had made the motion or how the decision was reached.
Danevich did say that the courts at the high school would be refurbished thanks to McCarthy’s coordination with the school board and that he also felt that the courts at PVMP would be beyond repair and need to be replaced.
“The good news is that I asked the School Board last fall to consider using the remaining money in the Robinson Courts Trust Fund to repair the courts at the High School. Those 4 courts will be repaired this fall,” said McCarthy, who also noted that if standards prepared by the National Parks and Recreation Association were applied 0.95 courts are suggested per 1,000 population. “The decision to have 4 courts in Pelham will leave us 7-8 courts short of the national average based on population. (per the Pelham 2002 Master Plan). Saving the courts at PVMP would have left us only 5-7 courts short,” noted McCarthy, who currently plans to submit a request for new courts in this coming year’s budget.