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Andre Chiefs
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Medford, Massachusetts

 
Andre Chiefs: Chiefs History
Andre Chiefs

Chiefs History, 1957-present
Since 1957 the name Chiefs and outstanding Medford baseball tradition have been synonymous. Carrying the Hosmer name from 1958 to 1984 and the Andre banner from 1989 to the present time, the Chiefs have exemplified a consistent winning baseball tradition. The Andre or Hosmer Chiefs have brought 18 baseball championships to Medford. They have won 21 Suburban Twi-League or Intercity League pennants. Remarkably, in 47 summers of baseball, the Chiefs did not qualify for the playoffs twice.  Even more remarkable is the fact that the Hosmer/Andre Chief franchise has carried a winning percentage of almost .700% over the approximate 2,300 games they have played over seven decades.

As much as the Boston Celtics have their leprechaun, the Chiefs always had their “Chief”. The Chiefs baseball tradition runs deep, as sons followed their fathers and grandfathers in wearing the uniform. It is a sandlot baseball fantasy place where batboys became managers, ball boys became professional pitchers and many became baseball legends. As former Chiefs manager Joe O’Donnell recently said at a Chiefs reunion banquet, “once a Chief, always a Chief.” Still today, Chiefs players from decades gone by return to watch their old team play. There always seems to be an old Chief or two in the crowd.

Through it all, terms like winning, “Chiefs mystique”, championships and professionalism remained constant. It is estimated that over 500 ballplayers at one time or another have worn the Chiefs uniform. It is further estimated that over 120 of those players at some point signed a professional baseball contract.

From their humble roots with the 1950’s Ernie Ardolino clubs, through the powerful Lenny Dempsey era of the 1960’s, the dominant Joe O’Donnell teams of the 1970’s and early 1980’s through the present day Chuck Andre clubs, many legends were born. Players like Billy Mombouquette, Charlie Pagliarulo Sr., Roger Uletzen, brothers Eddie and Richie DiGiacomo Tommy Mandile, Freddie Knox and Gordie Lewis of the late 50’s and 60’s, Jackie Mountain, Bob DeFelice, Sammy Greenwood, Ronnie Corbett, Rick Shannon, Dave Polcari and Jeff Williamson of the 1970’s to Warren Olson, Hank Landers, Dave Marsters of the 1980’s and 1990’s up to the present day’s Justin Crisafulli all proudly wore the Chiefs colors. We now look back at the storied history of this franchise, arguably one of most successful amateur teams in baseball history.

The 1940’s- Malden’s Ralph Wheeler organizes the Suburban Twi-League, a semi-professional circuit that has eight teams from the Boston area. The league showcases the finest baseball talent in the east. This is era prior to Major League Baseball’s expansion so with a limited number of major league teams, many players who would easily be in the majors today participate. There are no teams from Medford. The league consistently draws enormous crowds to local parks.

1950-1955 Unhappy with the leadership of the Suburban Twi-League and president Ralph Wheeler, the Intercity League is born when Harry “Red” Butler takes his North Cambridge Club out of that league and forms his own circuit called the Intercity League.

1956-Eighteen year old Ernie Ardolino and his childhood baseball buddy Freddie Knox, both from Medford, are teammates on Ralph Wheeler’s always tough Malden City Club of the Suburban Twi-League.

1957-During the late winter, Ernie Ardolino and Freddie Knox are hanging out in front of Tony Lucci’s Medford Square Sporting Goods located on High Street, next to the old Depositor’s Trust Bank. They begin to talk about the idea of starting a team in Medford. They get some of their local buddies to commit to playing, get a bunch of chances printed up to sell trying to raise some money to start a team. The raffle does not go over well and their dream of a semi-pro team in Medford looks doomed. As it was to become his custom over the next six decades, Lucci hears about what’s going on, steps forward and fronts the two players the equipment for the team. With Medford players like Tommy Cangiano, Freddie Walsh, Jackie Callahan, Frank “Sonny” Sollitto and Richie DiGiacomo, along with other area notables like Everett first basemen George Catieys, Bob Ware and Johnny Mastrangelo of Chelsea, Jerry Cohen from Revere, and Stoneham’s Ellis “Sonny” Lane, the team begins to take shape and is named the Medford City Club. With the blessing of their former coach Ralph Wheeler, they join his Suburban Twi-League. Nobody sells their raffle tickets and Ardolino and Knox are stuck with the responsibility of the team’s expenses and they owe Lucci a hefty tab. True to the legendary Lucci form, Tony gets the boys off the hook when picks up the tab himself.

