Swampscott Baseball Field Will Be Named in Honor of Frank DeFelice

The Town of Swampscott honored its legendary coach Frank DeFelice during an impressive ceremony before the Winthrop-Swampscott boys basketball game January 16.

The Swampscott Select Board of Selectmen voted last week to name the Swampscott baseball field, the Frank DeFelice Diamond, with a formal dedication set for this spring.

Hall of Fame coach Frank DeFelice
displays the plaque that was
presented during the special
ceremony held before the Winthrop- Swampscott boys basketball game.

A large and supportive crowd of Coach DeFelice’s former players and assistant coaches, family members, and friends attended the ceremony.

The inscription on the plaque that was presented to Mr. DeFelice, by two of his former Swampscott High students and athletes, Steve Bulpett and Joe Caponigro, reads in part: “To honor a legacy crafted on and off the fields of play, Swampscott’s varsity baseball team will henceforth compete on the “Frank DeFelice Diamond.” The accomplishments of Mr. DeFelice as coach, teacher, and mentor well warrant this recognition – among them the 1993 state baseball championship, induction into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association and Swampscott High Halls of Fame, 465 victories with a .644 winning percentage. His work lives on in those that he helped develop. That following his retirement he has continued to support the town’s programs and offer guidance established Coach DeFelice as a true embodiment of Big Blue pride and spirit.”

Mr. DeFelice, who is an inductee in the Winthrop High Hall of Fame, delivered remarks following the award presentation.

“When I was a boy growing up in Winthrop, I played all the games that boys played in junior high,” recalled Mr. DeFelice. “Then I got to high school, and I settled on football and baseball. When I got into my early 20s, I was disappointed to realize that I was a better football player than a baseball player. But my passion – I love football – but I have a tremendous passion for baseball. To have an opportunity to get a baseball field named after you in the town that you live in and where you coached – I think it’s tremendous that I have that privilege and honor. I’m very excited about it. Thank you very much.”

Former Swampscott High baseball star Kevin Rogers, who was the winning pitcher in the 1993 state championship game and went on to play at UHN, summed up vividly the thoughts of his teammates and others who had the honor to be on a Frank DeFelice-coached team.

“I’m honored to be here for Coach. He’s deserving of this,” said Rogers. “Any recognition and accolades are a long time coming and well deserved, and we’re all proud to have played for him, because he’s a legend in town. There’s a reason that we carried ourselves the way we did year after year, generation after generation, so I’m just happy to have been part of the program that had Coach DeFelice as the anchor.”

Former Item sports editor Paul Halloran, who coached with Frank DeFelice in Swampscott, congratulated his colleague and friend on his much-deserved recognition by the Town of Swampscott.

“This is the most well-deserved honor there could be. I got a chance to experience just how tremendous a coach and molder of men Frank was. He absolutely held his players to the highest standards, yet he was always fair and honest with them,” said Halloran. “If you were the parent of a player, you hit the jackpot when your son got to play for Frank DeFelice, even if some players realized that later in life.”

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