Here’s a trivia question for long-time Chelsea sports fans: Who was the winning pitcher when Tommy Fay III’s Yankees dethroned the eight-time defending champion Indians, ending the Indians’ Little League dynasty – that ironically was started by Tommy’s father, Indians Manager Thomas Fay Jr.?
The answer: David Hescock, the Yankees’ incomparable, fire-balling, right-handed All-Star pitcher. Hescock was 12 years old during that memorable season 35 years ago. He’s 47 now, but he’s still throwing strikes and getting batters to miss for the Boston Dodgers of the Boston Men’s Baseball League (BMBL), the largest adult baseball league in New England.
Hescock, who is 6-feet-4, is closing in on the BMBL’s strikeout record, needing 50 more Ks to become the all-time leader.
“It’s great to still be playing baseball in my 40s,” said Hescock. “I still love the game and this league is so competitive. It’s a lot of fun, for sure.”
A Little League Baseball Phenom
David Hescock was in a class by himself when he was a Chelsea Little League pitcher. He was the Mike Darcy, Paul DeRosa, Mike Lush, Paul Wheeler, Carlos Moreno, Dave Batchelor, Paul Nowicki, and Scotty Janiluinas – of his time.
Hescock was the Yankees’ unbeatable ace and his talented batterymate and catcher was Adam DeLeidi, who is now the assistant superintendent of Chelsea public schools.
“Adam was a great kid,” said Hescock, smiling. “I knew no matter where I threw it, he would catch it or block it.”
Hescock said his Yankees team, coached by Tommy Fay III and Lou DePrizio, was the underdog against the Indians, who dominated the league in the 1980s, with such stars as Frank Kowalski Jr., Tommy Fay III, Scotty Fay, Jimmy Fay, Scotty Janiluinas, and Steven Janiluinas leading the Indians to perennial titles.
But that season was destined for a different ending. Hescock put on a show each time he took the mound on one of the baseball diamonds inside Chelsea Memorial Stadium. His fastball was simply overpowering. The Yankees bested the Indians in the playoff finals and Hescock was clearly the MVP of the series.
“Tommy Fay III taught me how to pitch,” said Hescock. “I learned so much about baseball from my coaches. I still remember the things they taught me about pitching and hitting.”
Hescock then continued his career in the Chelsea Youth Baseball League. Legendary CYBL coach Larry Notkin selected the then 13-year-old Hescock with the Royals’ No. 1 draft pick.
“Larry taught me how to throw the drop-curve and I still use that pitch today,” said Hescock. “Larry was an unbelievable coach and mentor. We won two championships and I have great memories. As Larry used to say, ‘once a Royal, always a Royal’.’’
Notkin said Hescock developed into one of the best pitchers in the league.
“David was terrific,” said Notkin. “He had kids stymied with his fastball and drop-pitch. I’d put him on the list of the all-time great pitchers in the Pony League. And he pitched his best games in the playoffs when we needed him the most. He was clutch.”
A Return to the Diamond
Hescock, who did not play high school baseball, returned to the mound 15 years ago for the Dodgers in the Boston Men’s Baseball League. He is playing in the league’s 28-Over Division and the Masters’ 38-Over Division.
Hescock has been consistently striking out hitters in the highly competitive league that feature’s many former college players and pro prospects.
“My fastball is in the low 80s now,” said Hescock, who could hit 90 mph earlier in his career. “I’m still confident I can throw hard and get batters out. Some days I feel my age, but I’m out there giving it everything I have for my teammates.” One of those teammates is former Pop Warner and high school football standout Jon Pavlos.
David Hescock said he’s grateful to his mother, Nancy (Duval) Hescock for all the support and encouragement she has provided to him throughout his life.
“My mother brought me up and came to every single one of my games,” said David. “She never missed a game. I’ll always remember her being there for me always.”
David Hescock lived in Revere for 25 years before recently moving to Billerica. He and his wife, Michelle, have four sons and one daughter.
“They’re all great kids – my sons are in the union, and I have one child in high school,” said David.
Asked how long he will continue pitching in the Boston Men’s Baseball League, he replied, “I hope to keep playing and pitching as long as I can keep getting batters out.”