1958-With the prospect of another season of bills facing them, Ernie Ardolino and Freddie Knox go on the hunt for a sponsor. In January, Al Frezza, Editor in Chief of the Medford Daily Mercury, takes the pair, along with teammate Bill Calvani to meet John Hosmer, owner of Hosmer Motors, Inc., located on Mystic Avenue in Medford. Mr. Hosmer’s dealership sold Pontiac cars whose trademark symbol was an Indian Chief. They meet at the dealership, Hosmer agrees to sponsorship and the team is born. Mr. Hosmer and the boys start to think about what to call their new Medford based team. While sitting in the showroom, Knox notices a new Pontiac “Star Chief” bearing a Chief as a hood ornament. The “Star-Chief” was Pontiac’s premier sports car in 1957. It was available in both the “Star Chief” and “Chieftain” models. He points it out to the rest of the group and the answer to their question becomes obvious, they call themselves the Hosmer Chiefs. The cost of that season was just over $500. That included balls, bats, equipment and umpires. The newly named Hosmer Chiefs join the Intercity League in April and began play at Playstead Park with Ardolino at the helm in May. The team is very competitive with guys Freddie Knox pitching and Red Sox draftee Richie DiGiacomo playing second base. The club struggles to make the playoffs but is eliminated as Red Butler’s North Cambridge Club dominates the ICL playoffs. Former Chief Billy Mombouquette makes his first appearance for the Boston Red Sox on July 18.

1959- The Chiefs again make the playoffs but are eliminated early. At this time, former Malden Catholic star and Medford resident Lenny Dempsey is still coaching the Dingolo White Sox, Medford’s new entry in the Suburban Twi-League. The White Sox play their home games at Hickey Park. Dempsey is quite a showman on the field as well as being a great left-handed hitter. He is also the godson of Suburban Twi-League founder Ralph Wheeler.

1960- After many winter meetings, Dempsey merges the Dingolo White Sox with Ardolino and Knox’s Hosmer Chiefs and he convinces them to enter the Suburban Twi-League where they are now considered to be one of the league’s premier teams.

1961-1965- Under Lenny Dempsey, the Chiefs win five consecutive Twi-League Championships in 61’, 62’, 63, 64’ and 65’. Among the Chiefs stars are Charlie Pagliarulo Sr., a draftee of the Chicago Cubs, Eddie and Richie DiGiacomo, Bob D’Agostino, catchers Gordie Lewis and Tom Cangiano, outfielders Arthur Brophy, Timmy Dempsey, Fran DeAngelis and pitchers Freddie Knox, Eddie McCarthy, Billy Meyers, Roger Uletzen, Tommy Mandile and Jackie French. On August 1, 1962, former Chief Billy Mombouquette throws a no hitter for the Boston Red Sox beating the Chicago White Sox, 1-0.

1966-The Suburban Twi-League begins to fold and Lenny Dempsey and the Hosmer Chiefs re-enter the Intercity League. The Chiefs are now considered the best semiprofessional team in the country. Estimated crowds of over 5,000 ring Playstead Park during the playoffs. In a well documented move, Dempsey leads the Chiefs onto the field in Reading from behind the outfield trees wearing an Indian Chief headdress. The rest of the team follows him all wearing single feathers. Dempsey invites his nine year old Medford neighbor Chuck Andre to serve as the team’s batboy.

1967- The colorful Dempsey begins his last year as manager of the Chiefs. Dempsey and his Chiefs are now legendary. The Chiefs are eliminated by Reading in the Intercity League semi-finals. Dempsey leaves the Chiefs and takes a job teaching and coaching baseball in Italy. One of the Chiefs main rivals is the McKinnon Club of Everett managed by young Malden Catholic and Harvard catcher Joe O’Donnell. O’Donnell makes some Medford connections in the fall when he serves as an assistant coach under Jim McKinnon with the 1967 Class A co-champion Medford High football team.

1968- On Lenny Dempsey’s recommendation to owner John Hosmer, Joe O’Donnell takes over as Chiefs manager and brings many of the McKinnon Club players along with him. As a result, longtime Chief Eddie DiGiacomo then forms the North Ford Mustangs and enters them into the Intercity League as Medford’s second semi-professional entry. DiGiacomo acquires young talent like Medford High’s Dave Polcari, later drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, Albie Burns, Eddie Moon, Jimmy Catino, Tony Pappalardo and Eddie Jay. The Chiefs consist of Dempsey era holdovers like Freddie Knox, Eddie McCarty and standout pitcher Ronnie Corbett of Oakland A’s fame as well as former McKinnon Club players such as O’Donnell, Paul Stagliano, Sammy Greenwood and Joe Armstrong. The Chiefs pick up young shortstop and football star Eddie Rideout from Medford High School. Wilmington infielder Jimmy Melzar begins a Chiefs career that lasts thirteen seasons. In August, the Chiefs win their first Intercity League championship, sixth overall, beating Les DeMarco’s Wakefield Merchants in five games.

1969- The Chiefs sweep through the regular season and they repeat as ICL champions, again knocking off Wakefield in the finals behind veteran sidearmer Freddie Knox. The Chiefs conclude the decade with seven championships (2 ICL, 5 Suburban Twi titles).

