Pittsfield to Unveil Plaque for Buddy Pellerin Ballfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A commemorative plaque will officially designate the Clapp Park ballfield for former coach George "Buddy" Pellerin.
The name change was approved about seven years ago after Pellerin passed away at the age of 77. The plaque's set be unveiled at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.
"Chairman [Cliff] Nilan has been involved with this effort to site a permanent plaque at the Buddy Pellerin Field which is of course the main baseball field and Clapp Park where Buddy Pellerin coached and played for many, many years," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath explained to the Parks Commission on Monday.
"And this is a permanent recognition of his contribution to the city."
The plaque, currently covered up, is just behind home plate on the backstop behind the walking track. It was pointed out that the public is welcome to join the unveiling to remember a "literal Pittsfield giant."
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 the former 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 park has seen major improvements after the city partnered with the Rotary Club and the Buddy Pellerin Field Committee on a state grant.
During the meeting, it was also reported that the Berkshire County Historical Society has been working with the city to plant a commemorative elm tree in Park Square. It will replace the iconic one that was planted in the 1990s to emulate an elm that was admired by Pittsfield residents in the city's early days.
There will be a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. The event will fall on Nation Plant a Tree Day.
"This year we have been working with [McGrath] to plan a special planting of an elm to commemorate the elm that was obviously very famous here in Pittsfield and was chopped down but was first saved by Lucretia Williams," Executive Director Lesley Herzberg explained.
She added that it was a fortuitous event because when the Historical Society approached the city with the idea, McGrath explained that there was already a tree plan for the park using Community Preservation Act funds.
In other news:
The city is planning to pave the parking lot of the dog park in the fall with $25,000 that it has been saving for the effort.
The pickleball project at Springside Park is underway but it may not be completed this year because the summer's heavy rain has created a backlog in work for the line painters. McGrath assured the commission that the courts would be done in the spring if not the fall.
- The city has signed a contract for an accessible restroom development at Deming Park, which McGrath said is really an equity project because it allows people of all abilities to use the park.
Tags: ballfield, memorial, public parks,