Friday, January 30, 2009

Manchester Mariners Great Joseph M. Hyland, ITL Hall of Famer dies at 92

HOLLIS, N.H. — Joseph M. Hyland, who overcame childhood polio to establish a distinguished career as an award-winning baseball, basketball and football coach and later athletic director in Manchester, Mass., died on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 in Manchester, N.H. He was 92.

Born in 1916, one of nine children of Irish immigrants, Mr. Hyland never strayed far from Manchester, Mass. until late in his life.

He was stricken with polio at 6 years old, and his family was advised at the time that he would never be able to walk nor ever lead an active life. Even as a youth, Mr. Hyland took this prophecy as a personal challenge, finding ways to engage in all of the typical sports activities and games despite his disability. He excelled as a catcher in baseball at the high school and town team-levels, to the extent that he was inducted into the Inter-Town League baseball hall of fame.

Known as "Uncle Joe" to generations of Manchester school children, Mr. Hyland was an extraordinary teacher as well as coach, as he dedicated much of his life to the betterment of Manchester children of every age and accomplishment level. He constantly stressed the virtues of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play to all of the children that he mentored. The teams Hyland coached during his career won in excess of 80 percent of the games they played. In recognition of his outstanding dedication to the scholastic accomplishments of Manchester students, Mr. Hyland was inducted into the Manchester branch of the National Honor Society in 1976.

Mr. Hyland graduated from the George F. Priest School and Story High School, both in Manchester, and began his coaching career in 1937 when he was hired to coach both baseball and basketball at Story High School. Mr. Hyland was a founder and innovative coach of the North Shore six-man football league, which included teams from Manchester (coached by Mr. Hyland), Hamilton, Georgetown, Essex Agricultural School and Topsfield. Mr. Hyland's six-man teams were undefeated at home for eight consecutive years. In addition to his coaching duties, Mr. Hyland was a driving force in starting youth baseball and basketball programs, weekend athletic programs, the Manchester Boosters and the still-continuing summer playground program.

Mr. Hyland became the first Athletic Director in Manchester in 1965, a position he held until his retirement in 1977. Upon his retirement from coaching, Mr. Hyland was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Coaches Baseball Hall of Fame. In lasting recognition of all of his accomplishments to the Manchester athletic program, the Manchester High School football field was named in his honor in 1977 (Note: Hyland Field was home to the ITL Mariners through the 2006 season, the new high school has been constructed on that site). The football field at the newly constructed Manchester-Essex Regional High School will retain the name "Hyland Field". In 1994, Mr. Hyland was awarded the Slade Eaton Citizenship award by the Manchester Elder Brethren, and was recently awarded membership in the newly founded Manchester football boosters association, an honor he cherished.

After his retirement, Mr. Hyland spent his time enjoying his large family, consisting of his wife Virginia (Crosby), five children, 18 grandchildren and three great-children He enjoyed gardening, tinkering, helping others and rooting for the Red Sox.

Mr. Hyland is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Virginia (Crosby), sons, Joseph Jr., Peter, and Edward, daughters Sally McDonough and Catherine Roukas; grandchildren Joseph, Sarah, Patrick, Daniel, Brendan, Catherine and Caitlyn Hyland, Karen Knutsen, Michael Hyland, Francis, Joseph and Virginia (Jen) McDonough, Alexander, John, Christos and Joseph Roukas, Dillon and Emilee Hyland; and three great-grandchildren, Connor McDonough-Fresia, and Abigail and Colin Hemeon. He was predeceased by his brothers, Edward, Thomas, William and Maurice, and his sisters Agnes Slade, Mary, Rita, and Helen Richards.

ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Manchester-by-the-Sea on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Visiting hours at the Campbell - Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly (North Beverly Location) on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m.. Burial in Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Manchester-by-the-Sea. Donations may be made in his memory to the Manchester Essex Boosters Club, C/O Manchester Essex Regional High School, Lincoln St., Manchester by the Sea, MA 01944. Information, directions, condolences at

ITL Loses Hall of Famer / Friend, Larry Woodman

It is with deep regret to report the passing of ITL Hall of Famer Larry Woodman. Larry passed away today (Thursday, Jan. 29th) after a long bout with cancer. A lifelong Essex Shipbuilder, Larry will surely be missed. We will update this post as more information is received.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boston Baseball Network

The Boston Amateur Baseball Network is ALL NEW at The site is designed to draw amateur baseball players from across Metro Boston together into one place. Keep up with local amateur baseball news, review the Boston Amateur Baseball League Directory, find a collegiate baseball program, explore local batting cages, and much more!

Additionally, while it may be January, there are almost a dozen baseball-related activities you can participate in RIGHT HERE IN BOSTON over the next several weeks. All are posted on the site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


You can now join the ITL Baseball facebook group because it now exists. Please join the group as it will be the easiest way for us to contact you and keep you up to date with the latest info from your favorite summer time baseball league.

You haven't joined facebook? It is easy to do, you just need an email address. Just go to Then search groups for "ITL Baseball."