1970- The dominance of the Chiefs continues into the 70’s when they ring up their third straight ICL crown sending then Boston Typos packing in six games at Glendale Park. Freddie Knox is immense in the finals appearing in five games. Guys like Joe Armstrong, Dave Katz, Billy Kelly, rookie third baseman Frank Nuzzo, John "Pancho" Webb, Tobin Harvey, Neil Hurley and O'Donnell lead the way to the Chiefs championship.

1971- Joe O’Donnell and his Chiefs, behind the pitching of Ronnie Corbett and Freddie Knox and the hitting of John Emery, ring up their fourth consecutive title beating the Wakefield Merchants in the finals for the third time in four years.

1972-Steve Ring’s Malden City Club ends the Chiefs championship streak at four years. The City Club goes on to defeat Wakefield to win their first ICL Crown. After a great career at Boston College Chiefs shortstop Eddie Rideout signs with the New England Patriots.

1973-The Chiefs get back on the championship trail with ICL Crown number five. Lefty Jimmy McLaughlin, ex-Montreal Expo Jeff Williamson, Joe O’Donnell, former Boston College and Red Sox farmhand catcher Bob DeFelice, Medford native and former Jacksonville star Ricky Shannon and the newly acquired Dave Polcari from the St. Louis Cardinals organization lead the way to the championship. Eddie Rideout returns from the NFL and contributes to the championship run. Jack "Trixie" Trischitta begins his long tenure as Chiefs first base coach and statistician.

1974-Chiefs win sixth ICL title in seven years under Joe O’Donnell knocking off the Malden City Club in the finals. Original Chief Freddie Knox, retires as the winningest pitcher in Chiefs history with over 100 victories, to dedicate more time to his job as head baseball coach at Medford High School. Before retiring Knox introduces his undefeated (12-0) senior Mustang co-captain/pitcher Chuck Andre to O’Donnell and the rookie joins the Chiefs pitching staff.

1975- Malden City Club is renamed the Augustine A’s and Joe DiSarcina becomes their manager. Eighteen year old Chuck Andre picks up his first Chiefs pitching win, a 2-0 shutout of Wakefield at the new Walsh Field. Despite the bats of Joe O’Donnell, Bob DeFelice, Dave Polcari, Jackie Mountain, Dave Tallent and Fran Cronin and the clutch pitching of Ronnie Luongo, the A’s behind guys like Dave Caiazzo and Billy Ryan defeat the Chiefs in the finals.

1976- The Chiefs lose their second straight championship to the A’s in seven games. Dave Polcari, Bob DeFelice, second baseman Jim Melzar and shortstop Eddie Rideout have great seasons but the bat of lefty Freddie Campatelli and the pitching of Dave Caiazzo prove to be too much for the Chiefs to overcome in the finals. During the season the Chiefs pick up some newcomers including the "Chelsea Connection" of Bob Spinney and Mike Lush, Bentley's Terry McGann from Waltham, speedy outfielder Billy Dunn from Salem State and Stoneham, as well as rookie catcher Vinny Martelli from Revere, a cousin of Tony Conigliaro. Martelli later goes on to star for Harvard and gets drafted by the Cleveland Indians.

1977- There are no Chiefs to be found in the ICL finals for only the second time in 10 years as they suffer a semifinal elimination to Joe DiSarsina’s Augustine A’s who go on to win their third straight ICL crown. It appears that the ICL dynasty throne may be switching to the Malden side of the Fellsway.

1978- The Chiefs again fail to appear in the finals as they are knocked off in semis by the A’s. The A’s three year dynasty is snapped by the Wakefield Merchants who finally shed the bridesmaid role and win their first ICL championship after six championship series losses.

1979- Joe O’Donnell and his Chiefs return to glory and gain a measure of revenge finally defeating the Augustine A’s and winning their seventh ICL title in 12 years. Medford rookie infielder Mike Pagliarulo, son of Charlie Pagliarulo, Sr., joins the club.

1980- ICL title number eight belongs to the Chiefs after they sweep the Arlex Oilers in the championship series with veterans like Bob DeFelice, Bob Spinney and Joe O’Donnell leading the way. Medford products John Veneziano of Westfield State, Dennis Works of Tufts, former Medford High co-captain Steve Howe and guys like Mark Santini, former Chicago Cub farmhand Rob Alevizos, Chico Chicarello, pitcher Steve DiCarlo from Revere play key roles in the title run. It is the Chiefs 13th championship ( 8 ICL, 5 Suburban) in 22 years carrying the Hosmer name.

1981- The Chiefs last run at glory under the Hosmer banner. ICL title number nine is put on hold courtesy of the same old Augustine A’s who ring up the first of their four straight titles.

1982-The gloried past is fading fast and the aging Chiefs do not get to finals. Joe O’Donnell leaves the team to pursue business interests. Longtime Chiefs catcher Bob DeFelice takes over the reins.

