Sunday, January 10, 2021

One of the best, Benjamin M. Hathaway, 1982-2020

Benjamin M. Hathaway
November 24, 1982 - December 29, 2020

Topsfield - Sometimes lights are so bright that they are only meant to shine for a short time. And when they are out of sight, their warmth will still be felt forever.
This is the story of Ben Hathaway.

Ben passed on December 29, 2020. Funny and of a kind.
He has left a legacy of love to his family and friends. He leaves his two shining stars, Benny and Natalee, they will carry this legacy with them. The best son his parents could ever wish for and the depths of their loss cannot be measured.

The list of those who loved him and those that he loved could go on and on. But especially the following, remain here for miss him every day.

His children - Benny and Natalee and their mother Amanda. His mommy Holly, his Dad - Del and his wife, Joanne, his fiance - Ashley, his auntie Robin and uncle Wayne and his cousin, Eric. Also leaving his stepdad - Dick, his step siblings - Sara, Allison, Mikey, Jannice and TJ. He leaves his best friend - Mike, also, Brookie, Max, T, Dave and Greeny. His future in-laws, Jim, Maryann, Cheryl, David and James. His uncles and cousins, Dave Sr., Bruce, Heidi, Heather, Sam, Del, Dave, Dany
He goes to sit beside his grandparents, Lala and Papa and our sweet Kimmy will welcome him to wherever it is we go.

A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date. The Mackey Funeral Home, Middleton, is assisting the family with arrangements. To share a memory, or offer a condolence kindly visit

A Note from Current Topsfield Tories Manager -

"... just before the New Year, former Topsfield Tories player/manager Ben Hathaway passed away. Benny was a great teammate and definitely one of the great reasons to play for the Tories. We had some terrible years record wise, but I don't know of anyone that had more fun when times were tough than Benny. He made coming to games fun. He loved the game and loved playing in the ITL. Even after he stopped playing, opposing teams would ask about Benny and say how hilarious he was. RIP to one of the best people to wear a Tories uniform."

Monday, December 21, 2020

Richard M. Travers

Richard M.  Travers
Richard “Dick” M. Travers

Richard “Dick” M. Travers of Billerica, passed away peacefully on Dec. 17th after a brief illness at age 76. Beloved husband of Linda M. Travers. Devoted father of daughters Julie Pollock and husband Aaron of Bradford, MA, and Lori Travers of Milford, MA. Adored Grampy to Alanna, Caelum, Marlee, Brielle, Cian, and Jack. Loving son of the late Gilbert and Elizabeth Travers. Dear brother to Robert Travers of Andover, MA, Steve Travers of Merrimack, NH, and the late Donald Travers of Fort Myers, FL. Treasured uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Originally from Rockport, he was a 1962 graduate of Rockport High. He played centerfield for the high school baseball team. His love of baseball started at an early age with Little League and sandlot games filling his summer; always eager to chase balls from anyone willing to hit them to him at Evans Field. After high school, he wanted to keep playing ball, so he and his good friend teamed up to bring back the Rockport town team, and they worked together to gain them entry into the Intertown Twilight League (the oldest active amateur baseball league in the nation). He was recognized for this effort and inducted into the ITL Hall of Fame. Richard never outgrew his love of baseball; fielding for the Rockport Townies for 14 seasons, participating in Red Sox fantasy baseball camp at the age of 50, making it into the playoffs in an Over 30 league at the age of 61, and still running the bases and throwing the ball at a local ball field until recently.

Richard was a good-natured man of service, integrity, and humor. He enjoyed situation comedy and clever word play (he was a master of one-liners and puns, and known for his sharp wit). He served 6 years in the National Guard, was a deacon in his local congregation, and gave generously of himself to his family. His grandchildren loved their fun Grampy, and he enjoyed making them laugh. They knew when they had Grampy in their corner, their odds for ice cream were high. From there always being a quart of Brigham’s vanilla ice cream in the freezer, to knowing all the best local ice cream stands from Kimball Farm to Cherry Hill Farm, he loved all things ice cream.

An avid sports enthusiast, music lover, and television and movie trivia expert - Richard was Google to friends and family before Google. He had an unbelievable memory and could easily remember obscure names, dates, and statistics. He loved old black and white shows and westerns, two favorites being Gunsmoke and The Andy Griffith Show. After many years of grabbing up same-day tickets, Richard became a season ticket holder to the Boston Celtics for 8 seasons, witnessing the 68 and 69 Championships. He enjoyed composing original music and recording covers of favorite songs in his home studio.

