Finishing off a victorious summer season, the Dorchester Red Sox softball team beat a fellow Dot team, the Dorchester Rangers, last week to claim the citywide championship . In an exciting first game last Tuesday night, the two teams were neck and neck until the Red Sox won by a single run in the bottom of the seventh inning. On Thursday, the Red Sox were victorious again and clinched the championship series.
After a summer plagued by intense heat waves and bouts of rain, coach Richard O’Brien said he is proud of his team and impressed by their determination. He recalls a night several weeks ago when it was 99 degrees and humid, yet the girls still showed up to play. The men’s league cancelled that night, he said, but not one of the girls complained.
“The commitment of the girls is unbelievable,” he said. “It’s not common for girls this age to play full school seasons and all summer long, just for the enjoyment of playing.”
O’Brien has been coaching softball for over 20 years. He’s coached many of these now high school-aged girls since they were five.
“We’ve been able to hold together this group of girls for a while,” he said, citing one of the reasons he thinks this summer season was so successful. “They all learned how to play softball on Dorchester fields, and now they play for their high school teams.”
The Dorchester Red Sox team is part of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) league, sponsored nationally by Major League Baseball (MLB) and locally by the Red Sox Foundation (RSF). According to O’Brien, each MLB city has an RBI league.
O’Brien praised the RBI league and the RSF for their support of youth sports, saying they provide uniforms, umpires, and fields for the teams, as well as an atmosphere for kids from different parts of the city to play together and form friendships.
“It’s not just about competition. They make these connections they might not have made otherwise,” O’Brien said. “[RBI] is a great league that accomplishes more than just sports.”
Brenna Galvin, a rising junior at Boston Latin School and a member of the Dorchester Red Sox, has been playing softball for about seven years, and she’s played in the RBI league for five.
She said her team is very close because most of them have played together for so long, and despite brutal summer weather and commitments to work, family, and friends, all the girls show up to every game they can.
Galvin mentioned that she loves playing for the RBI league over the summer, because it “gives [the team] more time playing together to get better.”
“We meet new people, learn how to be good sports, and make great friends,” she said. “It’s about more than just playing the sport.”
Galvin said that she and the rest of her teammates are excited about the win, explaining that this is the first time she and her teammates have won the senior RBI division.
“We earned it, finally,” she said.