1983- Hosmer Pontiac is no longer and the Chiefs enter their final season as the Hosmer Chiefs. In September the Chiefs disband after 27 seasons. The Hosmer name bids farewell with 13 playoff championships, five in the Suburban Twi League, eight in the ICL.

1984-1987-The legendary Chiefs are just a sandlot baseball memory. The Augustine A’s win their last of four straight championships in 1984. On July 7, 1984, former Chief Mike Pagliarulo, a nephew of Lenny Dempsey, makes his major league debut at third base for the New York Yankees. Pagliarulo spends the next eleven years in the majors with the Yankees, San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers. He wins a World Series ring with the Twins in 1991. Eddie DiGiacomo’s Medford Mustangs, formerly known as the North Ford Mustangs, make their first ICL championship series appearance in team history in 1985 a successful one as they defeat the expansion Melrose Rams 4 games to 3. DiGiacomo’s boys were trailing in the series 3-0 but brought the ICL crown back to Medford. However, the Melrose Rams establish a dynasty at the end of the decade, winning the ICL title in 86’, 87’, 88’ and 89’ and start getting compared to the “old” Hosmer Chiefs.

1988- Eddie DiGiacomo’s Mustangs are looking for a sponsor and they find one in former Hosmer Chief Chuck Andre. Andre Realty Inc. opens a new real estate office in Medford Square. Andre is the principal owner and former Chief John Veneziano becomes his real estate partner. DiGiacomo’s Mustangs are renamed the Andre Realty Mustangs. The team has a great regular season but falls to Wakefield in the semifinals. Following the 1988 season, Andre, Veneziano and then Malden High School coaches Shawn Brickman and Steve Freker meet and decide to apply to the Intercity League for the old Chiefs franchise.

1989- Joe O’Donnell and Les DeMarco are the ICL board powers and the Chiefs are reborn when they grant former Hosmer Chief pitcher Chuck Andre a franchise in March. DiGiacomo’s squad is also re-entered into the league as the Medford Mustangs. Andre, Shawn Brickman, Steve Freker, and Medford’s Steve Calabresi, an M.I.T. assistant coach, make up the coaching staff. The team is sponsored by Medford’s Andre Realty. The Chiefs contract with Tufts University to make the newly renovated Huskins Field in Medford their home. Chiefs hold open tryout at M.I.T. in Cambridge on April 27th. The first two players acquired by the “new” Chiefs are former minor league sluggers Hank Landers (Milwaukee Brewers) and Warren Olson (Boston Red Sox). John Veneziano starts in leftfield and is the Chiefs top hitter. The “new” Chiefs resume play in the Intercity League as an expansion team on May 25 against the Somerville Elms at Trum Field. Eric Hopkins is the loser in a 2-0 game. Chiefs proceed to lose 12 of their first 17 games but finish strongly at 15-14- 4 and qualify for the playoffs on last day of season. Chiefs lose first round playoff to Augustine A’s. For some seasoning, the Chiefs then entered and won the Owens Memorial Tournament in Quincy, MA while defeating sixteen other top semi-professional teams from the Northeast. Michigan native Hopkins pitches out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the bottom of the ninth as the Chiefs hold on to beat the then legendary Weymouth Elks 4-3 in the final. Olson hits one of the longest home runs ever seen at Adams Field and pitchers Steve Silvio and Ronnie Laham both pick up complete game victories on the way to tournament championship. Coach Freker invites twelve year old Malden Little Leaguer Kein McGlinchy to serve as the “new” Chiefs first batboy.

1990-Chiefs make some key off season pickups that include 22 year old RHP Dave Marsters and ICL veteran hurler Jon Drew, as well as 18 year old rookie first baseman Mike Langston who is fresh out of Malden High and the Malden SBRL Bambinos.They also acquire former Cincy Reds farmhand Mike Romano who joins Olson in the catching corps to form one of the best 1-2 catching duos in the history of the ICL. The upstart Chiefs finish the regular season in third place but pull off one of the biggest upsets in ICL history when they shock Dr. Richard Morelli’s Melrose Rams, and former major league pitcher Mike Carista, who were gunning for their fifth straight ICL championship, 3 games to 2 in the ICL semifinals to advance to the best of seven championship against the Augustine A’s. In one of the best ICL finals ever, the Chiefs go up 3 games to 0, and then proceed to lose the next three games of the series by a total score of 27-2. Game seven is played under the lights at jam packed Morelli Field and the Chiefs take an 8-0 fourth inning lead on grand slam home runs from Warren Olson and Hank Landers. The A’s come all the away back to tie the game at nine all in the seventh, keyed by home runs off the bats of John Brickley and Joe Sarcia. Little used M.I.T captain Mike Griffin from Newburgh, NY, who was the last available bat on the Chiefs bench, pinch hits for reliever Joe Santagate in the bottom of the ninth and singles home Somerville’s Alex Masel from second base with two outs and two strikes on him to create a mob scene on the Morelli Field turf. The dramatic win gave the “new” Chiefs their first ICL championship and 14th Chief title overall. (9 ICL ,5 Suburban) The Chiefs were back on top of the ICL and those proud Chief smiles were brought back to the faces of guys like Ernie Ardolino, Freddie Knox, Lenny Dempsey and Joe O’Donnell.

