Home, Sweet Home:
Bourne Dedicates Doran Park as Braves Continue to Shine
BOURNE, Mass. — Doran Park at Upper Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School was dedicated Sunday in memory of longtime Sagamore Beach resident and Cape Cod Baseball League fan George Doran Sr.
Thirteen year old Katherine Doherty is John Doran’s niece and the eldest great grandchild of the late George Doran. She will be an 8th grader at the Dover-Sherborn Middle School in the fall.
She made her acting debut in second grade in a musical revue with the Open Fields troupe. Katherine has performed in "The Children's Hour" at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" at the Wang Theatre in Boston, "The Secret Garden" with the Savoyard Light Opera Company in Carlisle, "Still Life with Iris" at the Regis College Theatre Company in Weston, "Sarah Crewe: A Little Princess" at the Wheelock Family Theater in Boston, "Godspell" and "Bye Bye Birdie" with the Open Fields Theatre in Dover and "Meet Me in St. Louis" with The Weston Friendly Society in Weston.
Katherine received the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres award for best child actor in 2005 for her role in "The Secret Garden,". The same year she sang the national anthem before a Boston Celtics game at the TD Banknorth Garden and last month she sang the God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch of a Boston Red Sox Game at Fenway Park.
Katherine has just returned from a year in New York where she made her Broadway debut playing Jane Banks in Disney's Tony Award winning musical, "Mary Poppins."
When she’s not singing or acting, Katherine enjoys soccer, downhill skiing, horseback riding, and gymnastics.
League president Judy Walden Scarafile, commissioner Paul Galop and Bourne Braves president Tom Fink all participated in a pre-game ceremony, then watched as the Braves christened their newly named home field with a 5-4 win over the Hyannis Mets.
The field, which is actually in its second season as home to the Braves, is the end result of a process that officially began in the fall of 2004, when the Bourne Athletic Association and Upper Cape Tech announced plans for the park. But for the Braves organization, the Cape League, the Upper Cape Tech school board and the Doran family, it has been a labor of love that stretches back more than four decades.
John Doran, son of George Sr., remembers summer evenings spent watching Cape League baseball with his father when Bourne’s team was known the Sagamore Clouters, then the Bourne Canalmen, and played at Keith Field in Sagamore. George Doran Sr. died in 1994 after living in Sagamore Beach for more than 40 years.
“I had been looking for a way to memorialize my father for some years and when this opportunity came my way, it seemed like a perfect fit,” he said. “I was lucky enough to collaborate with people who had the same dream I did.”
With the vision and the personnel, only the issue of funding remained. That problem was solved when the Bourne Athletic Association gratefully accepted a $150,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundation in the fall of 2004, and broke ground the following spring. The Yawkey Foundation has funded field improvements all around the Cape League in recent years, contributing this season to upgrades in Cotuit and Wareham.
Doran Park is now the jewel of the Barry J. Motta Athletic Complex. Trimmings include an electronic scoreboard behind center field, brick dugouts, permanent restrooms and concession stands, a section for professional scouts behind home plate and an environmentally friendly press box, which is 100-percent “green.” Additional plans call for lights to be installed for night games and a playground beyond the right field fence (complete with a canopy to shield children from home runs). This work is expected to be completed before the 2008 spring baseball season at Upper Cape Tech.
Cementing the relationship between the Bourne Athletic Association and Upper Cape Tech, much of the work was done by students at the school -- from electrical wiring to plumbing.
Motta opened his remarks by quoting Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.” And come they did. Bourne set a season record for attendance with more than 1,300 fans turning out for the afternoon’s events, lured as much by the promise of live music and free ice cream as by another afternoon of winning baseball.
The first-place Braves did not disappoint, earning their 12th win of the season. It was not their prettiest — Braves pitchers walked 10 batters and the team committed three errors — but it was enough to secure a 5-4 victory over the Mets and keep smiles on the faces of the big crowd filling the new bleachers at Doran Park.
Right fielder Brian Pruitt (Stetson) officially christened the outfield fence, which is set at 395 feet in center field and 300 feet at the foul poles. Just after a long fly ball by first baseman Mitch Moreland (Mississippi State) was caught on the warning track, Pruitt sent a rocket comfortably over the wall in left-center. It was his third home run of the season and it tied the game at three. It also energized the Braves, who scored two more runs in the seventh inning and scratched out the game-winner in the eighth.
The dedication was a family affair from top to bottom, with four generations of Doran's participating. The honoree’s son John cut the ribbon on the new sign and two of his great-grandchildren. Patrick, a batboy with the Braves, threw out the first pitch, and Katherine, who spent the past year as a cast member of the Broadway musical Mary Poppins, sang the National Anthem. The 13-year-old’s stunning rendition stopped a soccer game taking place on a neighboring field in mid-action. Katherine also sang “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.
Overseeing the entire operation from a seat on the third base line was the matriarch of the Doran clan, Eleanor, 94 years young.
The park is indeed a perfect fit: a memorial to a longtime supporter of Cape Cod baseball and a beautiful home for the red-hot Bourne Braves, who moved to a West-leading 13-6-2 record with Sunday’s win.
“My father is now a part of Cape baseball, and the Braves have a permanent home,” John Doran said. What more could one ask?