Night of Legends set to honor Belisle, '76 CHS baseball team

Night of Legends set to honor Belisle, '76 CHS baseball team

Among the people who will be honored at the third annual Night of Legends ceremony on Oct. 24 at The Dugout, are from left, Jim Hogan, whose father, Ed Hogan, was the head coach of the 1976 state champion Cumberland High baseball team; Dave Belisle, who was the manager of the Cumberland American all-star baseball team that went to the Little League World Series this past summer, and Steve Della Posta, who was the catcher and cleanup batter on the Clippers' championship team.
'The Dugout' will host Oct. 24 event

CUMBERLAND - It may be the smallest group of inductees, but the coach and the baseball team that will be honored at the Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland-Lincoln's 3rd annual Night of Legends on Friday, Oct. 24, truly make for a very special bunch.

Dave Belisle, the manager of the Cumberland American Little League all-star team that made a magical run to the Little League World Series, and the 1976 state champion Cumberland High baseball team, the first team to be honored by the Night of Legends, will take center stage when the festivities get underway at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Union Hall (also known as "The Dugout") at 7 Cray St.

The Night of Legends is the Boys & Girls Club's annual fundraiser that is organized by some of the club's alumni and was created to honor those who have been involved with the Boys & Girls Club and/or coached at the youth and high school level in Cumberland and Lincoln, while at the same time, raising money for the club.

The proceeds from this event have covered the expenses of running the club's annual Holiday Basketball Tournament at Cumberland High School that takes place between Christmas and New Year's Day. Now in its 41st year, it's the longest running high school basketball tournament in Rhode Island, and it will again host the boys' varsity teams from Lincoln, Cumberland, Tolman, and Woonsocket.

"It's worked out really well," said Jim Carney, one of the Night of Legends' committee members. "It's really enabled a group of us who are friends and hung around the Boys & Girls Club 35 or 40 years ago to come back and kind of give back to the club a little bit. It's been fun."

Belisle, who has led Cumberland American to the LLWS in two of the last four summers and is also known for his work coaching the 44-time state champion Mount St. Charles boys' hockey team with his father, the legendary Bill Belisle, was elated with the local honor, but chose to deflect the credit toward the players and assistant coaches that helped make last summer's march to Williamsport, Pa., a special one for not only the community, but also the rest of southeastern New England.

"I had a group of boys that was just a tremendous bunch of athletes with an unbelievable attitude," said Belisle. "They've really given me more recognition than I deserve, and an award like this in Cumberland is definitely something I'm going to share with the people I was able to share my experiences with."

The Clippers' 1976 baseball team, which members had claimed middle school and Babe Ruth championships together before attending Cumberland High, won the program's sixth state title and third in the state's top division.

Cumberland went 12-3 during the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs, where they downed Rogers twice (by scores of 4-3 and 11-1) to take home the title.

The players on that team, led by head coach Ed Hogan, were Brian Bowe, Fred Speroni, Peter Hanuschak, Steve Della Posta, Mike Girard, Bobby Guillet, Ronnie Colvin, John Beauregard, Jim D'Ambra, Dave Chadwick, Bill Bracken, Mike Anderton, Dave Thulier, Dave Molloy, Dave Hanuschak, Mike Lively, Steve Pereira, Mike Buckless, and Scott Quirk.

"There were a lot of good players on that team, but it seemed like every one of those players had their best seasons that year," said Della Posta, who was the Clippers' catcher and cleanup batter and went on to play at Providence College. "Usually, you have two or three people that step up and have an exceptional season, but that year, everyone seemed to have a career year."

Last year's inductees were former Cumberland High basketball coaches John McVeigh and Joe Hughes, former Lincoln High basketball coach George Aragao, and current longtime Cumberland High wrestling coach Steve Gordon.

Two years ago, former Boys & Girls Club employees James Cadden, James Marsland, and Michael Keenan were honored.

Tickets for the event are $25 each and can be purchased at the door or at the Boys & Girls Club.

A sandwich and salad buffet will be included.

For more information, contact Jim Carney at jimcarney28@gmail.com or call the Boys & Girls Club at 401-333-4850.