By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Glen “Whitt” Whittemore fondly remembers playing in the Marlborough Men’s Softball League. He’s looking forward to the league’s upcoming reunion for all of the teams’ players from approximately 1973 to ’83. In the meantime, he and the reunion planning committee are searching for more league participants to invite.
“I’m sure the reunion will be a great time because we were all good friends off the field,” he said. “On the field, nobody liked each other. The umpires told us that we were one of the most competitive leagues in the state. But after the game we always all shared a beer together.”
The league included several sponsored teams that played games weeknights at Stevens Park. A travelling team consisted of those teams’ notable players. Whittemore was active in each of the league’s components.
“I played on three different teams during the week, and then I played on the weekends with the travelling team,” he explained. “I was playing up to 125 to 150 games every year. Playing ball was the most fun time of my life, except for my wife, kids and grandchild. I loved it.”
Playing with the travelling team was particularly enjoyable for Whittemore. As a highlight of his time with the league, he cites that team’s participation in the 1977 Men’s World Tournament in Petersburg, Va.
“The travelling team had a great bunch of guys,” he said. “It was almost like an all-star team. In the 1977 world tournament we did well, coming in 36th out of 110 teams.”
Whittemore expressed his gratitude for the ongoing support of Bob Kays, owner of the Prospector East Saloon.
“Bob Kays was our travelling team’s sponsor,” he said. “We couldn’t thank Bob enough for everything he did for the Marlborough Men’s Softball League. If teams’ sponsors weren’t coming through, he’d give them some money to help get uniforms or whatever they needed to play.”
In 2014, the league’s travelling team gathered at the Prospector for a reunion. Among the attendees were Whittemore and his travelling teammate Byron Reynolds.
“We had a nice reunion with about 12 of us,” Whittemore recalled. “At that reunion, I mentioned to Byron that I would love to do a reunion with all the teams because we always had so much fun together.”
Joining Whittemore and Reynolds on the reunion planning committee are other local league players: Fran Bedard, Mark “Sharky” Chatalian, John Divine and Bob Gorman. Also, Len Bizzaro and Rene Hanson are communicating with them via email from Florida as they contact players of their teams.
A Facebook posting announced the reunion and the committee meetings every other week at the Prospector. So far, about 50 of the league’s players have committed to attend.
The reunion is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at Jacobs Hall in the Masonic Building. A cocktail hour will begin a 6 p.m. Dinner catered by Ed Walsh’s Tasty Home Cookin’ will follow, along with music and dancing. Tickets are $25 per person.
“This is a good time to get all these guys back together,” Whittemore said. “A lot of the players have passed away and we are going to honor them at this reunion. We need anybody who knows players in the league to let them know about this reunion and contact us. More and more people are starting to contact us, and telling us they will contact other players that were on their teams. We’re off to a really good start.”