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O'Donnell Era Chiefs (1967-1981) Alumni Day Planned for June 24 at Playstead Park
|Medford, MA- The semi-professional stars of yesteryear will be shining as the legendary Chiefs of the Joe O’Donnell era from 1967-1981 will gather at Playstead Park on Sunday, June 24, for a reunion and alumni game. Playing under the Hosmer Chiefs name and sponsored by John Hosmer of Hosmer Pontiac during those years, over forty ex-Chief greats are expected to attend. Success was synonymous with O’Donnell and his Chiefs as he guided the franchise to eight of its 17 Intercity League Championship banners during his fifteen years at the helm. The Chiefs never failed to qualify for the playoffs during his tenure as player-manager and played close to .700% baseball over than span. |
O’Donnell leads the list of former Chiefs who will be in attendance. Today he is considered one of Greater Boston’s most successful businessmen and is the CEO of The Boston Culinary Group, as well as several other prominent businesses. Last spring O'Donnell was named as the most powerful person in the Boston business world by a local magazine, having built a billion dollar business practically from scratch. A 1967 graduate of Harvard University, where the baseball field is named in his honor, he has been instrumental in funding baseball facilities and assisting youth sports in the area, including Malden Catholic and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he is an alumnus of both schools. He is also the founder of The Joey Fund, which was established in November 1986 in memory of his son Joey O'Donnell, a courageous fighter and victim of cystic fibrosis. Through the years The Joey Fund has raised over $25,000,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
A native of Everett, MA, O’Donnell began his ICL career as player-manager of the McKinnon Club and took over the Chiefs in 1967, succeeding the late and colorful Lenny Dempsey as Chiefs field boss. An outstanding right handed hitter, O’Donnell caught and played first base as the Chiefs long time cleanup man.
Joining O’Donnell at the alumni game will be former Chiefs catcher and current Bentley College AD and baseball coach Bob DeFelice. DeFelice played for the Chiefs from 1973-1984 and has been the only coach in Bentley baseball history as he just concluded his 39th season. The baseball field at Bentley College is named in his honor. In 1965, he began a three-year playing career in the Boston Red Sox minor league organization. In 1967, he was a player-coach with the Pittsfield Red Sox. Amazingly, DeFelice has been inducted into seven Halls of Fame, including Boston College, where he graduated from in 1963, Bentley College, Winthrop High, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Boston Park League Hall of Fame and the Union Printers International Baseball League Hall of Fame.
Also expected is legendary sidearmer Fred Knox, who was one of the original Chiefs in 1958, and pitched 16 seasons for the club until 1973, chalking up 108 wins and 10 championship rings and along the way.
Other former Chiefs stars expected to attend include ex-professional players Mike Pagliarulo, who played many years as the third baseman for the New York Yankees and won a World Series as a member of the 1991 Minnesota Twins, Jeff Williamson (Montreal Expos), Ronnie Corbett (Oakland A’s), Dave Polcari (St. Louis Cardinals), Ron Luongo (New York Yankees), Frank Nuzzo (St. Louis Cardinals), Ricky Shannon (Montreal Expos), Pancho Webb (Boston Red Sox), Jackie Mountain (Boston Red Sox), Vin Martelli (Cleveland Indians), Rob Alevizos (Chicago Cubs) Billy Kelly (St. Louis Cardinals) and Eddie Rideout (New England Patriots).
Also returning to wear the Chiefs colors will be former stars Steve DeCarlo, Billy Dunn, John Emery, Steve Howe, Neil Hurley, Garry Keil, Terry McGann, Jimmy Melzor, Mark Santini, Bob Spinney, John Veneziano, Joe Armstrong, Chico Chicarello, Bob Howe, Bobby Kelly, Ed McCarty, Dave Tallent, Rick Ferullo, Sammy Greenwood, Dave Katz, Kenny Rideout, Al Libordoni, Mike Lush, assistant coach Jack Trischitta and present Chiefs manager Chuck Andre, who played for the club from 1973-1980 and has piloted the team to 393 wins, seven more pennants, four ICL championships and most importantly has maintained the O’Donnell-Dempsey eras of Chiefs tradition playing close to .700% baseball since taking the reins in 1989.
All present and former Chiefs fans and Intercity League followers are invited to the alumni day festivities which will kick off at 1:00 PM when the 2007 Chiefs take on East Boston in a regular season Intercity League contest. Following the game, the Chiefs alumni will head onto the Playstead Park turf for some baseball action which will include some special guests, surprise presentations and photo opportunities. The ex-Chiefs will then attend an evening function for team members.
The Chiefs long and storied franchise began in 1957. To read the entire history of the team go to the Chiefs website at www.andrechiefs.com and click onto the “Chiefs History” tab.