Farewell, Richard F. ‘Dick’ Burgess (1947-2013)

In the 1980s I played some serious softball with the Burgess Construction team in the Dracut Softball League. “Richie” Burgess, as I knew him, played on some of those teams, including the championship team in 1988. I wrote a poem, “Bragging Rights,” to commemorate that winning season, and following is an excerpt shared in memory of a teammate who was a Dracut High graduate, an Air Force veteran, and Lowell fire fighter for more than 30 years.—PM


Jimmy Shea, Bobby Bowen, Ricky and Timmy Wholey,

Jimmy Allen, Paul Marion, Greg Dooley,

Ronnie Durand, Andy Lefebvre, Billy Fuller,

Johnny Connor, Kevin Cote, Kenny Crider,

Charlie, Richie, and Brian Burgess!

Call out the names of the champions,

The welders and mailmen and computer heads,

The hitters and pitchers and fielders,

The boys who are men who are boys,

A team for the perfect summer game.

We’ll remember the sweet feel of winning

Next spring when the season starts even,

Knowing that no one can take it away,

History cannot be erased:

We were the best in ’88.

The sore back and twisted ankle,

The night when the lawn needed mowing,

The nightmare of replayed errors,

The clutch single in the last of the seventh,

Everything becomes worth the effort.

. . .

We played as well as we knew how,

And we won it all in the end.