Jim Beliveau, the face of Greater Lynn Babe Ruth (GLBR) who has helped keep the organization strong and popular in the city for the past several years, has retired as president.
“I think it’s time,” said Beliveau. “I’ve been here over 15 years and it’s time for new, fresh blood to come in and do some different things.”
Beliveau has been GLBR president for seven years. He began his association as a softball coach with his wife, Kristen, of their daughter Tori’s team. He continued as a baseball coach of his son Ryan’s team. He had previously been a coach in the Pine Hill Little League.
His son, Ryan, is a shining example of what the program has meant to players in terms of skill development and a love for the game. Ryan went on to excel in the sport at St. Mary’s High School and as a college shortstop at Salem State University, where he graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.
A former baseball player himself at St. Mary’s High School, Beliveau, 59, served as a director of the GLBR 13, 14-15, and senior baseball divisions before taking over the presidency when John Kasian stepped down.
During Beliveau’s reign as president, the 15-year-old team advanced to the World Series and other All-Star teams won district and regional titles. GLBR hosted the New England Regionals at Fraser Field.
One of his regrets was Lynn not being able to host a Babe Ruth World Series.
“I envisioned a World Series in Lynn but it’s impossible to get that done without a lot of support,” said Beliveau. “We would have hosted it at Fraser Field. Lynn would be a great spot because there’s a lot of history here.”
Beliveau said most of Lynn’s top high-school players competed in the program. “We’ve had some great ballplayers and coaches,” said Beliveau. “And honestly, John Kasian built this program.”
Beliveau concedes that AAU Baseball has emerged as a competitor with GLBR for local players. “We’re making things work so that kids can play both AAU and Babe Ruth,” said Beliveau.
He said he will spend some of his newly found spare time with his 9-month-old grandson, Mason. “I’m going to spend as much time with him as I can,” said Beliveau.
Jeff Earp, who has taken over as president, praised Beliveau’s outstanding service to the youth of Lynn.
“Jim is one of those truly special people that the City of Lynn has had the privilege of having in a position of being there to volunteer and lead our kids,” said Earp. “He was absolutely tremendous. He wasn’t president to be a big shot. He was a president because he cared a lot about the kids and bridging the gap between Little League and high school baseball. It wasn’t just baseball season. He was president for 12 months a year.”
League official Brian O’Connor also commended Beliveau for his leadership.
“I wish Jim the best,” said O’Connor. “He’s a great guy. I’ve only had a year of involvement in Babe Ruth. I wish I could have served longer with an outstanding leader like Jim Beliveau.”
The organization will honor Beliveau at its opening day ceremonies in April.