‘Batter Up’ book discussion set for Brentwood Library
Brentwood resident Richard Boyd is ready to step into the batter’s box.
Boyd will discuss his book, “Batter Up,” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Brentwood Library.
Area residents of all ages are invited to attend and participate.
“Batter Up” focuses on the early years of youth baseball in Brentwood Borough. As Boyd mentions in the introduction, it chronicles the steps taken by a group of men dedicated to providing opportunities for pre-teen boys to participate in competitive baseball games.
The first organized Little League baseball game played in Allegheny County took place at Brentwood Stadium in 1950. There were four squads in the “Brentwood Little Ball League” that year — Brentwood Fire Dept., St. Sylvester Lyceum, Villa Mart and the VFW 1810 club.
“Brentwood Stadium had a PA system, playing field and bleachers,” Boyd said. “It was not uncommon to have 1,000 people at a game.”
To help commemorate that historic event in 1950, and as part of this year’s Brentwood centennial celebration, Boyd wrote his easily readable booklet.
“Our wish is that those volunteers and boys currently, or about to become involved, in Brentwood youth baseball will benefit from the trip back in time,” said the 76-year-old Boyd.
Audrey Iacone, Brentwood Historical Society president and a Carnegie Library branch manager, was a driving force behind Boyd becoming an author.
“The book is charming, interesting and well written,” Iacone said. “Rich is devoted to this subject and his enthusiasm shows in his writing.
“He paints a vivid picture of what life was like for young boys in the borough of Brentwood just after World War II. The community was growing as more and more families moved to Brentwood, where a new house was under construction on almost every street.”
The concept for “Batter Up” began in the fall of 2013.
Boyd, a lifelong baseball enthusiast, developed a relationship with Lance Van Auken, director of the Little League Museum in Williamsport and author of “Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball.”
“I made the decision to take (Iacone’s) advice and write a history of the early years of Brentwood’s Little League,” Boyd said. “I had many hours of conversation with the director in Williamsport.”
Boyd collected photos, news articles and artifacts from former players of the 1950s. His research also took him to the Carnegie Library and Carrick/Overbrook Historic Society microfilm files, as well as Castle Shannon Library.
“Batter Up,” published by Brentwood Historical Society as part of the Arcadia Publishing Series, is a 60-page document that includes 12 pages of photographs of teams and players.
It is not intended to be sold for profit, but rather as a tribute to those 1950 players and volunteers who paved the way for all that has followed in the Brentwood Athletic Association.
“Rich has been keenly interested in this subject for quite awhile,” Iacone said. “He submitted some great images for the ‘Brentwood’ history book. Since then, he has acquired more photos, useful articles and other Little League ephemera. He has a photo of each of the four original teams that Brentwood fielded in 1950.”
“Batter Up” costs $5 and is available at Brentwood Library, located at 3501 Brownsville Road.
The soft-spoken Boyd is a great story teller with many elequent, enduring memories.
For more details about his book review, call the library at 412-882-5694.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or email@example.com.
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review sports columnist. You can contact Kevin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .