Baseball Team Inducted into Hall of Fame

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May 14, 2010, our baseball team was inducted into the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame! The 1959 State Champion Team was one of the best of all time, and one of only two teams to win the baseball state championship! There was an excellent crowd at the Oakley Country Club for the induction ceremony, and the class of 1959 was well represented. Almost all living team members were there, and they had a great time catching up with their teammates and friends. Coach Stone was also there, and told some great stories about his players and the 1959 championship season. Here are a few pictures, click on them for full size.

Joe Watson, Dave Mullin, and Bob Hughes

Dave Mullin and Bob Reagan

Pete Larkin, Pete Dawson, Bob Reagan, Bob Hughes, Gerry Dembroski, Ned Larkin

Ned, Paul, and Peter Larkin

Bob Reagan, Bill Laverty, Dick Sawyer, Dave Hawkins (Belmont Citizen reporter in 1959)

Sue Martin, Regina Scotti

Wilbur Wood and his wife Jan

Skippy Viglirolo, Pete Dawson, Joe Watson

Joe with his BHS Jacket

Terry Swanson

Paul, Ned and Pete Larkin, Bob Hughes

Wheaties holding the program


Wheaties was the team captain, and he gave a really nice speech:

Good evening everyone. What a great occasion to have a party, and thank you all for being here for our induction tonight.

Members of the Belmont High Athletic Hall of Fame committee, tonight's individual Hall of Fame recipients, team mates, classmates, and gathered friends and relatives of Belmont High inductees.

I'm truly honored to be standing before you this evening, some 51 years since our 1959 team became only the second club in Belmont High School's history to win the Massachusetts State Baseball Championship. The only other club to achieve this feat was our 1940 team. Baseball was the only sport our school competed in at the highest school enrollment Class A level, which makes our accomplishment all the more impressive. We played against many teams that year whose class size was more than twice that of our's. Back then our games were 9 innings long. Our team record was 18 wins, 2 losses.

What we earned didn't happen without all the parameters being in place for us to stand above the opposition. We had it ALL. Outstanding pitching, hitting, defense, and bench strength. But even more important than these facets of the game were, athletic competition helped prepare us for the upcoming game of life. Sportsmanship, fair play, leadership, and the will to win propelled our players to great heights throughout their chosen professional careers. Now, getting back to baseball...........

Our PITCHING was nothing short of phenomenal. We had 5 pitchers on our squad that year: Peter Dawson, Fran Kearns, Charley Wilhelm, John Donovan, and Wilbur Wood. Charley Wilhelm threw a no hitter against Wakefield that year.

Most unfortunately, John Donovan is no longer with us. John was one of two three year starters from 1957-1959, when Belmont won the Middlesex League baseball title every year. His accomplishments during this three year span were as follows: 11 wins, no losses, with an Earned Run Average of 2.42. A remarkable achievement.

And then there is Wilbur Wood, who I can assure you our team was very grateful wasn't pitching for the competition. In 1959, Wilbur threw THREE no hitters, including a perfect game against Lexington. His ERA that year was an ASTONISHING .043. Wilbur went on to a fabulous 17 year Major League baseball career, primarily with the Chicago White Sox, winning 164 games and compiling a career ERA of 3.24. Wilbur was a three time MLB All Star.

But it wasn't just pitching which carried us all the way. Our OFFENSE was terrific and clutch. We averaged 8.4 runs per game during the '59 season and had a TEAM batting average of .314. With that kind of hitting to go along with our pitching, it was an incredible 1-2 punch. There were different hitting stars it seems in every game we played. We were extremely well balanced offensively. No one who came to the plate was an easy out. Gerry Dembrowski along with Wilbur were 1st team All State players, while Doug Linehan and myself were All State honorable mention recipients. In addition to Wilbur, both Gerry Dembrowski and Doug Linehan signed professional baseball contracts. Furthermore, John Donovan, Bob and Fran Kearns, Peter and Paul Larkin, Terry Swanson, Charley Wilhelm, and I went on to star in baseball for their respective colleges.

Our team's DEFENSE had no holes in it. Our position players were: Bob Kearns behind the plate, Doug Linehan at 1st base and catcher with Fran Kearns playing 1st base during much of our playoff run, Peter Larkin at 2nd base, Gerry Dembrowski played shortstop, Paul Larkin and Jim Robbio at 3rd base, I was in left field, Terry Swanson played center field, and Jo Watson was in right field. We ALL had excellent gloves, strong arms, and remarkable range. Together with our terrific pitching talent and defensive skills, our club gave up a stingy 2.2 runs per outing. For an opponent to reach base, paraphrasing Yogi Berra, they had to "hit it where they ain't", which wasn't easy because we hustled, and we were everywhere.

And finally our BENCH, while limited to six players, when called on, came through time after time. I clearly remember a game we played against Wakefield. I twisted my ankle stealing third base and was unable to play in the following game against Concord. Fran Kearns came in, took my spot, and proceeded to hit a single and a two run home run. While happy for Fran, I must admit, the thought did cross my mind that I may have just lost my job. I consciously recall that while walking to the bus after the game, making sure Coach Stone noticed I wasn't limping any longer.

Speaking of Coach Stone, he was the Varsity baseball coach from 1956-1962. During those 7 years, his teams won the Middlesex League title 6 times, compiling a record of 100 wins and 25 losses, an INCREDIBLE .800 winning percentage. Thank you coach for teaching us to give it our ALL, ALL the time, and thanks, once again to all of you for attending our Hall of Fame induction this evening.

Coach Stone stood up for a few words. He did a great job talking about each of the players and giving us insight into the team. Unfortunately his remarks were not prepared, so there is no transcript.


Will Mahoney, Bob Kearns, Doug Linehan

Paul Larkin, Joe Watson, Will Mahoney, Bob Kearns, Peter Larkin, Doug Linehan, Coach Stone, Terry Swanson, Bob Hughes, Gerry Dembrowski, Jim Robbio, Charlie Wilhelm, Pete Dawson

Joe Watson, Bob Kearns, and Bob Hughes with the plaque.

Pete Dawson, Regina Scotti, Charlie Wilhelm

Pete, Joe, Bob, and Charlie with trophies and plaque

Thanks to Pete Dawson for most of the pictures!

This was a great evening, and very well deserved!

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