He began his working career at the United Shoe Company in Beverly as a messenger, and worked his way up the ranks to bookkeeping and accounting. Richard was a Senior Accountant and dedicated employee for 32 years at John A Penney Company of Cambridge.

He met his loving wife and best friend of 45 years, Linda, at work during his years as Accounting Manager at Limbach Company in Woburn. Their marriage was a true example of unconditional love, and they were each other’s perfect complement. They began their married life together in Woburn, later moving to Arlington, MA to raise their two daughters, and finally settling in Billerica in 2000 after finding their perfect home. Though he had many passions and interests, his family was always his top priority.

While there will be no formal service at this time, friends and family are strongly encouraged to share stories and photos from Richard’s life to bring comfort to the family at

A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered as an honorable man by those blessed to have known him. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Remembering Richard Travers Fund at PO Box 5376, Haverhill, MA 01835, or through PayPal at This fund will be used to create a lasting tribute in Richard’s name at the Kaplan Family Hospice House of Danvers, MA. They provided compassionate care and support during a difficult time. It is our intention to support their mission by dedicating a brick in Richard’s name for their Garden of Remembrance.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Fred Gardner, 97

 NSBUA Founding Father & former ITL Chief Umpire, Fred Gardner has passed away after a lengthy battle with illness. Fred had 60 years of service to our organization and will be fondly remembered by all who met him. I ask that you keep Fred and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  Below is a reflection by Fred's close friend, and current ITL Chief Umpire, Steve Carroll. 

"We are saddened to report the passing of a legend and founding father of the North Shore Baseball Umpires Association, Fred Gardner, after a period of failing health. A multi-sport official and assigner, Fred touched the lives of countless people from all walks of life. He always had time to help newer members along with an encouraging word, laced with his understated humor. Truly, one of a kind who will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. Arrangements are incomplete at this time."

Monday, August 24, 2020

Bolla, Rowley dethrone Mariners with walk-off homer to win ITL title

Bolla, Rowley dethrone Mariners with walk-off homer to win ITL title

By Nick Curcuru
Aug 22, 2020

ROWLEY — In 2019, the Manchester Mariners won the Intertown Twilight League championship with a walk-off home run against the Rowley Rams. In Saturday's Game 3 of the ITL finals, the Rams returned the favor.

With two down in the bottom of the seventh inning, the best hitter of the series, Rowley's Justin Bolla, stepped to the plate with a runner on first base. Bolla saw a couple of pitches before getting a fastball that he could handle, and he launched it out to left field for a walk-off two-run homer and a 2-0 Rowley win to clinch the league championship and sweep the best-of-five series.

"There was a runner on first so I expected them to go at me," said Bolla, who had been pitched around all game, walking twice. "It was a new pitcher so I was expecting him to come in and throw hard. When I hit it I knew it was enough for at least a double and once I saw it in the air I knew it was going out."

Bolla was the player of the series as he was dialed in at the plate, going 7-for-10 with three home runs and 10 RBI in the series. He drove in four runs in the first two games and then finished off the series by driving in the only two runs in the championship clincher.

The championship was Rowley's first since 2011. The Rams have been knocking on the door for years and were able to finish this year in dominant fashion, outscoring the defending champs, 18-2 in three games.

"I've got no words for it," Bolla said. "We've been fighting every year, competing so close every single year. Finally we just kicked the door down this year and got it done."

Saturday's championship clincher was a pitcher's duel with Rowley's Joe Martin and Manchester Essex's Zach Abbot, who is about to start his senior year in high school, both making big pitches in big spots to quiet two powerful offenses.

Martin picked up the win with a complete game shutout. The crafty left hander scattered five hits and allowed only two baserunners to reach third base all game.

The Mariners' best chance came in the fifth inning, where base knocks from E.J. Field and Caulin Rogers put runners on first and third with one down. Kellen Field then smashed a line drive to third base, but Tim Cashman made a leaping grab to finish off the inning.

Martin followed by getting through the next two innings without much of a threat.

"Joe is such a gamer, anything we need him to do he does it," Bolla said. "He's always competing and keeping teams off balance. We needed a big start out of him today and he gave it to us. "

Abbott was able to match Martin while he was on the mound as he tossed six scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing seven hits.

The Rams nearly opened the scoring in the third inning when a C.J. Ingraham line drive got into the gap in right. But Kellen Field quickly got the ball to second baseman Johnny Willcox, who fired a perfect relay throw to the plate to cut down a runner trying to score from second. The Mariners got out of the jam with a pop up.

