Steve Walsh wouldn’t have wanted to have been anywhere else on a beautiful summer night than at East Boston Stadium Sunday.
Playing on his hometown field with his partner Milena Gil, their daughter, Isabella, and his father, Paul Walsh, in the stands, Steve Walsh was playing centerfield and batting cleanup for the Brighton Braves of Yawkey Baseball League, just as he has done for 22 summers.
Unfortunately, the result was not what Steve Walsh was looking for as the No. 1-seeded Al Thomas Club ended the Braves’ season in the YBL semifinals, taking home a 7-0 victory.
Walsh demonstrated his power in the first inning by crushing a fastball to the gap 375 feet away that was caught in the cavernous field. He singled sharply in his final at-bat of the season.
The former East Boston High and Salem State College standout hit .400 in the regular season and drove in 25 runs in 19 games, putting him among the leaders in both categories. He clouted a 400-foot home run at the Braves’ home field, Rogers Park in Brighton.
Walsh’s superb season was recognized with an appearance on the YBL All-Star Team versus the Central New England Baseball Association. He also played in the Boston Metro Baseball League All-Star Game representing the Somerville Alibrandis in the Master’s (38-over) Division. He is batting a sizzling .444 for the Waltham Cutters in Boston Metro’s 18-Over Division.
The Yawkey League’s
Steve’s YBL teammates affectionately call him, “Uncle Walshie,” as a tribute to being one of the league’s most seasoned and admired players.
As a result of his lengthy tenure in the league, Steve Walsh knows every player on a first-name basis, and it was clear before Sunday’s game that the respect is mutual as opposing players and teammates greeted the East Boston native warmly upon his arrival at the field.
“We’re all here because we love to play baseball, said Walsh, who will turn 41 on Aug. 19. “I’ve been playing in the Yawkey League since 2000. I missed the 2013 season when I had knee surgery (following a skiing accident). I feel good and I really enjoy competing with my teammates. Ted Tracy is our player-manager, and he’s done an excellent job running the Braves for several years.”
Asked if he’ll back with the Brighton Braves for the 2023 season, Steve replied, “These younger kids keep me going. We have a good young corps and a group of veterans on the team. It’s a good balance. I plan on playing again next season.”
And the Braves will be happy to have “Uncle Walshie” back in the fold, writing another chapter in a majestic baseball career that began three decades ago in the East Boston Little League.