Baseball team unveils new flag pole


The dedication of a new flag pole at the baseball field included (r to l): Assistant AD John Garritano, KOC member Mark Miner, Coach Tom Partner, Superintendent Edward DiSabato, KOC member Todd Beiswenger, board member Kevin Luensmann, and Director of Facilities Tom Kovac. (Julia Johnson)

Brandon Buss, Staff Writer

The B-A baseball team had no way of knowing when it brought on two young public address announcers it would lead to a patriotic movement at the field.

The new flag pole bears a plaque remembering deceased member of the Knights of Columbus Council #8075. (Julia Johnson)

On Thursday, the Blue Devil baseball team dedicated a new flag at the Bellwood-Antis baseball field on Stadium Drive, devoted to deceased members of the Knights of Columbus.

Until the dedication, the field, which has been the home of championship teams and college and MLB players, never had a flag pole.

All this came about after Thomas Partner, one of the team’s coaches and a teacher at the B-A Middle School, and others approached high school students Thad Dick and Jacob Caracciolo about announcing home games. Though the boys were on board, they also asked about singing the national anthem.

“We told them that we didn’t have a flag or flagpole at the field,” Mr. Partner said. 

After Mr. Partner ran some ideas past his mother, she suggested that one be donated.

“She was willing to donate money towards the flagpole, and the school district, with the help of Tom Kovac and Superintendent Edward DiSabato, was willing to pay the rest.”

Mr. Partner said his mother also suggested later that the flag be dedicated to the deceased Knights of Columbus. Mr. Partner is a member of St. Joseph’s Church in Bellwood, as well as the Knights of Columbus Council #8075.

After Mr. Partner brought attention to the idea at a KOC meeting, without hesitation the group approved to pay for a plaque to be installed with the flagpole, he said.

B-A Director of Facilities Tom Kovac and the maintenance staff immediately installed the flagpole and plague.

“We now have a flag and National Anthem sung at each home game… something every baseball field should have! Good stuff,” Mr. Partner said.

At the dedication ceremony the team extended gratitude to:

  • Tom Kovac, Director of Facilities
  • Knight of Columbus member Mark Miner
  • Knights of Columbus member Mike McAndrew
  • Athletic Directors Charlie Burch and John Garritano
  • High School Principal Rick Schreier
  • Superintendent Ed Disabato