Westfield, MA -_The newest member of Westfield’s baseball family, The Westfield Starfires, has managed to make a positive impact on the local community even before its inaugural season kicks off on May 31.
Players and front office staff made an appearance at Westfield’s 350th anniversary parade on May 19, joining Westfield Gas and Electric in the massive celebration. This event honored the city of Westfield and its residents, paying tribute to individuals and organizations who have made great impacts on the city over the years since its establishment in 1669.
Thousands of spectators made their way to the center of Westfield to watch hundreds of area businesses, organizations, military personnel and other groups march down the street in celebration of the city’s impressive milestone.
The Starfires showed their appreciation to Westfield throughout the festivities, interacting with the local residents and businesses. Players Anthony Clark, Sean Murphy, Vincenzo Camera, Steve Fleury and Mason St. Pierre handed out candy and signed autographs for spectators along the route.
Maintaining positive and long-lasting relationships with the locals is something that is at the forefront of importance to the Starfires organization. Outfielder Sean Murphy spoke about the team’s community involvement.
“Now that we have this great experience ahead of us for the summer, we are all very grateful,” Murphy said. “So being able to show our thanks by going out and making a difference is something we all hold close and enjoy very much.”
After a long day on Sunday, things got serious the following afternoon when a handful of players took on a challenge at Friendly’s. The challenge was to take down a Triple Decker Bacon Cheeseburger and a Candy Blast Monster Shake, a difficult feat that is rewarded with a t-shirt with the slogan “I was triple decker monster shake dared” on the back. Players then signed season schedules for Friendly’s customers.
The players took a few days off following the cheeseburger endeavor and made their way to Fort Meadow Early Childhood Center on May 22 to play games with the students. The sunshine and blue skies made for perfect wiffleball weather in Westfield, ensuring a fun filled day for the students as well as the players.
Murphy mentioned how great it is to give back to the community where it all began.
“Being able to give back to Westfield and to inspire kids as well and teach them a little about the game of baseball is always fun,” Murphy said. “I myself went to Fort Meadow, so being able to go back to the place where I got my start was exciting and overall made for a very enjoyable day.”
- Audrey Gamble