1991-The Chiefs conclude the regular season with an 18-11-3 record, good for second place. Everett shortstop Joe Rizzo returns from a professional stint in Europe and leads the team with 46 RBI’s. The Chiefs come back from a 2-0 deficit in the semi-finals to bounce the A’s 3 games to 2. Melrose’s Mike Carista and gets the advantage of making three starts against the Chiefs in the finals, courtesy of Hurricane Bob’s flooding and the Chiefs fall to the Rams in six games. In October, Mike Pagliarulo of the Minnesota Twins becomes the first former Chief to win a World Series as his Twins defeat the Atlanta Braves in seven games.

1992-The Chiefs put together one of the best campaigns in ICL history going undefeated in their first 18 games (15-0-3), and losing only three times in 32 regular season games, clinching the pennant by the Fourth of July. Joe Rizzo’s hits .392, Warren Olson .385 with 9 HR’s, and 46 RBI’s. In the pitching department the Chiefs starting rotation of Dave Marsters, Ari Koufos Joe Santagate and Jon Drew combine to go 30-6 as the Chiefs storm into the ICL playoffs, sweeping the Peter Fuller Club 3-0 in the semis then knocking off the A’s 4-2 while winning their second championship in three years recording a team record 36 wins.

1993- A 20-10 -2 regular season sent the Chiefs to playoffs for the fifth straight season. The Chiefs easily handle the Wakefield Merchants in the semifinals but are dethroned when Melrose defeats them 4 games to 2 in their fourth straight final appearance. Jon Drew posts his second consecutive 12-1 season, Dave Marsters goes 8-3 and Warren Olson continues his torrid RBI pace knocking in 43. Hank Landers leads the team in hitting with .383 mark

1994- Not a banner season by Chiefs standards, although they won the ICL pennant with a 22-7-4 record. The tribe was unceremoniously dispatched by Wakefield in three straight semifinal games to send the Chiefs home early for the first time since 1989. The Chiefs acquire Medford rookie Justin Crisafulli who is heading for Western Arizona on baseball scholarship. Crisafulli sees limited playing time but hits .280 in 50 plate appearances. He hits the first of his 76 career homers in July. They also pick up two Malden High stars, rookie Kevin McGlinchey, who makes some key late season pitching appearances and fireballer Richie Barker. Barker signs with the Chicago Cubs and eventually ends up as a reliever in the major leagues.

1995- In April, former Chiefs manager Joe O’Donnell (68’-83’) endows the Harvard University baseball program with a $2.5 million dollar gift. The Chiefs equal their ICL record undefeated streak of 18 games they set in 1992 and bash their way to second straight ICL pennant posting a 25-3-4 mark. Mike Langston is unstoppable at plate hitting an remarkable .488 with 39 RBI’s, Veteran 2B Dave Clivio posts a .416 average, Boston Red Sox draftee Crisafulli emerges as an ICL force hitting .364 with 8 HR’s and 35 RBI’s. Former minor league shortstop Rob Ross is released from his Iowa City team and hits .397 and steals a team record 31 bases. On the mound, the Chiefs acquire former nemesis Mike Carista, who is released by the Boston Red Sox just days before the ICL season. Carista was the Sox top pitcher in spring training as major league players were on strike. The righty goes 10-1, with an 1.19 ERA and Dave Marsters has his best season (9-0, 0.87 ERA) giving the Chiefs a great one-two punch. Woburn is sent packing in a six game championship series as 18 year old Kevin McGlinchy, an fifth round Atlanta Braves draftee, shuts them down in Game 5. McGlinchy eventually signs with Atlanta following the season and goes on to a career with the Braves that included a World Series appearance. At the conclusion of the season the Chiefs (33-6) are named the top semi-professional team in the Northeast by the Amateur Baseball Association of America and are ranked in the top ten nationwide. In late August, Langston joins his former Malden High teammate Rich Barker and signs with the Chicago Cubs.

1996- The Chiefs ended up their eighth consecutive winning season with a 19-11-3 mark and a second place finish in the regular season, a far cry from the 95’ campaign. For only the second time in seven years the Chiefs do not get to championship round, losing to eventual winner Holovak & Coughlin of Arlington in a controversial five game series. Justin Crisafulli is the offensive bright spot hitting .345 with 9 HR’s and 33 RBI’s. Mike Carista suffers a serious arm injury and Dave Marsters has an off year (8-5) as the preseason favorite Chiefs do not live up to expectations.

