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Andover Little League 1988: 25th Anniversary

Andover Little League 1988: 25th Anniversary

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Published by NorthofBostonMedia
When the Andover boys were kings: 25 years ago, Ricky Saggese's grand slam in the regional final sent Andover to Williamsport, Pa., and the Little League World Series.
When the Andover boys were kings: 25 years ago, Ricky Saggese's grand slam in the regional final sent Andover to Williamsport, Pa., and the Little League World Series.

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Published by: NorthofBostonMedia on Aug 06, 2013
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09/17/2013

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ANDOVER
LITTLE LEAGUE
198825TH ANNIVERSARY2013
WHEN THEANDOVER BOYSWERE KINGS
 
Ricky Saggese is hoisted on the shoulders o hisAndover National teammates 25 years ago aterhis grand slam in the regional fnal sent Andover toWilliamsport, Pa., and the Little League World Series.
 
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Admittedly, I jumped on thebandwagon late,very late.The manager,Jim Arnold, o the 1988 AndoverNational team ore-warned me a ew weeks beoreI knew who Ricky Saggese andToby Guzowski were.Arnold said, “We have twogreat pitchers. We have a greathitting team ... I think we aregood enough to get to Williams-port (Pa.).”When they clinched the statetitle and were headed to the then-East Regional in Bristol, Conn.,then-sports editor Russ Conwaysummoned me to hop in a car andsee i something crazy happens.Mind you, Massachusettshadn’t won an “East Regional”in 32 years (Winchester in 1956),particularly with powerhousesrom New York, N.J. and Pennsyl-vania members o the East.Because our Little Leaguetravel budget had no money it, Iended up sleeping at some ele-mentary school gym with severalparents.It was then I technically wasadopted as part o the amily.I spent the entire week in Wil-liamsport, arriving two days aterthe players did.It was a trip I will never orget.Here are 10 o the ondestmemories:
1. Seeing LamadeStadium or frst time.
Beore checking into the hotel,which was less than a quarter-mile rom Little League Head-quarters in South Williamsport,I drove the car rental directly tothe complex. I was high above theeld, looking at Lamade Stadiumand I was in awe.
2. Paul Allard’s mohawk.
I don’t know i the AndoverNational catcher’s mohawk wasthe rst-ever team bondingmohawk (he was the only playerthat did it) I had ever seen, but heimmediately became the mediadarling — USA Today put hissmiling, energetic mug on itscover — or his outgoing person-ality. The kid had guts.
3. Harris readingthe pledge.
One o the best 11-year-oldsplaying regularly at the 1988Little League World Series, theshortstop’s brightest moment wasnot one o his patented nice playson deense, but his reading theLittle League Pledge to ociallyopen in the 1988 tournament. Hisather Red Harris, manager JimArnold’s top assistant, couldn’thave been prouder.
4. Watching Taiwanwork out.
Talk about a sight! Watchingthe Taiwan team running as ateam through the complex at 7:30a.m. was incredible. It was like agroup o Marines running beorebreakast. It was intimidating.
5. Watching Taiwanplayers watch Toby.
The irony is that while theTaiwan players were an intimidat-ing orce on and o the eld, therepresentatives o the Far Eastwere in awe o the largest boyin the tournament, Andover’sToby Guzowski, who was six-eettall and very strong. When Tobywalked around, everyone watched,especially the boys rom Taiwan.
6. Connectionwith Panama.
The boys rom Panama hada connection with the Andoverteam. The irony was they couldn’tunderstand each other’s languagebut that didn’t stop them romcompeting at the ping pong tableand the diving board. The actthat the Panamanian boys weren’ttotally supervised made it aninteresting relationship.
7. Rory was the story.
How many times have we seena proessional athlete have toweigh the option o playing agame or seeing their child beingborn. Well, it happened in LittleLeague, too, as Andover managerJim Arnold opted to fy home(good decision) to be home withhis wie, missing the rst gameagainst Texas. We will never or-get about Rory Arnold’s birthdayaround here. Never.
8. Ricky and his dad.
While there were many specialrelationships, this one, betweenthe Andover star and his dad,Rick Sr., was extra special. Whenplayers and parents were permit-ted to spend time together, Rickyalways was with his dad, whodied tragically three years later insouth Florida rom a reakish linedrive o his head while throwingbatting practice.
9. Players village.
This is one o the great aspectso this event, even today. Theplayers stay in dormitory-likeapartments, with their coaches,with all o the other teams.There are no parents (or media)allowed. It was like Willie Won-ka’s Chocolate Factory. You couldhear boys rom all walks o liehaving un in the pool.
10. The drive out oWilliamsport.
When it was over and Andoverhad headed home by bus, I willnever orget the drive rom Wil-liamsport to the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre airport. It was a thing o beauty, driving along the riverand mountains. I remember say-ing “Some day I will return withmy son.” And I did, 16 years later… ve years in a row.
Thanks for the memories
Bill Burt
Here are 10 of many from Williamsport in 1988
Andover National Little League team rom 1988 poses or the team photo on the hill above Lamade Stadium inWilliamsport, Pa. Here is the team: Front row, rom let, Ryan Moynihan, Pete Daniels, Danny Hansberry, BrianFlanagan, Matt Chapin, Paul Cassidy and Ricky Crispo. Back row: Todd Harris, Ricky Saggese, Matt Wolcott,Paul Allard, Pat Walsh, Matt Marvin, Toby Guzowski and assistant manager Red Harris. Manager Jim Arnold andassistant coach John Murphy are not pictured.Andover National manager JimArnold, on right, is with his wie,Beth and newborn son, Rory, in 1988.
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 H E  O  W N S  MA NH E  E A G E - R I   U N E An d  o v e i   t   t  l   e  e  a  g  u e  5  t  Anni   v e  s  a  y
CongratulationsCongratulationsCongratulationsCongratulations!!!!
AndoverNationalsAndoverNationalsAndoverNationalsAndoverNationals –1988EasternChampions1988EasternChampions1988EasternChampions1988EasternChampions
Coaches -JimArnold,FrankHarris,JohnMurphy
~25YEARSLATER~
YOU WILL ALWAYS BE CHAMPIONSYOU WILL ALWAYS BE CHAMPIONSYOU WILL ALWAYS BE CHAMPIONSYOU WILL ALWAYS BE CHAMPIONS &&&& THE PRIDE OFANDOVERTHE PRIDE OFANDOVERTHE PRIDE OFANDOVERTHE PRIDE OFANDOVER
A Privately Owned, Independent AssetManager,Serving OurClients AndA Privately Owned, Independent AssetManager,Serving OurClients AndA Privately Owned, Independent AssetManager,Serving OurClients AndA Privately Owned, Independent AssetManager,Serving OurClients AndCommunityWith IntegritySince1983.CommunityWith IntegritySince1983.CommunityWith Integrity Since1983.CommunityWith IntegritySince1983.Visitus atwww.Abbotfm.com
BillNovellineBillNovellineBillNovellineBillNovelline –– PastPresidentAndoverLittleLeague1987PastPresidentAndoverLittleLeague1987PastPresidentAndoverLittleLeague1987PastPresidentAndoverLittleLeague1987----1990199019901990AndrewNovellineBobMcLemoreChrisAllen

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