Two innings later, Rowley ran into more trouble on the bases as it delivered four hits in the bottom of the fifth, but came away with no runs. Richie Williams doubled into the right center field gap, but a runner was cut down at the plate trying to score from first and Williams was then cut down at third base for a double-play.

Williams went on to score the winning run on Bolla's home run as he delivered a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Rowley takes 2-0 lead over Manchester in ITL Finals

Rowley takes 2-0 lead over Manchester in ITL Finals

By Nick Curcuru
Aug 21, 2020

ESSEX — The Rowley Rams are now just one win away from their first Intertown Twilight Baseball League championship since 2011.

With a dominant, 10-0 win over the defending champion Manchester Mariners on Thursday at Memorial Field, the Rams now have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five finals. That means the Rams can clinch the championship with a win in Game 3 on Saturday at Eiras Park in Rowley.

Rowley manager Jeff Wood, however, is cautions that there's more work to do.

"This one doesn't mean anything if we don't finish," Wood said. "It was a good win, we will enjoy it tonight, but we will put it behind us tomorrow and get ready for Saturday. We're in a good spot but we're not done yet."

Jake Baressi picked up the win on the mound for Rowley as he went the distance, allowing just three hits while striking out eight in a shutout win. Baressi worked off his fastball and located the pitch to keep the Mariners lineup at bay. He also made several big pitches with men on base as the Mariners stranded 12 baserunners on the night and had a runner in scoring position every inning.

"That was a big performance from Jake, he's been working through some stuff this season and he had a great outing," Wood said. "It all started with his fastball, he was all over the strike zone with that pitch and he made big pitches when he needed them."

Offensively, Justin Bolla continues to be on a tear for the Rams. A night after blasting two RBI doubles in a Game 1 win, he went 3-for-4 with two homers and four runs batted in. His fourth inning solo shot got the scoring started and he gave Rowley some breathing room the very next inning with a two-out, three-run homer to center field to make it 4-0 Rams.

Rowley put the game away with six more runs in the sixth inning. Dimitri Hunt, Richie Williams, C.J. Ingraham and Tim Cashman all had RBI hits in the big inning, which capped the scoring at 10-0.

The teams will be back on Saturday afternoon in Rowley at 4 p.m. If the Mariners fight off elimination, Game 4 will be on Sunday back at Memorial Field (4 p.m.). Game 5 will be on Tuesday in Rowley if necessary.

2020 Re-Cap

2020 Playoffs

    • (4) M/E vs (2) Rowley
      • Rams Win Series 3-0
    • (4) M/E vs (1) Rockport
      • Mariners Win Series 2-0
    • (3) Hamilton vs (2) Rowley
      • Rams Win Series 2-0
    • (3) Hamilton defeats (6) Ipswich
    • (4) M/E defeats (5) Beverly

2020 ITL Standings

  • Rockport 7-2 (14)
  • Rowley 7-3 (14)
  • Hamilton 6-4 (12)
  • Man./Essex 6-4 (12)
  • Beverly 2-7 (2)**
  • Ipswich/Tops. 1-9 (1)*

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bolla powers Rowley past Mariners in Game 1 of ITL finals

Bolla powers Rowley past Mariners in Game 1 of ITL finals

By Mac Cerullo Staff Writer

ROWLEY —Justin Bolla didn’t think he’d got enough of it. The Rowley Rams slugger made his way down the line expecting the outfielder to make the routine catch, when suddenly he realized the outfielder was still backpedaling closer and closer to the wall.

“It just kind of kept carrying,” he said.

The ball wound up bouncing off the wall in left center for the first of Bolla’s two consecutive RBI doubles, helping provide the early spark to what turned out to be a decisive 6-2 win for the Rams over the Manchester Essex Mariners Mariners in Game 1 of the Intertown Twilight League finals on Wednesday.

Bolla powered Rowley’s offense in the first and third innings. His first came after a Richie Williams lead-off single and sacrifice bunt by C.J. Ingraham. The second was an opposite field blast that also bounced off the wall in right-center, and Bolla came in to score shortly afterwards on an RBI single by Anthony Conte to make it 3-0.

“He’s really locked in,” said Rowley Rams manager Jeff Wood. “When Bolla starts hitting the ball the other way and driving it the way he did, he’s just a really tough out. He’s put a lot of work into the player he is and it shows, he’s a really great hitter.”

