Massachusetts Maritime Academy athletic director and head baseball coach Bob Corradi will pinch-hit for Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Famer Lennie Merullo as honorary captain of the East squad in the Friendly’s Cape League All-Star game tonight at Doran Park in Bourne.
Merullo, 97, the lone surviving member of the last Chicago Cubs World Series team in 1945, is unable to participate because of family commitments. He and Harry Nelson, a Wagner College star who played at Bourne 50 years ago and led the Cape League in batting (.390), had previously been announced as honorary captains for the annual showcase of the best players in the nation’s best summer collegiate baseball league.
Corradi, who has been an active, behind-the-scenes volunteer for the Cape League for many years, is a Bourne native and a resident of Sandwich. A versatile Bourne High School athlete in the early 1960s, he may be best remembered for his exploits on the basketball court with teammates Bob Driscoll, Wayne Upton, Leo Ferrari and Phil Cunningham.
The only head baseball coach that MMA has ever had and the school’s longest tenured director of athletics, Corradi has announced his intention to retire from both posts after completing his 43rd baseball season next spring. He will bring 562 career victories into his final campaign at the Buzzards Bay academy.
His official retirement date is June 12, 2015.
“It’s time,” he said of his decision to step down. “This is a very special place, and I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve been here. This isn’t about me, it’s about my family and making sure that our cadets enjoy the best possible experience as they grow, learn and prepare for their future … It’s time for me to spend more time with my family and especially my grandchildren. I’m going to put everything into the coming year and enjoy it all.”
Among the many honors bestowed upon Corradi over the years was the Cape League’s Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the league and to its Hall of Fame. He accepted it during the 2012 induction ceremony at the Chatham Bars Inn. He is also a winner of the two highest awards bestowed by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association – the Jack Butterfield Award for integrity and dedication to the game of college baseball, in 2010, and the Andy Baylock Award for significant contributions to the betterment of New England College Baseball, in 2012.
Bob and Kathy Corradi are the parents of two grown children, Alison and Steven, and they have four grandchildren.