Dick Farley & Eph Friends Visit 6 Major League Ballparks & the National Baseball Hall of Fame
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Apparently it does
take one to know one, especially when it comes to halls of
College Football Hall of Famer, Dick Farley, conducted a weeklong trip for the Williams Alumni Office to six Major League ballparks that included a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and he was accompanied by 24 members of the Eph family.
Attending a total of six games in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in New York, the tour ended in Boston’s famed Fenway Park on June 27 when the Red Sox downed Toronto 10-4 in an afternoon tilt. The home team won five of the six games, with only the Mets losing to the Yankees.
The Eph group had audiences with Mark Scialabba ’02, Nationals Minor League Supervisor; Dan Duquette, General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Williams parent; and with Will Kuntz ’06 of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Scialabba ‘02 was the NESCAC Baseball Player of the Year in 2002 when he led the conference with a .437 batting average, 13 home runs, and drove in 55 runs. He scored 38 runs and added nine doubles. Scialabba also earned ECAC-New England honors and played in the New England Senior All-Star Game in Fenway Park. “Mark talked to us about all of the Nationals’ personnel and how the Nats operate their entire system and I think folks learned a lot from that chat,” said Farley.
In Washington Farley’s Ephs were met by another group of Ephs led by Mike Hickey ‘00 (football & track), while in Baltimore former Eph swimmer Dennis O’Shea and more Ephs joined in on the fun.
Dan Duquette, an Amherst grad, has two cousins who graduated from Williams in Jimmy (’88) and Pat (’93) as well as his daughter, Denise (’09). Jimmy was an Eph baseball star and also lettered in basketball and currently works for MLB.com, while Pat excelled in basketball and now serves as an assistant basketball coach at Northeastern University. Denise was a diver for the Ephs and she currently is home in the U.S. for the summer raising funds for a social enterprise she started in Guatemala called Unmarked Streets, which provides jobs and entrepreneurship training in urban slum communities.
After a tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards Dan Duqutte spoke to the Eph contingent and explained some of the differences between the American League and the National League. “When Dan told of the money differences in how you have to build a team in the American vs. building a team in the National league a lot of the folks were surprised,” noted Farley. “Dan also got a few chuckles when he said the last time he saw me was at Denise’s graduation party.” Farley had given Dan and Denise a tour of Williams, at Dan’s request, back when Denise was looking at colleges.
In Philadelphia Farley watched the Phillies’ top reliever Jonathan Papelbon implode and give away a lead in the top of 9th inning. “Papelbon was just awful,” Farley pointed out. “According to media reports after the game he had said in the dugout he would give anyone who hit a game-winning home run $5,000. Jim Thome got the job done.” Read Yahoo Sports story on the Papelbon reward offer HERE.
Since the summer of 2003 Will Kuntz has worked for the Yankees, starting in Baseball Operations before moving to Pro Scouting. As a freshman at Williams, Kuntz sent a letter to George Steinbrenner seeking a summer job and his request was honored. Kuntz lettered in men’s basketball for the Ephs and was a member of the 2003 NCAA Championship team. Currently Kuntz attends law school at night Fordham University.
“Will was very up front noting that the reason he [a basketball player] was working for the Yankees was that his Williams education opened the door allowing him to contact George Steinbrenner,” said Farley. Ironically, Kuntz is a lifelong Mets fan.
Farley was in for a little surprise at Citi Field when the Yankees and the Mets squared off. “It was interesting to see all of the families that had both Yankees and Mets garb on and I was also quite surprised at how well-behaved the crowd was considering the rivalry,” noted Farley.
After the two games in New York City, the Eph contingent made a side junket to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, where they were privileged to see all of the items the Hall of Fame owns surrounding the first collegiate baseball game in America between Williams and Amherst that was played on July 1, 1859, in Pittsfield, Mass.
“I had never been to Cooperstown, but I was glad I had the chance to learn more about the game and see the items the Hall of Fame has from the first Williams-Amherst game,” Farley commented.
At the tour’s last stop in Fenway Park the Ephs had expected to meet and speak with former Eph lacrosse and football player Kellen Benjamin ’06, but Benjamin had departed the Red Sox on Monday. “Kellen had moved on from the Red Sox ticket office to a big job in the Major League Baseball Offices in New York,” Farley said.
In Boston Dick Farley and his Ephs welcomed Dick’s son Scott ’03 (football & track) and they watched David Ortiz of the Red Sox launch his 399th career homer.
“I’d never done anything like this before,” Farley stated. “I follow the game, but not to this level on a daily basis. It gives you a rough perspective on how much goes into a 162-game schedule. I found the trip to be enlightening and I was pleased to hear that everyone else enjoyed it as well.”
Joining Farley on the trip were Mercer ‘55 and Mary Louise Blanchard; David and Jon ’85 Carpenter; George ’59 and Meg Dangerfield; Davis and Michael Elkins; Gerald, William, and Thomas Meis (Rooney grandsons); Brian, Silas, Anthony, Patrick III, Patrick Jr., and Patrick Rooney Sr.; Nevill ’81 and Ryan Smythe; Dan Sullivan ’82; Jack Talmadge ’58; Jeff ’89 and Cam Etemad; and Charlie Thurston ’80.
The Farley contingent even got a shout out in Boston from ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes. Read that piece HERE.