The Rams nearly broke the game open multiple times from there, but the defending champion Mariners proved their mettle by escaping bases loaded, one-out jams in both the fourth and fifth innings with relatively little damage. Mariners pitcher Peter Clark got out of the fourth inning jam unscathed after turning a 1-2-3 double play, but Rowley was able to tack on two more runs in the fifth with RBI singles by Conte and Joe White before the Mariners got out of the inning.

Trailing 5-0, Manchester responded with its best inning of the game in the top of the sixth. Kellen Field and Adam Philpott started the inning with a single and walk, and Mike Cain scored Field on a sacrifice fly to put the Mariners on the board. Caulin Rogers (2 for 3) followed that with an RBI single, but Rowley pitcher Dylan Copeland shut the door from there, escaping the inning without further incident while finishing the complete game win with a scoreless seventh.

“That’s always been the best team in the league, so any time you can come in Game 1 and beat them that’s big to get that advantage,” Bolla said. “We’ve been swinging the bats great, playing defense great so we’re hot right now, we’re just riding the momentum, and one through nine everybody is doing their work.”

Game 1 briefly went into a lightning delay after a thunderstorm rolled through in the second inning, but the game was able to resume without further incident after approximately 15 minutes. Rowley now leads Manchester 1-0 in the best-of-five championship series, which will resume Thursday night in Essex at 5:30 p.m.


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mariners clinch ITL finals berth, will meet Rowley again

 Mariners clinch ITL finals berth, will meet Rowley again

For the ninth season in a row, the Manchester Essex Mariners will be competing in the Intertown Twilight Baseball League Finals.

With an 8-7 win over the Rockport Townies on Friday night, the Mariners swept the best-of-three semifinals series and will be heading to the finals.

It was a back-and-forth battle on Friday night at Memorial Field in Essex and the Mariners were able to hold off the Townies. 

Rockport jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Mariners took that lead back as a Kellen Field home run gave them a 5-2 lead. The Townies, however, were not going down without a fight as they regained the lead with a Nolan Webb grand slam in the fifth inning to take a 7-5 lead. But the Mariners responded the next inning as Field again delivered the big hit to put the Mariners back ahead, 8-7.

The Townies again threatened in the seventh with the tying run on second, but a diving catch from Adam Philpott in left field finished off the Mariners 8-7 win.

Manchester Essex jumped out to a lead in the series on Thursday night as Rusty Tucker struck out 15 in a complete game shutout and 6-0 Mariners win.

The 2020 ITL Finals will be a rematch of the 2019 finals as the Mariners will take on the Rowley Rams. Last year, the Mariners edged the Rams in an epic five-game series, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning and winning on a walk-off homer run from Tucker in the bottom of the ninth.

The Rams clinched their spot in the finals with a crazy win on Friday night, 13-11 over the Hamilton Generals to sweep the best-of-three semifinals. The Generals actually tied the score at 13-13 in the top of the seventh inning, but darkness forced the game to be stopped before the bottom of the inning could be played. That means the score reverted back to what it was after the sixth inning, with Rowley leading 13-11.

The best-of-five ITL Finals begins on Wednesday at Eiras Park in Rowley (5:30 p.m.) with Game 2 on Thursday at Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.). Game 3 is back at Eiras Park on Saturday with Game 4 on Sunday in Essex and Game 5 in Rowley the following Tuesday if necessary.



Friday, August 14, 2020

Mariners 8 Townies 7

Rockport jumped ahead 2 to 0 in the first inning but Manchester-Essex rallied back over the next 2 innings to take a 5 to 2 lead after a Kellen Field homer. Rockport went ahead 7 to 5 after a grand slam in the 5th. The following inning  Field hit a 2 out 2 run single to put the Mariners ahead 8 to 7. Dylan Wilson went 6 gutsy innings for the home squad and Zach Abbott closed the door. With 2 outs in the top of the 7th Adam Philpott made a diving catch on a deep fly ball by Keady Segel to clinch the victory with the tying run stranded on 2nd. The Mariners move on the the Finals for the 9th straight season and 12th out of 13 years.

Early Lead For Rowley Rams Seals Fate For Hamilton Generals

Early Lead For Rowley Rams Seals Fate For Hamilton Generals

Hamilton Generals fell behind early and couldn't come back in an 8-1 loss to Rowley Rams on Thursday. Rowley Rams took the lead on a double in the first inning. The Hamilton Generals struggled to contain the high-powered offense of Rowley Rams, giving up eight runs. Rowley Rams opened up scoring in the first inning. Rowley Rams scored one run when Justin Bolla doubled.

