WESTFIELD — “Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village … ah, sportswriters sat.” With apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that was the first thing that came to mind one day earlier this summer out in Hunterdon County. Longfellow penned his famous poem “The Village Blacksmith” in 1841. But I thought of the spreading chestnut tree on July 21, a beautiful Saturday afternoon some 166 years later, as I hung out with Lowell Snare and watched a Connie Mack League playoff game at Clinton’s historic Gebhardt Field. It was 2007, but it could’ve been 1937 or 1957, with Gebhardt’s covered wooden grandstand holding most of the big, and loud, crowd. Luckily they were on different sides of the grandstand when a major disagreement broke out and an Old Bridge coach was ejected, and then got into it with some Clinton fans.” — From The Devil’s Den, by Bruce Johnson, August 23, 2007.
Westfield Mourns Longtime Legacy Coach, Sportswriter