Hill Happenings

Ivers Whitney Adams was a successful businessman who, shortly after the Civil War, moved from Ashburnham to Mission Hill to be closer to his downtown Boston office on Washington Street. Adams’ new home in the location then called the Highlands was a comfortable abode at 2 Delle Ave.

At that time baseball was gaining popularity, and Adams would take in games at the Boston Common, where two or three thousand people would gather to watch amateur games.

Adams loved baseball, and when word of a pro league surfaced, he was determined that Boston would have a franchise. On Jan.20, 1871, Adams organized a meeting with friends at the Parker House, raising $15,000. Thus was born Boston’s first professional baseball team, the Boston Red Stockings.

Adams was the president. The team played their games at the South End Grounds on Columbus Ave.

Adams lived on Mission Hill (so renamed after the building of Mission Church) for many years. In 1882, Adams, age 42 and wealthy, moved from Delle Ave. to Grove Hall with his wife Sarah and five children.

Adams was the Red Stockings president for only one year, but he followed the team closely throughout his life. By the long arm of coincidence, Adams died during the 1914 World Series when the Boston team, then called the Braves, were defeating the Philadelphia Phillies. The “Miracle Braves” started the season with a record of 4-18.

The Boston Braves, departed in 1953 and are currently the Atlanta Braves. The original Red Stockings is the longest continuous sports team in America.

Happy 89th birthday to my downstairs Calumet Street neighbor, John Clifford (July 31). John, a 1943 Mission High School graduate, was an altar server at Mission Church for 72 years until his recent semi-retirement.

Rob Martin celebrated his 43rd birthday July 7. Rob, born on Mission Hill, was a basketball star for Blue Hills Regional High School in Canton.

Another July 7 birthday celebrant is Donna Antonios, a charming waitress at the Busy Bee Restaurant in Brookline. In her earlier years Donna was a Mission Hill socialite, known as the Faye Dunaway of the “Ledge.” The Ledge, now Kevin Fitzgerald Park, was the place where Mission Hill youths would socialize and drink beer and cheap wine.

Chris Yianasmidis, the classy owner of Tremont Pizza, has been in the neighborhood lately. Tremont Pizza is looking spiffy since its recent facelift and its sandwiches are nice and fresh.

At Flann O’ Brien’s, two lovely Irish gals, Gemma Musgrave and Ellen Courtney, have been entertaining the locals on Sunday afternoons, singing Irish music. The talented young ladies are from Kerry and are staying in Boston for the summer. Check them out this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. They sing the classic Irish song “Roddy McCorley” with so much heart, it would bring tears to a glass eye.

Congrats, it’s a boy and a girl. Two beautiful women, Christina Mullin and Michelle Mullin, gave birth last week. Michelle, married to Dan Mullin, gave birth to Gavin Daniel Mullin June 25. Four days later, Mike and Christina Mullin became parents of Lauren Margaret Mullin.

The Mullin boys are sons of Bill Mullin and Virginia Mullin from Mission Hill. Bill Mullin was a slick second baseman for Mission High School back in the old days.

High fives to Boston College grad students Kaitlyn Hammel and Rachel Rothans, who taught at Mission Grammar School this past year. I’m told the ladies did a fine job, and hopefully they’ll be back next year.

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