HistoryUpdated Monday February 5, 2018 by Scott Kay.
While the town of Franklin through the Playground department provided an outlet for the youths of Franklin during the summer months that included baseball, the first hint of an organized league was found in the Playground report in 1952. According to the Report submitted by the Playground Committee that included Henri Beane, Salvatore Potenza and Woodrow Abbott, plans for 1953 include the construction of a Little League baseball diamond if the proposed league is organized.
In fact the town fathers voted in 1952 Article 17 a sum of $1,490.25 from the Fletcher Fund for the construction and equipment of a playground and recreational field, on “Fletcher Field”.
To make things relevant, the town also voted to prohibit persons from keeping more than eighteen pigs, irrespective of their ages within the limits of the town after August 1, 1952.
In 1953 the population of Franklin was 8,043 based on the 1950 census.
In 1953 the Playground Committee reported that two new diamonds were constructed during the year, one for the Little League baseball program and the other for softball. Two chain link backstops were erected for these new diamonds and a snow fence was also purchase and installed around the Little League outfield to meet the requirements of that program (at a cost of $766.50).
A scoreboard for the Little League diamond was donated by Garelick Brothers Farms and a flagpole for the Little League field was donated by Joseph Daddario. To add to the seating capacity for the Little League games bleachers were loaned by Dean Academy.
The report by the Playground Committee in 1954 included mention of three baseball leagues operating at Fletcher Field. They included the Little League, Babe Ruth league and the Little League farm league. During the summer, in cooperation with the Little League officials, a new wooden fence was constructed around the Little League diamond and a combination press box, refreshment booth and storage building was also built. Mentioned in the report was the fact that the Little League diamond was one of the finest in New England. One of the district playoff games was held at Fletcher Field. The regulation baseball diamond for the Babe Ruth league was also kept in fine shape and hosted a district playoff. George Carr was mentioned as supervising the Little League farm system that kept about 150 boys active during the summer months. Caretaker Henry Chelotti was commended for keeping Fletcher field in excellent shape during the summer. The cost of the Fletcher field snack stand was $1,816.61 and labor was donated by league officials and other “spirited minded” towns people.
In the 1955 report Fletcher Field was a scene of activity for both the Little League and the Babe Ruth League. Again the condition of the diamond brought favorable comment from visitors to Franklin with the Little League and Babe Ruth playoffs again being held at the field. A new member of the playground committee was Charles F. Hooper a founder of the Little League in Franklin.
In 1956 the town grew to 8,466 based on 1955 census. The Playground Committee reported that all three diamonds were being utilized by Little League and Babe Ruth as well as the High School. On evenings, as many as six teams were participating at the same time.
In 1957 the town was asked to vote on Article 54. The purpose was to raise a sum of $9,400 for construction of a field house with lavatory facility for boys and girls approximate size of 40x20 at Fletcher Field. The town voted that this article be indefinitely postponed (March 21, 1957). In 1957 Fletcher field was reloamed at a cost of $741.99.
At the town meeting on March 20, 1958 it was mentioned that a windstorm damage the press box at Fletcher Field. Damages amounted to $165.19. During the meeting the town was asked to vote on Article 55 which asked for $5,000 to construct a house with lavatory facilities approximately 20x20. It was a hotly contested vote. The measure passed by a standing vote of 54 Yes and 50 No and allocated a sum of $2,500 for the construction of the lavatories.
Nothing in 1959
In 1960 the population was 10,530.
In 1961 the Summer Recreation Report provided us with insight into the first all-star teams in Franklin. Under the direction of Ralph DeLucia, a total of 8 baseball games were played with out-of-town teams.
Also in 1961 the town constructed the Bocce courts at Fletcher that will now be Fletcher 4.
Nothing in 1962
Nothing in 63
65 pop 14,721
In the 1967 Playground Committee reported that the use of Fletcher Field was seriously curtailed due to lack of funds. The main Little League field must have major repairs to its fence while the Little League practice field must be shifted around to the right and resurfaced so it can be used as a second regular field. The Babe Ruth stands and the Little League stands have been condemned by the State safety inspector and must be repaired or torn down. The field toilet has been seriously damaged by vandalism and is in need of major repairs to be put in operating use and again to be lock it up after hours. The general maintenance of the fields has suffered the past few years due to the lack of help and funds.
The committee chaired by Edward A Monier also recommended that Fletcher Fund income would install lights at Fletcher Field for Pop Warner football for practice. It has reported that the School Committee granted the Playground Committee permission to install a third Little League field at the Parmenter School and this will also be started this spring from Fletcher fund income. This will enable us to accommodate approximately another 100 boys who want to play Little League ball but can’t for lack of facilities.
In 1968 it was reported that the Fletcher Fund provided funds to build a Little League diamond complete with a sod infield and backstop for the 1969 season on the Parmenter School grounds. The Fletcher funds also provide for building and sodding of a new second Little League diamond at Fletcher field.
In 1969 the town was presented an article to install floodlights at Fletcher Field and it was voted that this article be indefinitely postponed. The Recreation Committee reported that the condemned bleachers were completely replanked. Also a new backstop was built for the large ball field (f3) hopefully to put an end to foul ball trouble with neighbors.
Pop 70 was 17,825. In 1970 the town voted to install floodlights at Theorn Metcalf Field for the sum of $8,500. It also voted to establish a full time Director of Recreation. Also voted to expend $4,000 for lights at tennis court at Fletcher Field. On a standing vote of 166 yes and 94 no the town approved $9,999 to be used by the Beaver Pond Recreational Committee for the purpose of developing the said Beaver Pond area into swimming and recreational use. Charles Hooper resigned from the Recreation Committee. Again the long range plans of the committee was to pave the parking lot at Fletcher Field, establish a new ball park and new Little League field other than at Fletcher and provide more flood lights at Fletcher Field.