1997- In May the baseball field at Harvard University is renamed Joe O’Donnell Field in honor the former Chiefs skipper. The Chiefs reloaded after the 96’ disappointment and came back with a vengeance establishing the best regular record in the annals of the Intercity League (28-2-3) on their way to their ninth straight winning season and another pennant. The club hit a record 47 home runs led by Justin Crisafulli with 13. Mike Barnes and Mike Langston have 7 HRS each and Steve Daley chips in with 6 dingers to lead a club that hit .365. Crisafulli establishes a club mark with 57 RBI’s and hits a team record .515 (70-136). He signs with the Cleveland Indians on the day after the season ends. Another key offensive contributor was Harvard catcher Jason Keck of New Orleans (.390). Shortstop Rob Zeytoonian, who is the team’s sparkplug both offensively and defensively, had an outstanding year. Years later Zeytoonian becomes the founder of Zorian Bat Company. Although not equaling their 18 game undefeated streaks of 92’ and 95’ the Chiefs go on a 16 game streak in July. Dave Marsters came back strong at 11-1, Jay Dillion of Allegheny College went 7-1, and Ari Koufos finished up at 8-2, to lead a pitching staff that also included Rhode Island’s Andrew Duffel and Fordham’s Colin Young. The former leader of Chiefs nation, Lenny Dempsey makes a surprise trip home from Italy and addresses the current team in the dugout before a game at Tufts in early August. Dempsey was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Three weeks later, the Chiefs cruised to their fourth championship of the decade and 17th in Chiefs history beating the Lowell Braves. They finished up with a 35-6-3 record (.833 winning %) topping the 92’ (.829%) and 95’ seasons. Veteran Dave Clivio announces his retirement at the age of 41, but makes a magnificent exit, homering in last career at bat.

1998- The record setting pace of 1997 could not be matched but the Chiefs still finished the regular season at 21-8-3 good for their tenth straight winning season. The playoffs were a different tune this time around as the Chiefs got swept in the best of three opening round 2-0. In the off season Colin Young is drafted in the ninth round by the Colorado Rockies. Justin Crisafulli hits his 42st career home run to pass Warren Olson (41) and Hank Landers (40) on the Chiefs all time list. Two of the best hitters in ICL history, Landers and Alex Masel retire with five pennants and four ICL championships.

1999-With team leaders Hank Landers and Alex Masel joining Dave Clivio and Warren Olson in retirement, Colin Young drafted, Jason Keck heading back to New Orleans and longtime outfielder Eddie Carnes heading to Baltimore, the Chiefs found themselves in a transition mode. The glory teams that dominated for most of decade seemed a distant memory although the club managed to struggle to their eleventh straight winning season, finishing a distant fourth with a 15-13-2 record. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Former Chiefs righty Kevin McGlinchy becomes set up man for Atlanta Braves. McGlinchy makes 64 appearances for the Braves as he becomes the second Chief to play in the World Series. Another former Chief hurler, Richie Barker makes his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

2000- The 2000’s emerged with the “new” Chiefs finding some of their old glory days as they took home their sixth pennant with a 21-6-3 record. New stars like catcher Steve Puleo of Maine (.438, 7 HRS) and Brian Macrina from Merrimack (.410) along with veterans Justin Crisafulli (.404, 13 HRS, 41 RBI) and Mike Langston (7 HRS, 30 RBI) led the charge. Rookie pitcher Dave Piho from West Berlin, PA (4-0), joined veterans Dave Marsters, Doug Connolly and Jay Dillion in the Chiefs rotation. The Chiefs were upended by the Gately Rams 3 games to 2 in a tough playoff series. Chuck Andre wins his 300th game as manager in early June.

2001-On September 29, Bentley College names its new 1,700 seat baseball stadium in honor of former Chiefs catcher Bob DeFelice, who has served as Bentley’s baseball coach since 1969. The Chiefs name is inscribed on a regular season pennant for the twenty first time in team history (seventh Andre, fourteen Hosmer).The Chiefs again return to ICL Championship but are defeated by the Gately Rams 4 games to 2 in the series. They end up the season at 24-14-4.

2002-Former manager Joe O’Donnell, a major player in the Boston business world, attempts to purchase the Boston Red Sox. The Chiefs have another winning season but do not bring home the championship crown losing in the ICL Championship series.

