Now in its 8th year, the North 2 South Baseball Classic used the spirit of baseball to bring together two downtown neighborhoods, the North End and South End. South End handily won this year’s classic, but the scores were not the most important part of the 2-game event, sponsored by State Representative Aaron Michlewitz.
“As State Representative for the 3rd Suffolk District, I am privileged to have two of the best Little Leagues in the City of Boston in my district.” said Representative Michlewitz. “As someone who was involved in youth baseball as a coach for many years, I am proud to sponsor an event such as this which brings two communities together through sports. This event is one of my favorite events of the summer and it is my hope that this tradition will continue years to come.” The games were played on Sunday June 25th and Wednesday June 28th.
For the second year in a row, the North 2 South Baseball Classic honored one person from each neighborhood by naming each team’s MVP trophy after them. The North End MVP award was named after John Romano. John grew up in the North End and for as long as anyone can remember; he has been giving back to neighborhood. From running the North End Athletic Association and helping create North End Music Performance and Arts Center to being the President of North End Against Drugs, Romano has been a staple in the community in many different endeavors. Romano actually coached Representative Michlewitz when he played Little League.
“John has been a mentor, a friend and a leader for the North End,” said Michlewitz. “He was involved in the initial creation of the North 2 South Baseball Classic and has been someone that I have always counted on to help move the North End forward in a positive direction. Naming this award is a small step in honor John for all he has done, but I am happy we are doing it.”
The South End MVP award was named after Jason Burrell. Jason grew up in the Lenox Street projects, played in South End baseball and for the South End Astros, graduated from UMass Amherst in 2011, currently works for Elizabeth Warren. Burrell actually played for the Astros against the North End Dodgers when Representative Michlewitz coached them before he was elected.
“Jason is a tremendous example of what South End Baseball is all about,” said Michlewitz. “He is someone who many other kids in the South End can look up to. I am proud to call him my friend and I am proud that we can honor him with naming the South End MVP trophy after him.”
Coaching for the North End were Luigi Natale and Joe Bova. For the South End, coaches included Brad Solomon, Jeff Oskwarek, Scott Oskarek and Jason Kelly.
There were two 7-inning games, one in each neighborhood for the 12 and under age division. The South End game was played on Sunday, June 25th At Luis Tiant Field at Peters Park in the South End and The North End game played on Wednesday June 28th at Langone Park on Commercial Street.
Neighborhood turnout was strong for both games, as friends and neighbors enjoyed food and refreshments and being outdoors at the fields.