PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The baseball field at Clapp Park is being named after former coach George "Buddy" Pellerin.
The Parks Commission approved the naming on Tuesday after being overwhelmed by support from former players, family and friends of Pellerin. A large crowd filled the meeting room as Ken Ferris gave a presentation on not just why Pellerin deserved the recognition but also plans to upgrade the field.
"Buddy Pellerin was much more than a coach. You did well on the field but he was much more interested in what you did off the field," Ferris said.
Pellerin was head coach of the Pittsfield High baseball team for 19 years, leading the team to the state title in 1966 and taking the team to the 1974 title game. He also served as athletic director, and head softball coach during his time at PHS.
He handed over the reins of the baseball team in 1982 but remained active in the sport. He went on to coach softball at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and St. Joseph's High as well as the city's Babe Ruth league all-star team. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988.
"The program itself just turned out successful people and that is the measure of the man," Ferris said.
Ferris said there are "hundreds of stories" of Pellerin inspiring and keeping players on track in their lives.
But Ferris said coach would be "disappointed" in those pushing for the change, and with those who penned the large stack of letters of support submitted to the commission, if the project stopped at just naming the field.
Ferris said so far the committee heading the effort has raised $15,000 and is looking to raise more for a number of improvements to the park. That includes a score board, fencing, signage, and ultimately dugouts, lighting, bleachers, and monuments.
"The vision and the goal maybe lofty by our coach always taught us to, in a controlled way, swing for the fences," Ferris said.
The effort has only just begun, and with a groundswell of support. The plan was hatched at the 50th anniversary reunion of the 1966 championship team. In just a few months since then, a small committee crafted the plan and began to raise money.
"The amount of people he knows is incredible," Ferris said. "It's been very easy."
The Parks Commission was unanimous in its support and opted to forego a public hearing to name the field, an option the commission reserved in its policies. The naming is only of the baseball field — Clapp Park as a whole will retain its name.
The commission also voted to have Ferris and others begin working with city staff on the improvement plans, but the commission still wants to vote on each project.
"We certainly want to make sure we get this done right," Parks and Open Space Manager James McGrath said of the individual improvement projects.
Ferris said the priorities would be to install a score board and fencing. From there, future projects will depend on the fundraising effort — one of which could include sponsorship of signs on the outfield fence.
"It's not just because he's a great coach. It's because he is a great person," he said.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Comments are closed for this article. If you would like to contribute information on this article, e-mail us at info@iBerkshires.com
Miss Hall's School Announces Head's List, Honor Roll
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Miss Hall's School has announced 49 local students among the 159 students schoolwide named to the Head's List and Honor Roll for the second semester, which ended May 28.
For Head's List recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 92, with no single grade below B-plus.
For Honor Roll recognition, students must have taken five major, full-credit courses and must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 86, with no single grade below B-minus.
Grade 12: Charlotte Adelson, Lee; Trudy Fadding, Glendale; Haylee Gleason, Pittsfield; Mary Howe, Pittsfield; Faia Kronick, Pittsfield; Allison Lamke, Lenox Dale; and Sophia (Sophie) Shea, East Chatham, N.Y.
Grade 11: Ria Kedia, Pittsfield; Lanna Knoll, Great Barrington; and Isabelle Lapierre, Dalton
The Fire Department christened its new engine truck with an old tradition - pushing it into the firehouse.
The symbolic push from members of the department honors the days of horse-drawn apparatuses that firefighters would have to push back into the bay after calls. In honor of those days gone... click for more
This past winter Melissa Mazzeo was being asked about piles of salt being left on the side of the roads.
The small trucks weren't working properly. She said she talked to the commissioner about it but didn't really have any authority to do anything about it. And now, the city's budget is some... click for more
Michael Merriam is looking to become part of "team Pittsfield" to help get things done collaboratively.
And right now, he's not seeing that in his current ward councilor. Merriam is now challenging Ward 4 Councilor Christopher Connell for a seat on the dais. Merriam said he feels the ward hasn't... click for more
The city set its schedule for summer recreational opportunities.
This summer the city is offering its playground program, outdoor movies, and track and field games. Below you'll find the schedule of activities. click for more
When people think about "the city" or "the government" images of politicians, the pillars at city hall, or a badge jumps into their mind.
They don't necessarily see the city as being made up of individuals, humans, who have regular lives just like anyone else doing jobs just like themselves. click for more