Honoring Martin: No. 8 is retired in Savin Hill

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jun. 4, 2014

Jane Richard threw out the first pitch during a ceremony at Savin Hill's McConnell Park on Saturday. Her brother Henry, center, and dad Bill also threw out balls. Photo by Lauren Dezenski

In a rare move for a little league team, but deemed highly appropriate considering the circumstances, Savin Hill Little League retired the number 8 jersey in honor of former Savin Hill Little League player Martin Richard last Saturday.

The Richard family was presented with a framed numbered jersey before Martin’s siblings — Jane, and Henry— and his father, Bill, threw out the ceremonial first pitches at Savin Hill Little League’s inaugural Community Day block party at McConnell Playground. The event was preceded by a parade of little leaguers from the Little House to the playing fields.

Although Red Sox player David Ortiz didn’t show up as expected—much to the chagrin of players, parents, and organizers — Red Sox mascot Wally and members of the Red Sox Foundation came out to celebrate recently-completed upgrades to the park. The renovations included two $30,000 dugouts, completed in just two weeks thanks to donations from Quinn Iron Works, YouthBuild Boston, and the Red Sox Foundation.

The block party, part-fundraiser and part-community event, included a silent auction and free hot dogs and hamburgers, a bouncy castle and maze, pony rides, face painting, a Sheriff patrol car, and, of course, back-to-back little league games.

Martin Richard's #8 retired in Savin HillMartin Richard's #8 retired in Savin Hill“A lot of times, when a pretty special person comes through a sports organization, the Red Sox, the Celtics, what have you, someone that touches the lives of a lot of people and leaves a lot of memories, that organization will honor that person by retiring their jersey number,” said Michael Manning, president of the Savin Hill Little League. “We would like to do the same today.”

“We had a pretty special person come through Savin Hill Little League, his name was Martin Richard,” said Manning.

The highly anticipated “cow plop” provided a moving moment for Robert Sheridan, for whom Daisy the cow’s business was good. Fate and the cow’s digestive system netted Sheridan and the little league $5,000 each.

Note: An earlier version of this article attributed the comments Michael Manning to a different coach, Joe O'Malley. The error has been corrected in this version.