Sports 08-23-2017

Diamond Dandy

Former Eastie resident Paul Sartori enjoying  success as manager of the Kingston Night Owls

By Cary Shuman

Paul Sartori played baseball in the East Boston Little League in the late-1960s and early 1970s. A half century later, Sartori is still involved in the game serving as the head coach of the Haverhill High School baseball team and the manager of the Kingston Night Owls in the North Shore Baseball League NSBL)

The 66-year-old Sartori, whose father, the late James Sartori, served as chief probation officer at East Boston District Court and previously worked at the Suffolk County Court, and for whom the field at East Boston Stadium is named, wrapped up his third NSBL title in four years Sunday night as the Owls defeated the Swampscott Sox, 7-6, in 11 innings in the seventh game of the championship series.

Paul grew up on Lovell Street off of Neptune Road in Eastie, the youngest son of James Sartori and Brunetta Sartori.

He remembers well the tribute that Mayor Ray Flynn and the City of Boston paid to his father by naming the field in his memory.

“The whole family was at the dedication ceremony,” said Paul. “It was a terrific honor for all the time and effort that my father put in to the community. And for my mother to see it and be alive and be part of it – it was very nice. I can’t express in words what that honor meant to the family.”

His love of baseball began in Eastie in the Little League organization headed by Bob Chase.

“We played our games at Wood Island Park,” said Sartori. “Like many kids at the time, I grew up admiring Tony Conigliaro. What everyone forgets is that Tony was originally an East Boston boy. Then the family moved to Swampscott. Tony C was an idol for all of us. And 1967 was the year Carl Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown. I remember fondly that year and what Conigliaro, Yaz, and the team did.”

He said his father had a positive influence on his participation in sports and ultimately his own coaching career.

“My father was a great athlete and a terrific coach. Anything that we as a family have accomplished in our lives is directed right to him.”

Sartori later played second base for the Jeveli Jets in the Boston Park League while he was a senior at Christopher Columbus High School in the North End. He played baseball at Columbus under coach Tony Segedelli.

He continued his career as a third baseman for the Suffolk University baseball team for coach George Doucet, who was from Revere. He transferred to Bentley and played on the baseball team coached by Bob DeFelice.

Sartori worked for 33 years in the executive search industry, helping people find jobs. He started as a recruiter and eventually owned the firm, Positions Incorporated.

“I’ve been retired for nine years,” said Sartori, who with wife, Joanne, raised two sons, Paul James, 30, and Chris, 28.

“My sons played baseball at Central Catholic and are former players for the Night Owls,” said Sartori. “Chris played college baseball at Bentley and Paul went to Bryant University.”

He went to watch his son, Paul, play a game for the Night Owls “and it looked like they could probably use a coach. I asked if they would be interested in having me do it, and they said, ‘sure.”

Sartori has built a dynasty as the Night Owls manager, winning three championships in four seasons. His record is 112-49-2 the past four years.

“We ask for referrals from the guys we already have on our team and you build off of that,” said Sartori.

His players have nicknamed him, “Mr. Positive” for the optimistic approach and for making the game “fun” for them.

“Mr. Positive, that’s what we call him – he’s always positive and never down no matter what the score is,” said assistant coach George Morin, whose sons, Joe and Dan, play for the Night Owls. “We’re very proud to be associated with this team.”

Paul has warm memories of his childhood in East Boston. “The friendships, the neighborhoods – nobody locked their doors back then. My mother was a great cook so everybody would come to our house and eat. I have wonderful memories.”

The family returns to East Boston each year to present the James Sartori Memorial Awards at the East Boston Athletic Board Banquet of Champions. The awards are presented to the top high school college and high school athletes from East Boston.

He and his wife visited James Sartori Memorial Field this summer, taking a walk around East Boston Stadium. There is a plaque at the entrance to the field field commemorating Mr. Sartori’s achievements and community service.

“I think the partnership that Eastie has with Suffolk University for the fields is terrific,” said Paul. “Everything looked clean and there was soccer and baseball being played and there were kids running around the track.”

Paul Sartori says he’ll be back on the Night Owls bench for another year of summer baseball in 2018.

“When you surround yourself with excellent baseball players that happened to be terrific individuals, I think you’re lining yourself up for success. I really do believe that.”

And it all began in Eastie for Paul Sartori, the proud son of James and Brunetta Sartori.

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