Madison baseball celebrates rich tradition with all-generations reunion
“Vince Pesky, Please Stand Up…”
Few sports programs in Oregon can match the rich tradition of Madison baseball, and the Senators celebrated that history on Sunday, June 9, with an all‐generations’ reunion at Madison High School in Northeast Portland.
Organizers billed the afternoon as "a reunion for all youth coaches, all high school coaches, all players that participated in our Little League, Babe Ruth and high school programs, and all fans to celebrate the best baseball tradition in the state of Oregon and connect Madison’s past and present.”
“I read about the event in John Canzano’s column the day before… I thought Vince Pesky would love to attend the event. I contacted Vince. He loved the idea. I packed his wheelchair into the trunk of my car and off we went,” says Mark, who would like to extend a special thanks to the great staff at Regency Park for getting Vince ready on such short notice.
The event started with a ceremony in the gymnasium where past coaches spoke. Photographs going all the way back to the 1950s were presented.
During introductory remarks, Coach Wiitala said, “Before I go any further, I want to introduce a special guest, Vince Pesky.” Coach Wiitala explained how Vince was a coach, administrator, and teacher in Portland Public Schools for many years.
Mark recalls, “Vince stood up. The audience gave him a long, standing ovation. I cried. After his remarks, Coach Wiitala came over, hugged Vince, and they had a short conversation. I cried again.”
The event coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Contractors team from Madison winning the 1969 American Legion World Series in Nebraska.