West Orange Oldtimer's Day Set for Saturday, September 8
Saturday, September 1, 2012 • 2:32pm
West Orange’s Annual Old Timer’s Day will be celebrated for the 36th straight year on Saturday, September 8th, at historic Colgate Park. The event begins at 12:00 noon with batting practice, followed by the awards ceremony and a short exhibition baseball game.
Following the activities,an informal reception will be held in the cafeteria of Our Lady of Lourdes School. “This is a great day to reminisce, to see old teammates, and to exaggerate past accomplishments,” said John Healy, Chairman of the Old Timer’s Committee. “I invite the old and new of West Orange to come out and cheer for the former ball players, enjoy the festivities and to remember the good old days of the forties, fifties and sixties.”
Many outstanding individuals will be honored this year. Tom Barrett starred for the Ullman’s team in the Colgate Baseball Little League. When the PAL football squad rose to state prominence in 1973 & 1974, Barrett was a major contributor. During his youth football career, his PAL squad traveled to Florida for national competition. He parlayed that experience into a stellar football career at Mountain HS. As an adult, Tom spent many years participating in the men’s softball league.
Bill Boland was a solid southpaw baseball player. He started in the Reserve League and graduated to play for Washington Motors in the Colgate Little league. He developed into a fine outfielder and pitcher and played two years for a very good Our Lady of Lourdes squad. Bill is best known in West Orange for being the emcee at the Township’s annual 4th of July Ceremonies. Affectionately called the “Voice of Fourth of July”, Independence Day in 2013 will mark his 32nd consecutive year as host. Boland was a long time member of the WO Rotary, a volunteer for the first Edison Day and a volunteer soccer coach for the Mountain Top League..
Kevin Byrne brags he was one of the first kids to swim in Ginny Duenkel Pool on its first day of operation. On the diamond he played little league for the Knights of Columbus and later for the Teakers in the Babe Ruth League. It was on the hardwood that Byrne excelled. After a fine season at Edison Jr. High, Kevin went on to become a starting forward for the Mountain HS team that qualified for state tournament play in 1975. As an adult he participated in the men’s softball league and played basketball in the legendary Colgate Night League.
Richie Colabelli was a slugging centerfielder for Morsell Dry Walls in the Colgate Little League. His reputation as one of WO’s standout athletes was earned on the football field. He was a rugged and reliable performer for the PAL teams and for Edison Jr. High. At Mountain HS beginning in 1969, he began a three year run as the starting center for the varsity team. His senior year the team completed one of the greatest seasons in West Orange football history finishing with a stellar 8 – 1 record.
Frank “Bo” Ench is a living legend in West Orange. He grew up in a time where organized sports were the exception not the rule. He spent many a day at Colgate with his band of players from Lafayette Park playing pick-up football, basketball and baseball games. Bo excelled in football and basketball at Edison Jr. High in the early 1950’s. After his sophomore year at WOHS, Ench enlisted in the US Army and served admirably at the conclusion of the Korean Conflict. Upon his return he entered the roofing business that would later bear his name. The company was founded in 1912 by Bo’s uncle, S.J. Carney. He has sponsored nearly a hundred sports teams in various leagues in West Orange and is a well-known philanthropist. For the better part of twenty five years he was a volunteer football coach at the WO PAL. Ench is also an avid golfer and a regular participant in the WO Senior Golf Tour.
Brian Ennis excelled on the baseball diamond. He was a perennial Little League All Star performing for the WO Elks squad. At Mountain High School, Ennis split infield duties between short stop and third base. His .335 batting average earned him county wide honors in 1979. Like his father before him, Brian played in the men’s softball league for many years.
Kathy Flynn Kay like so many of the youngsters from her era readily admits that in those days Colgate was “the center of everything.” She was a fixture at the Fourth of July races and would then shift her attention to the horseshoe pits to cheer on her dad Joe. Every day at the park Kathy would spend hours participating in the various games and activities - playing jacks, four squares and completing those memorable arts & crafts projects. She played a lot of tennis on the old clay courts and continues to play regularly. Kathy recently completed a stellar career as a guidance counselor at West Orange High School that includes earning a Doctorate in 2007.
Danny Parisi was a standout baseball player who went on to play on the collegiate level. He got his start in the Colgate Reserve League and graduated to the PAL Baseball League. He continued to improve and starred for the Edison Jr. High team as well as WO Braves in the Babe Ruth League. On the high school level, Danny played three years of varsity ball for West Orange High School as well as the summer American Legion team. When not on the diamond, Parisi enjoyed playing youth football for the WO PAL and pick up street hockey games on the Colgate tennis courts.
Larry Vittoria followed a baseball route familiar to many “Colgate Kids.” He began in the ranks of John Healy’s Reserve League where he learned the fundamentals of the game. He went on to become an excellent baseball player in Little League and Babe Ruth. On the basketball court, Larry really excelled. A tough competitor with a deadly shooting touch, he worked his way through the High Noon League and the Afternoon League at Colgate. The hard work paid off as Larry had an outstanding basketball career at Mountain High School. In his spare time Vittoria picked up the game of tennis and continues to be active in the sport today.
In the case of inclement weather, the festivities will shift to the Lourdes’ Cafeteria at 2:00 PM. Call the Rec Department’s Weather Hotline at (973) 243-1115 for updated info.