LAWRENCE – To legions of Central Catholic students over decades, it’s been known simply as “the small gym.”
To Marc Pelletier, it is home to his pride and joy, the Central Catholic Baseball program.
“That small gym, it’s all we have ... and we get so much out of it,” said Pelletier. “It’s got to be hundreds of times that we’ve gone out and played MVC games the day after practicing in that small gym.”
It’s become a symbol of pride. And some 27 seasons later, it’s a place to celebrate as well. Pelletier, a Central grad himself, was recently elected to the Mass. Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In a ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel in Westborough on January 25, Pelletier will be inducted along with three others.
“When I found out, I was just probably as humbled as I’ve ever been,” said Pelletier. “A kid grows up in a three-family house in Lawrence, and all of a sudden makes the Hall of Fame. This goes to all the thousands of kids over the years, who’ve made a coach look good.”
Pelletier, whose program really doesn’t have a home practice or game field, has racked up an impressive 330-225 mark over the 26 seasons, qualifying in 22 of the 26 years for the state tournament. His teams have won seven MVC titles and one North championship, back in 1993.
“We always seem to find a way in to the tournament, and I’d love to go back and list some of the amazing ways we accomplished it,” said Pelletier.
Tewksbury High coach Ron Drouin, an MBCA executive committee member, spoke on Pelletier’s behalf at the Hall of Fame Committee meeting.
“Being the one private school in a public school league isn’t easy, but Marc is such a likeable guy, even though it’s like he’s coaching the Yankees,” said Drouin.