Hill Happenings

Mission Hill is proud of Lt. Col. George Rollins, as he threw out the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles-Houston Astros game July 30 at Camden Yards. The Colonel, a Mission High man and a West Point graduate, was representing our disabled veterans. The Colonel threw a strike to O’s catcher Matt Wieters.

George served in Afghanistan at the tender age of 61 as a U.S. Army adviser on NATO Governance Team, 10th Mountain Division. Now retired from the military (again), The Colonel is employed as a private citizen as Capabilities Development Expert for National Guard Bureau J8.

It’s a boy! Congrats to Mike Fitzgerald and Khajahl Fitzgerald on the birth of Gavin Fitzgerald last month. Mike is the son of the late Kevin Fitzgerald and the lovely Patricia “Nana Fitz.”

Condolences to the family of Mary Fernandez, who passed away last month in Florida. She had been living down South for 10 years and previously lived at Mission Park for many years. Mary was a beautiful woman who was gifted with terrific children. I fondly recall exchanging pleasantries with the soft-spoken Mary, who displayed an easy-going decorum.

Meredith Nuttall, a bartender at Friday’s in Mission Hill, serves drinks with speed and efficiency, mixed with a sweet personality. Last month, Meredith earned top honors in the Friday’s best bartender competition, held at the popular food chain. Brittney Pogue, also adept in the art of mixing and serving drinks, finished in second place.

The competition was judged by Mike Condon and Kevin McNulty, who are bartenders at The Crossing in Mission Hill. Meredith will next compete in Friday’s New England contest, which will be held at a Friday’s in Manchester, New Hampshire on Aug. 12.

Happy 65th birthday to youthful Joe Geary (Aug. 25), a retired Massachusetts State Police officer who hails from Mission Hill. I always enjoy conversing with Joe, as we inevitably journey down memory lane about Mission Hill icons from yesteryear, including Jack Kelly and Danny Murphy. Kelly and Murphy were participants in the Mission Hill Softball League during the ’70s, when hundreds of fans would attend the great games at McLaughlin Park. Kelly was the venerable coach of the Leo Grady Club, and Murph and Joe Geary were teammates on the Owl’s Nest. Gear was a cagey right fielder for the Owls, who won several Mission Hill Softball championships.

Former professional baseball pitcher Lionel “Sky” King celebrated his 80th birthday on July 18. Sky, who lives on Worthington Street in Mission Hill, was signed by the New York Giants in 1952. Although he never made it to that team’s Major League roster, Sky played for several years in Mexico and Canada, where he pitched against Billy Martin and Curt Flood.

The easy-going Sky looks much younger than his 80 years. Say hello to him at Dunkin’ Donuts in Mission Hill, where Sky is a regular.

The Penguin, The Crossing, Flann O’Brien’s and the Squealing Pig engaged in a soccer competition last month at McLaughlin Park. The Penguin emerged as champion, earning the prestigious Dixie Cup Trophy. The annual soccer game raised $3,000 for multiple sclerosis. The Dixie Cup Trophy is named after Mission Hill resident Jonathan Dixon.

Going to the dogs! I was chatting with my animal-loving friend Janet Earley last week at the Mission Hill Post. We reminisced about my family dog, Slater, years ago when I lived at 785 Parker St. Slater, accompanied by my mother, would carry the Boston Herald home every morning from the Hillside Market. One afternoon, Slater went beyond the call of duty when he fetched three 12-ounce cans of beer, secured in a plastic six-pack holder, from a neighbor’s steps. After laughing heartily, my father said, “This is unbelievable. He brought my brand, Budweisers.”

Janet Earley works at the Emmerson Animal Hospital in Dorchester. The lovely Janet has a cool bumper sticker on her car that reads, “I kissed a dog and liked it.”

Sean Clarke, owner of Diablo Glass in Mission Hill, was startled a few weeks ago when leaving work. Sean and fellow worker Matt Cronin encountered a deer scampering in traffic on Terrace Street. Concerned about safety, Sean made phone calls to several authorities. However, it was a Sunday night and the calls were an exercise in futility. Fortunately, there were no accidents reported concerning the deer, who surely emerged from the nearby railroad tracks. I’m reminded of the old joke: Has the deer a little doe? Certainly—two bucks.

The Mission Hill Golf Tournament will be held Sat., Aug. 31 at the Norwood Country Club at noon. Entry fee is $100, with proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project. There will be prizes for the first- and second-place finishers and for the longest drive and shot closest to the pin. After the tournament, there will be dinner and presentations at The Crossing in Mission Hill. For more info, call Peter Flynn at 617-435-9706.

Lt. Col. George Rollins (center) poses with Baltimore Orioles pitcher T.J. McFarland and mascot the Oriole Bird after throwing out the first pitch at a July 30 game at Camden Yards. (Courtesy Photo)

Lt. Col. George Rollins (center) poses with Baltimore Orioles pitcher T.J. McFarland and mascot the Oriole Bird after throwing out the first pitch at a July 30 game at Camden Yards. (Courtesy Photo)

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