• January 11 2019,  Saugus

    ROCKY

    ROCKY By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   This is not about Rocky Balboa, it’s about the real Rocky, Rocco Francis Marchegiano, or better known as Rocky Marciano. I guess his last name was too hard to pronounce so he changed it for his career. He was born September 1, 1923, in Brockton, Mass., and died one day before his birthday on August 31, 1969, in a plane crash near Newton, Iowa. The topic came up when I recently went to Mike’s Barber Shop in the center and we were discussing topics for a column. Mike, as most people know, is a dedicated sports fan, and he really focuses on…

  • December 28 2018,  Saugus

    ’Tis the season

    ’Tis the season By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   During the Christmas season we all have happy thoughts of Christmas of old. We have wonderful thoughts of family and friends during this time. Some of my special memories I’d like to share with readers. To start, my two favorite movies of the season are “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with the lights and personalities, and “A Christmas Story.” I really like the scene where the dogs steal the turkey, which moves the family to an Asian restaurant. I always laugh when the waiters sing “Jingle Bells” in the version of English. The Japanese pronounce the l’s as rrs and the…

  • December 14 2018,  Saugus

    Mister Nifty

    Mister Nifty By The Old Sachem   This week we look at a living athlete, Number 16 for the Boston Bruins, whose nickname is Mr. Nifty, yes Rick Middleton. Rick was born on December 4, 1953, a little more than a year after I graduated from Saugus High. He was drafted 14th in the National Hockey League (NHL) draft in the first round by the New York Rangers in 1973, a right winger. Ricky was also drafted by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. He was with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), a junior league for amateur players under the age of 21.…

  • November 21 2018,  Saugus

    Ron Johnson of the New York Giants

    By The Old Sachem   This week we look at another old-time All-Pro, Ron Johnson, a running back of the New York Giants from 1970 to 1975. But first I would like to discuss two items that appeared recently. The first is the issue of boys playing on girls’ high school teams. The field hockey team from Somerset-Berkley recently became state champions with a pair of boys on the squad: Lucas Crook, a high scoring junior, son of coach Jen Crook, and a defender, and another junior overpowered opponents while achieving a record of 23 wins and a single loss. Jen Quinn, coach of Walpole and Kim Meehan of King-Phillip…

  • November 16 2018,  Saugus

    Making a difference

    Making a difference  By The Old Sachem   A football player who made a large difference to the world of sports as being the first player of African-American decent, George Taliaferro was brought into the National Football League because of his superior abilities at a time when the NFL was against blacks playing with whites. Taliaferro was the first African-American drafted by the NFL franchise in Chicago, the Bears, but decided to play for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference in 1949. He went on to play for the New York Yanks, 1950-1951; Dallas Texans, 1952; Baltimore Colts, 1953-1954; and the Philadelphia Eagles, 1955. He was selected…

  • November 9 2018,  Saugus

    We’ve lost another great one

    By The Old Sachem   Willie McCovey was born in Mobile, Ala., on January 10, 1938, and died October 31, 2018, in Stanford, Calif. He played first base for the San Francisco Giants, 1959-1973; San Diego Padres, 1974-1976; Oakland Athletics, 1976; and back to the Giants, 1977-1980. One of the greatest hitters of all time, he had a lifetime batting average of .270, hit 2,211 hits and 521 home runs and had 1,555 runs batted in. He had various nicknames, including “Mac,” “Big Mac” and “Stretch.” Willie was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. One of the greatest pitchers of all time, Bob Gibson (you remember him…

  • October 26 2018,  Saugus

    The Chicken Man

    THE CHICKEN MAN  By the Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   In my last column I told you about my choice for the greatest hitter of all time, Ted Williams. This column is also about a great batter, Wade Boggs. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on June 15, 1958, and unlike many I write about, he is still alive. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut on April 10, 1982, for the Boston Red Sox, and his last appearance was on August 27, 1999, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He played for the Red Sox from 1982 to 1992, the New York Yankees from 1993 to 1997, and…

  • Saugus,  September 28 2018

    The Splendid Splinter

    The Splendid Splinter  By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   Most of you readers have never seen “The Splendid Splinter,” “The Thumper,” “The Kid” or “Teddy Ballgame.” He played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960 with time out for World War II service in 1943 and 1944 and Korean service from 1952 and 1953 as a fighter pilot. Those my age remember the golden years of Ted Williams. Theodore Samuel Williams was born in San Diego on August 30, 1918, and died in Inverness, Fla., on July 5, 2002. His MLB debut was on April 20, 1939, and his last game was September 28, 1960. Over that period…

  • July 6 2018,  Saugus

    Golf, Italian Style

    Golf, Italian Style  By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   The Italian-American community of Saugus has a new hero this week: Francesco Molinari became the first Italian to win a Professional Golf tournament, winning the Quicken Loans National by 8 strokes over Ryan Armour. He finished the final round with a 62, the lowest score of the season on the tour. It has been 70 years since an Italian has finished first in a PGA tourney in the United States. Back in 1947 Toney Penna, who had dual citizenship (Italy & America), won the Atlanta Open. He also won three other tour championships: the 1937 Pennsylvania Open Championship, the 1938…

  • June 22 2018,  Saugus

    “Pie” McKenzie

    “Pie” McKenzie  By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart   Those of you who followed the National Hockey League of the 60s and 70s remember the Big Bad Bruins and Pie McKenzie. He was a member of two Stanley Cup Champions: 1970 and 1972. He was a favorite of my wife, Polly, who became a member of his official fan club. He resided in Saugus in the white house at the intersection of Westford and Westland in East Saugus. After retirement he moved to Wakefield, but we will not hold that against him. He was born John Albert McKenzie, on December 12, 1937, in High River, Alberta, Canada, and died June…