2003- In May, original Chiefs Gordie Lewis and Freddie Knox organize a Chiefs reunion. Over 200 former players attend including Knox, Ernie Ardolino, Al Frezza and Tony Lucci. The Chiefs present an award to Betty Hosmer, wife of the late John Hosmer. The entire Dempsey family is present in memory of former Chiefs manager Lenny Dempsey who had recently passed away. Joe O’Donnell serves emcee of the event and guys like present manager Chuck Andre and the Pagliarulo family are in the crowd. All players are presented a Chiefs plaque. Steve Freker, an original member of the Andre Chiefs coaching staff, wins first area state high school baseball title in decades with his Malden Catholic Lancers, defeating Marlboro, 2-0. On the field, the Chiefs qualify for the ICL playoffs with a second place finish. They are eliminated by the Gately Rams in the semifinal round of the playoffs. Ironically, the last game of the playoffs is played at Bob DeFelice Field at Bentley College where the former Chief catcher has been baseball coach for 34 years.

2004-2005- After 21 pennants, 17 playoff championships and 43 consecutive winning seasons since 1957, present owner/manager Chuck Andre announces in May of 2004 that the Chiefs will be taking a two years off from the ICL. He further states that the Chiefs will return to the baseball wars in the very near future.

2006- The Chiefs return to the Intercity League on May 31, 2006, with the youngest team in franchise history. They win the season opener 6-0, beating the Gately A's at Playstead Park behind Mike Lanciani. The young squad ends up with a overall record of 8-22, the first losing season in Chiefs history. There are some bright spots. Justin Crisafulli hit his 80th career home run. Rookie Mike Andre from Merrimack College finished the year at .403, good for the fourth spot in the ICL batting race and in November is named the ICL's "Rookie of the Year". Righty Jared Freni won his only two starts and former Malden Catholic star Mike DiCato, who is pitching for UMass-Amherst had a solid year both on the mound and at the plate.

2007-  The Chiefs complete their second season back after the two year hiatus. The youthful club shows marked improvement over 2006, but still fails to qualify for the ICL playoffs for only the second time in franchise history......Righty Keith Forbes, who formerly pitched for the San Diego Padres, tosses the Chiefs first no-hitter since 1995 against Wakefield on June 13. Two weeks later he takes another no-hitter into the seventh before settling on a one-hit win. Forbes is clearly the team's MVP, striking out 79 batters in 44 innings, a remarkable 1.80 K's per inning pitched.... Chiefs catcher Matt Cooney signs with the Boston Red Sox in early July..... Seventy five Chiefs alumni from the Joe O'Donnell era return on June 24 for a special reunion game....

2008- The team makes it return to ICL post season with a 17-8-6 record.....The six ties were the most recorded in 19 years.....The Chiefs finish the regular season strongly, losing just two of their final fourteen games.....Veteran slugger Justin Crisafulli has an outstanding year hitting a lofty .414 overall, including the playoffs, with 23 RBI's along with hitting his 86th career home run in late July....Staff ace Keith Forbes posts a 6-1 regular season mark with an ERA of 1.61. Forbes also sets the Chiefs single season strikeout mark, punching out 101 batters in just 70.2 innings...... Southpaw Dylan Ellis suffers just one extra inning post season loss (2-1 to Lexington) in eight decisions. ....Closer Chris Foundas appears in 14 games and posts a 2.63 ERA. .....Rookie catcher Matt Lawlor finishes fourth overall in the ICL batting race with a .398 average and 18 RBI..... The Chiefs battle the eventual champion Blue Sox in the semi-final series before bowing out of the playoffs on August 17.....Forbes, Crisafulli, Lawlor, Foundas and Mike Andre are named to the ICL all-star team in mid July....Veteran Assistant Manager Paul Crisafulli dusts off the cobwebs and comes off the bench to go 2 for 2 in pinch hitting appearances including a single in the Lexington semi-final series....The year was hampered by an unusual bout of wet weather as 63 games are postponed league-wide over the season due primarily to daily bouts of late afternoon heavy thunderstorms....

2009- The Chiefs returned to the ICL finals in search of their 18th title. They took a 1-0 lead against the Blue Sox in the series behind Mike DiCato but the Lexington dynasty continued as they took the crown three games to one. The Chiefs advanced to the championship round by virtue of a first round bye and a three games to one series win over the Testa Corp. Bombers in the semi-finals. Peter Copa led the team in hitting (.329) before being lost in the playoffs with a severe hamstring pull. Jeff Bercume (.325, 4 HRS, 25 RBI, 19 stolen bases) and Mike Andre (.319, 2 HRS, 17 RBI) were the other regulars to break the .300 mark. On the mound, lefty Dylan Ellis (5-2, 1.81 ERA), DiCato (6-4, 2.13 ERA) Dan Lozeau (4-3, 3.67 ERA) and Ryan McNeill (3-2, 3.37 ERA) were the mainstays. In August, rookie Rob Machado came within one out of a no-hitter against Lexington. Rookie Hal Landers delivered six game winning RBI and veteran catcher Bob McCarthy started 36 games behind the plate. Shortstop Brendan Pyburn led the Chiefs in games played (38), plate appearances (148), runs scored (23) and doubles (7). Andre returned from early season knee surgery to hit .393 in the playoffs including leading the ICL postseason with two homers and nine RBI. The team finished with a overall mark of 22-15-3 while appearing in the playoffs for the 45th time in 47 seasons.

