|WESTFIELD On July 23, the city of Westfield honored the life and baseball career of William "Adonis" Terry. The Westfield native was honored with an "Adonis Terry Day" celebration culminating with a vintage baseball game between the Westfield Wheelmen and the Hartford Senators at Westfield's Bullens Field.|
"It was great, about 500 people showed up and this was after the game was postponed from the day before," said Bob Plasse, president of Westfield on Weekends (WOW).
WOW a not-for-profit committee of the Westfield Community Development Corporation coordinated and marketed the event, while the Westfield Wheelmen and Adonis Terry Day was supported in part by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council (WCC), a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency. Other sponsors to date include De-Tech / Detectors Technology, Inc., Air Compressor Engineering Company, the Western Hampden Historical Society and the Westfield Babe Ruth League.
William H. Terry, nicknamed "Adonis," was born in Westfield in 1864, spent 13 years in the major leagues and is said by locals that by comparison to other National Baseball Hall of Fame players from the 19th Century, he belongs right along side.
"I hope this is the beginning of well-earned recognition for Terry here in Westfield as knowledge of his existence, not only nationally but locally too, has been completely ignored," said Dan Genovese the town's baseball historian, author of two books on Westfield's baseball history, and founder and captain of the Westfield Wheelmen Vintage Base Ball Club.
"Westfield is a baseball town, my goal is to get him the recognition he deserves."
Events for the day centered around a vintage baseball game played between the Westfield Wheelmen and the Hartford Senators. The game was played by the rules of 1886 along with replica equipment and uniforms.
Other events included a pre-game ceremony including baseball legends of the Westfield River Valley League of the 1940s throwing out the first pitch, a barbershop quartet performed in between innings, a demonstration of high-wheel bicycle riding was performed, and the voice of Fenway Park, Carl Beane, was the special guest M.C. for the event.
An important announcement took place prior to the events kick-off and that was WOW's announcement that they are now an incorporated non-profit organization governed by its own Board of Directors.
"We have been incorporated and this is our first step to tax-exempt status," said Plasse. "This will provide us with more grants for future funding of events and to continue the work our group has done," he said.
Plasse mentioned gratitude to the work of Karen Eaton a lawyer out of Longmeadow who lives in Westfield and is offering