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Locals participate in Oldtime Baseball g

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# 01.09.2017 - 10:53:21

They played a baseball game last week and no one cared (much) who won.
No charge. No need to buy a ticket. People just came and brought their own chairs because bleacher seating is limited at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge. Nearly 4,000 people came walking 10 minutes or more to the field from wherever they found parking.
Among the players was one baseball legend and three South Shore players, who, by their presence, contributed to the ongoing battle against ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and to one lover of the game who’s been diagnosed with the disease, John Martin. Martin, 50, is an award-winning NESN videographer who was diagnosed with ALS in October of 2016 and immediately retired to fight his fight and make the rest of his life about his wife Adrienne, and daughters Kaia (13) and Gabriella (6).
David Griffin (right-handed pitcher) from Hanover, Tommy Larason (right-handed pitcher) from Norwell and Lou Merloni (infielder/Boston Red Sox retired) from Marshfield, were teammates for a night with the legendary Pedro Martinez in the 24th annual Oldtime Baseball Game, the ongoing baseball legacy of longtime Boston Herald sports columnist, Steve Buckley. One of the unique aspects of Buckley’s game is that players wear throwback jerseys, some of them borderline historic.
Merloni was with the Red Sox from 1998-2002 and a part of 2003. He was a teammate of Martinez when Pedro was the most dominant pitcher in the game. During his playing days he was never just ‘Lou Merloni,’ but ‘Framingham’s Lou Merloni.’ Growing up, his family also owned a home in Marshfield’s Kent Park so he spent summers at Humarock Beach. He’s now ‘Marshfield’s Lou Merloni.’ This was Merloni’s 10th Oldtime Baseball Game and he wore an 1890 Boston Beaneaters uniform, which had no number. Numbers on jerseys came much later, sometime after the Beaneaters had come to be known as the Boston Braves.
Griffin is a Hanover High product now going into his senior year at Curry College where he’s been the three-year ace of the staff for the Colonels and a summertime standout for the Brockton Rox of the Futures League. He wore a Braves uniform with the No. 19, the jersey worn by the beloved ‘Walpole Joe’ Morgan when he played with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957. Morgan wore the same jersey when he coached in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 1998.
Larason is going into his junior year at Wheaton College where he was part of a Lyons team that reached the Division III College World Series in early June. He starred at the high school level for the Norwell Clippers, has played for the Cranberry League’s Marshfield entry for three seasons and thrown both for the Plymouth Pilgrims of the NECBL and the Brockton Rox in summer ball. The large ‘S’ on the chest of his long sleeved uniform signified the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League and his No. 10 jersey was worn by 19-year-old Joe DiMaggio in 1932.
Players in the first base dugout gravitated to Martinez who, clearly, was Desmond Jennings Kids Jersey having great fun with his teammates. Griffin warmed up playing catch with Pedro and admitted being a little nervous. An “unbelievable experience,” he said, although he was very conscious of not wanting to make a bad throw.
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