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FROM TRAGEDY SPRINGS A FITTING MEMORIAL TO A BELMONT FAVORITE SON

Brendan Grant Memorial Field Officially Dedicated on Sunday, 24 June 2007 in Belmont, MA

The Belmont Fire Department Color Guard enters the facility to begin the ceremonyBELMONT , MA – From two benches and a backstop to a jewel of a high school baseball field – this is the transformation that has occurred in the name of Brendan Grant, The new archway at Brendan Grant Memorial Field former Belmont High School star athlete and a favorite son of the town.  

On Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM, spectators witnessed the formal dedication of the Brendan Grant Memorial Field at the Belmont High School varsity baseball field.  A copy of the program and the list of ceremonial honors can be downloaded by clicking here.

Local baseball coach Rick Freeman emceed the event, and the ceremony began with a procession through main gate led by the Belmont Fire Department Color Guard, followed by the Irish American Police Officers Association Pipes and Drums, who in turn led the way for the youth baseball players from Belmont and other local communities.  After a stirring rendition of God Bless America, remarks were made by the following speakers: Casey Grant, President of The Brendan Grant Foundation; Will Brownsberger, State Representative; Paul Solomon, The Irish American Police Officers Association Pipes and Drums Belmont Board The Belmont Fire Department Color Guard leds the Procession through the Main Gatesof Selectman; Peter Holland, Belmont School Superintendent; and Jim Davis, Belmont High School Athletic Director.

To symbolize the hand-off and completion of work, Casey Grant (representing The Brendan Grant Foundation) provided Jim Davis (representing the Belmont school system) with a ceremonial wooden bat.  The bat has Brendan's name engraved in the barrel, and is similar to an original bat belonging to Brendan.  During his remarks, Jim Davis acknowledged the 2007 Belmont High School baseball team, which won its division at the state tournament for the first time in years.  Jim Davis also spoke of the retirement of Brendan's number "1", and when he gave the signal a permanent banner was unfurled by Brendan's former teammates out on the centerfield fence.  
The Procession of Little LeaguersOpening Remarks by Emcee Rick Freeman
The ceremony concluded with final remarks by Casey Grant, and the National Anthem sung in preparation for the upcoming game between the Senior Babe Ruth league teams of Belmont hosting the Arlington Pond Rats, which were the two teams playing in 2001 the evening that Brendan played his final game.  As each Belmont player took his position on the field, a Belmont Little Leaguer likewise joined the senior player while the first pitch was thrown out, to commemorate that the field belongs to all the youth who will ultimately play on it.  After the first pitch was thrown out by Belmont Little Leaguer Nicholas Call, the ceremony concluded and it was time to "play ball".

The crowd listens quietlyThe creation of this beautiful baseball venue honors the memory of Brendan Grant, the accomplished 19-year-old Belmont baseball player who was fatally injured in an outfield collision during a Senior Babe Ruth game in June 2001.  Brendan was a three-season athlete in the Belmont High School class of 2000, where he was the captain of the wrestling and baseball teams.  The Playing of the National Anthem In 2001, Brendan was the starting third baseman during his freshman year for American International College . The Belmont High School varsity baseball field is where Brendan played his last game.

In the months following the tragedy, the idea that a refurbished high school baseball field represented the most fitting tribute to Brendan’s memory began to take root, and the project became a major initiative of The Brendan Grant Little Leaguers at AttentionFoundation.  The Foundation was created to  demonstrate that good things can come from things that are not, and the Brendan Grant Memorial Field is a worthy testament to that conviction.

Field renovations began in earnest in March 2002 and the ensuing five years have seen the following improvements: home team and The Playing of the National Anthem visitor shelters with protective fencing; outfield fence (making the call of “home run” infinitely easier); revamped drainage system; bleachers; scoreboard; brick wall surrounding the bleachers; a plaza and sidewalk; and, a brick entranceway with an arch indicating that you are entering Brendan Grant Memorial Field.

The crowd listens closely to the remarksThis effort, almost six years in the making, has been built on the sweat equity and financial contributions, large and small, of countless people and organizations.  A full pictorial history of all the work is available by clicking here.The Playing of the National Anthem

Casey Grant, Brendan’s father and founder and president of The Brendan Grant Foundation, commented that “The field  has been completed utilizing a conservatively estimated $850,000 to $1,000,000 in direct contributions and in-kind donations.”  Some $250,000 of the total represented a direct expenditure from the Foundation, which uses 100% of the funds it raises to underwrite The Brendan Grant Foundation scholarships, the field renovation project, and other youth-related activities. 

The Playing of the National AnthemGrant further remarked that “I can remember when the field drainage was so poor that a rain storm would preclude use of the field for days on end. The Ceremonial "Passing of the Bat" from Casey Grant to Jim Davis, BHS Athletic Director Now we have a wonderful facility that is the Foundation’s gift to the town of Belmont .”  Grant is especially gratified that the field renovations involved no capital outlay from the town nor cost to its taxpayers.  A copy of all of his remarks are available here.

Remarks by Casey Grant In his remarks, Casey Grant indicated how he is likewise extremely appreciative of all of the town personnel that facilitated the project in whatever manner they could – with advice, in-kind support, etc. Pudge Uricuolo, Superintendent of Grounds and Facilities for Belmont’s Department of Public Works, commented, “I’ve been here for 30 years, and the level of effort and volunteerism involved in renovating the field is the best I’ve ever seen in this town.”The unfurling of Brendan's retired number 1 banner by Brendan's former teammates

Belmont little leaguer Nicholas Call throws out the ceremonial first pitchHundreds were in attendance for the 4 o’clock dedication ceremony, which included the participation of representatives from town government, the school department, and  others who contributed to making the field a reality. Many of Brendan’s former Belmont teammates were be on hand to participate in the ceremony, and current Belmont baseball players – from Little League to high school – also took part.

The dedication immediately preceded a Senior Babe Ruth League game between Belmont and the Arlington Pond Rats which were the two teams playing on this field onCasey Grant shaking hands with Trey Sasser, who had provided the original design for the field renovation in 2001 June 27, 2001 when Brendan played his last game.

The memorial plaque at the baseball field plaza