Dylan Copeland got the win for Rowley Rams. They lasted seven innings, allowing seven hits and one run while striking out five and walking one. Jake Lanciani took the loss for Hamilton Generals. They allowed nine hits and six runs over five and a third innings, striking out one.

Paul Horgan went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead Hamilton Generals in hits. Rowley Rams scattered ten hits in the game. Joe Esposito, Bolla, and Tim Cashman each collected multiple hits for Rowley Rams.

Mariners 6 Townies 0 - From the news

 ROCKPORT-- The Rockport Townies and Manchester Essex Mariners renewed their rivalry on Thursday night in Game 1 of the Intertown Twilight Baseball League Semifinals at Evans Field.

The Townies entered as the No. 1 seed, but they could not solve the league's No. 1 pitcher. Mariners ace Rusty Tucker went the distance, striking out 15 while allowing just two hits and only one Townie reached second base and it came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Behind Tucker's pitching and a big third and fifth inning, the Mariners took control of the best-of-three series with a 6-0 win.

The defending ITL champs can clinch a ninth straight appearance in the finals with a win on Friday night at Memorial Field in Essex. If the Townies win, a winner-take-all Game 3 will be played on Sunday night back at Evans Field.

Tucker had his best stuff going from the start as he fanned six through the first three innings, striking out the side in the second. He also finished strong, getting five of his final six outs via strikeout. His fastball was all over the strike zone and overpowered the Townies' lineup.

The Mariners, who were the No. 4 seed in the playoffs after finishing the abbreviated regular season with a record of 6-4, took the lead for good in a decisive top of the third inning. With two outs and runners on second and third, Adam Philpott lined a single to right plating Caulin Rogers, who reached on an error, and Kellen Field (single) to make it 2-0. Make Cain then followed and singled in Philpott from second base for a 3-0 Mariners lead.

The visitors tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Rory Gentile singled in Kellen Field, who doubled for one of his game-high three hits on the night. Two batters later, Cain delivered another RBI single to make it 5-0. 

The Mariners capped off the scoring in the sixth when Johnny Willcox came in to score on a fielding error to extend the Mariners lead to 6-0.



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Generals Advance

Hamilton Generals Takes The Win Over Ipswich Chiefs

Hamilton Generals wins contest against Ipswich Chiefs on Tuesday, 5-1.  Ipswich Chiefs got on the board in the first inning when an error scored one run for Ipswich Chiefs.

In the bottom of the first inning, Hamilton Generals tied things up at one. Aidan Cann singled on a 3-1 count, scoring one run.

Hamilton Generals pulled away for good with two runs in the third inning. In the third Hunter Willochoski doubled on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring one run and Larry Saggese singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run.

Paul Horgan was the winning pitcher for Hamilton Generals. They allowed four hits and one run over five innings, striking out six. Mark Roselli and Phil Durgin entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

Zack Lamkin took the loss for Ipswich Chiefs. They went five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and striking out four.

Hamilton Generals totaled nine hits in the game. Cann and Horgan all managed multiple hits for Hamilton Generals. Cann led Hamilton Generals with three hits in four at bats.

Ipswich Chiefs collected five hits on the day. Lamkin and RJ Libby each collected multiple hits for Ipswich Chiefs. Lamkin went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Ipswich Chiefs in hits. Ipswich Chiefs didn't commit a single error in the field. Steven Solimeno had the most chances in the field with four.

Rockport Wins Toss

 Rockport wins the coin toss to finish the regular season in the top spot.  Rowley is the #2 seed.

Mariners Advance

#4 Manchester-Essex Mariners took down the #5 Beverly Giants last night 5 to 2 in the 2020 Playoff Play-In game. With the win the Mariners move on to play the #1 seeded Rockport Townies.

Peter Clark pitched six scoreless innings to lead the way. Josh Levesque lead the way for the Giants going 5 strong innings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Coin Toss

 The coin toss to determine the #1 seed for this year's playoffs will take place in Essex tonight at 5:15pm.  The winner of the toss will be the top seed, the other team will default to the #2 position.  There will be two playoff games tonight both begin at 5:30pm.  Hamilton will host Ipswich at Patton Park.  M/E will host Beverly in Essex.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Playoff Picture

 The 1st round playoff match-ups are set.

HW (3) will host Ipswich (6)

M/E (4) will host Beverly (5)

Tuesday Aug. 11th 5:30pm starts

Sunday's game will determine the final standings for the 1 & 2 seeding.