Old jerseys, new faces: Two Lions participate in the Oldtime Baseball Game


Photo: Evan Blaise Walsh

Donning throwback uniforms and playing in an exhibition baseball game for charity had been on senior Jim Cain’s bucket list for as long as he could remember. On Aug. 27, he was finally able to cross it off.

Two members of Emerson’s baseball team, Cain and sophomore Joe Jacobs, both former Beacon correspondents, represented the Lions in the Oldtime Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge.

“It’s been going on for 20 years now,” said Cain, a journalism major and pitcher for the Lions. “It’s a great time, and it’s all for a good cause as well.”

The proceeds from the event supported the William Dummy Hoy Scholarship, benefiting deaf children from Boston attending the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college at the Rochester Institute of Technology, according to the Oldtime Baseball Game’s website

Some of the big draws for the event are the varying old-school uniforms that the players wear for the game. Each participant receives a different jersey, collectively spanning almost every era in baseball history. This year, Cain wore Jackie Robinson’s number 5 jersey from the Kansas City Monarchs, while Jacobs had Roy Campanella’s number 28 jersey from the Elite Giants.

“Getting to wear uniforms that baseball players way before me got to wear, and to play for something like raising money for a charity was really awesome,” Jacobs, an infielder, said.

The coordinator of the game is Steve Buckley, a sports columnist at the Boston Herald. Cain said Buckley is the reason he heard about the game. 

“I can remember [Buckley] plugging that game on TV and sports talk radio for as long as I can remember and thinking, ‘Wow, how can I get in? That seems really cool,’” Cain said.  

Cain said he was able to talk to Buckley on the phone after becoming a part of the roster, and said that moment was a highlight of the experience.

“He said he was happy to have me in the game, and to get that call from him, that was pretty cool,” Cain said. 

Jack Capotorto, a senior pitcher for the Lions, played in the exhibition last year, but was unable to make a second appearance in this year’s event.

“I was bummed I couldn’t make it, but I’m so glad that two of my teammates could experience something so great as this game,” Capotorto said. “I think for Emerson baseball, it is great to go represent our school in the proper way.” 

Jacobs said that while the coaches wanted a winning result for bragging rights, the players were there to support the cause and to enjoy the sport.

“It really wasn’t about the baseball at all, it was more about all the things that baseball and the game represented,” Jacobs said. “All the players knew that and were just having a good time, and realized the whole point was to raise money for the foundation.”