In 1993 the Town council passed a resolution to fund $2,680 from the flecther fund to put in an irrigation system on fletcher 2 field. Also in 1993 the recreation advisory board recommended to the council and approved monies to irragate and put in a well at the Franklin High School and Horace Mann middle school for the soccer and baseball fields (cost was $13,500). This was installed during 1994.
Nothing in 1994
In 1995 the town council passed a resolution to purchase the Dacey property soon to be known as the Lincoln Street facility.
Town population is now 27,325 in 1996. In 1996 the town purchased 11 acres off of Partridge street ($60,000) and 66 acres from the old Dacey Farm on Licnoln Street ($1,150,000) for playing fileds and a potential site for our next elementary school.
In 1997, the town council passed a resolution to name the recreational fields off of Lincoln street the Richard A. Mourey Memorial Park after Mr. Mourey who was the long-time accountant for the Town of Franklin. Woodrow Abbott passed away during 1997. He was very involved in the recreational needs of the town of franklin.
In 1999 the town population has grown to 29,306 from 17,436 in 1980.
In 1999 the first FYBO sponsored golf tournament was held. It was called The FYBO Golf Classic. The tournament was held at the Blissful Meadows Golf Course. The name "FYBO Golf Classic" remained until 2002 and all of the profits from the golf tournament went into the FYBO General Fund.
In 2000, the town council approved $15,648 from the fletcher fund to install backstops at JFK, Remington Jefferson and King Street and place bleachers and storage boxes at all fields.
In 2002 the "FYBO Golf Classic was renamed the "FYBO Bill Capen Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament was named after Bill Capen a long time coach, board member and overall a dedicated supporter of the FYBO program. Bill passed away in 2001 at the age of 42 after a couageous battle with cancer. In February, 2002 the FYBO Board voted to establish a Bill Capen Memorial Scholarship Fund. The profits from the golf tournament would be used to defray the costs of three $500 scholarships that would be awarded to graduating high school seniors who participated in the FYBO program. The board established the following requirements that applicants must meet: 1) Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative average 2) Applicants must be enrolling in a college program in the fall of that year 3) Applicants must have played baseball in the FYBO program for a total of 5 years 2 of those years had to be in the Babe Ruth Program 4) All applicants must compose an essay on the topic "What did I learn while participating in the FYBO program that will help me in my future endeavors both college and after. The board voted to invest $20,000 in a bank CD that would serve as the foundation for the scholarship fund. Profits realized from the golf tournament would pay for the scholarships first. If there were any funds remaining after the scholarships were paid, then those funds would be deposited into the bank CD. The board has increased both the number of scholarships from 3 to 4 and increased the amounts of the scholarships from $500 to a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 and three scholarships in the amount of $750.
The board voted to accept applications from former players who did not attend Franklin High School (e.g. applicant attended Xaverian, Bishop Feehan etc.).
The tournament was moved from Blissful Meadows Golf Course to Wentworth Hills Golf Course and finally to New England Country Club where it is currently held.
In 2003 FYBO celebrated its 50th anniversary honoring former FYBO participants who went on to play collegiately and beyond. They also honored former FYBO Presidents.
In 2005 Franklin Recreation Dept collaborated with FYBO to begin the summer Rec Baseball Program, which eventually morphed into the Barnstormer league. FYBO Player attendance was 1,000 players, Rookie through Babe Ruth. The Batting Cage at King Street was purchased and set up.
In 2006 FYBO Player attendance peaked at approximately 1,200 players Rookie through Babe Ruth. Fletcher 1 went off line due to a collapsed drainage pipe early in the season. Mixing in a season of heavy rains, Fletcher 2 and King Street had temporary lights set up so the schedule could be played. This provided a special treat of playing under the lights for the first and only time in Franklin, prior to the new High School. Upper and Lower Dacey fields were on introduced. Upper Dacey was originally a softball field, but FYBO took it over when F1 went down.
In 2007 the first All Star team representing AAA competed in the Hopkinton Sizzler tournament.
In 2008 FYBO began a program of alternating yearly between fields to have infields laser graded to ensure a better playing surface and better drainage. The Twilight league was formed providing High School aged players a chance to continue their baseball careers in-town playing pickup baseball.
In 2010 batting Cages at Dacey field were purchased and set up. The Babe Ruth aged leagues were reformatted, retiring Pony and setting up the American and National Leagues and providing a more competitive level of play (NL).
In 2011 the play at grade level option was introduced providing participnts a chance to play with players of the same grade. The significance of this change (which only lasted a few years due to Cal Ripken age requirements) was that several parents came to FYBO asking for this to be considered and the board worked painstakingly to come up with an option that was fair to all. The work included creating a committee, speaking to other towns and hosting an informational night with the general membership, one in which over 100 people attended.
2011 through 2015 – The twilight league was resurrected with a more formal structure.
In 2012 the snack stand started serving Fried Dough.
In 2013 FYBO celebrated its 60th anniversary honoring former players and a coach from the inaugural season.
In 2014 FYBO joined Cal Ripken
In 2016 new Scoreboards added to Dacey Fields; Fletcher Fields scoreboards updated as well as King St.
In 2016 the Twilight league joined the Massassoit League, playing against neighboring towns.