2010-  The year of the "Perfect Storm." The early to mid-season powerhouse edition was decimated by mid July. They entered the stretch run of the season and the playoffs with no less than seven starters from the 2009 championship series team out of the lineup. By the time the Chiefs limped to the post season, they were without Jeff Bercume (signed by Oakland A's), Mike Baillargeon (signed by Can-Am League) , Brendan Pyburn (hip), Hal Landers (signed by Virginia), Peter Copa (out with surgery), Mike DiCato (shoulder) and Dario Pizano (signed by North Shore). The team still managed to hold on to a second place regular season finish (20-9-3) , after having a four game lead disappear, earning a first round playoff bye. Although rookies like Paul Yanokopulos, Sean Glabicky and Anthony Cabone filled in admirably, the Chiefs were swept by the Watertown Reds in the semi-finals. Before the carnage, Baillargeon hit .385 with five homers and 14 RBI's, Copa was enjoying another banner year (.366, 17 RBI's), and Chiefs rookie and Brandeis ironman Tony Deshler hit .304. On the mound, the pitching stayed solid as Jared Freni (4-2, 0.62 overall ERA) struck out 79 batters in just 56.1 innings, including a record setting performance with 17 K's against Mooney on August 6th. Dylan Ellis (6-2, 1.06 ERA), DiCato (4-1, 2.18 ERA), Rob Machado, Timmy Dunphy, Pat O'Donnell and Kevin Gilchrist combined for a team ERA of 1.72. On November 12, six former Chiefs (former owner John Hosmer, Joe O'Donnell, Bob DeFelice, Dave Clivio, Fred Knox and Steve Freker) were inducted as charter members of the ICL's Hall of Fame in front of a capacity crowd at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, MA. In addition, the Chiefs were named "Franchise of the Decade" for the 1960's, the 1970's and the 1990's.

2011- The Chiefs made another appearance in the ICL Championship Series, taking the Lexington Blue Sox to the limit, before falling short in the deciding fifth game. The team trailed in the series 2-0, before two dramatic walk off wins forced Game Five. Mike Barbati's seventh inning single in Game Three provided the win and Mike Andre's walk off 10th inning grand slam off Matt Karis in Game Four tied the series. The Chiefs got to finals by beating the Watertown Reds in three games and the Wakefield Merchants in five games, winning the deciding game of each series. Jared Freni enjoyed a banner year going 9-3 on the mound and Justin Crisafulli led the team at the plate. Mike DiCato and Rob Machado both threw no-hitters during the season. Lefty Tim Dunphy went 7-3 with an ERA of 2.89. Seven Chiefs were named to the ICL post-season all star team including: Crisafulli, Andre, Barbati, Dunphy, DiCato, Freni & Tony Deshler. In November, former Chiefs Joe Armstrong, Hank Landers, Dave Marsters, Jim Melzar, Dave Polcari and Eddie Rideout were inducted into the Intercity League's Hall of Fame.

2012- The Chiefs crusie to a 23-7-2 regular season record and earn a first round bye in the ICL playoffs. They sweep the Watertown Reds 3-0 in the semi-final round before moving on to meet the Lexington Blue Sox in the Championship Round for the third time in the last four years. The Chiefs take Game One in Lexington behind the pitching of Jared Freni and Mike Andre delivered a dramatic two out, two run, walk off single to give the Chiefs a come from behind 3-2 win in Game Two. The Blue Sox came back to even the series with wins in Games Three and Four. The Chiefs rode Freni's shutout pitching and took Game Five, and the ICL's Championship, with a 3-0 win in Lexington on Sunday, August 26. Jeff Bercume was named the ICL's MVP, Juan Portes won the Triple Crown and was named the circuit's Top Hitter and Freni was selected as the ICL's Outstanding Pitcher as well as Playoff MVP. The Chiefs finished their championship campaign with an overall mark of 30-9-2.
Along with Bercume, Portes and Andre, Tony Deshler, Peter Copa, Hal Landers, Mike Baillargeon, Paul Yanakopoulos, Nick Leva, Mike Barbati and Matt Boleski all made substanial contributions at the plate. Tim Dunphy, Mike DiCato, Matt DiCato and Rob Machado, complimented Freni and anchored the pitching staff. The Chiefs are honored in the fall by the BoSox Club. In November former Chiefs Richie DiGiacomo, Jack Mountain, Bill Kelly, Sam Greenwood, Tom Mandile, Mike Langston and Mike Romano are inducted into the Intercity League's Hall of Fame.


Ernie Ardolino, Eddie DiGiacomo, Bob DeFelice, Chuck Andre, Joe O'Donnell, Les DeMarco, Kevin Macolli, Steve Freker and many others, contributed to the “History of the Chiefs.” Our sincere thanks!



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