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Though decayed now, city landmark once provided happy memories

Backers hope to raise $45 million to restore the 10,000-seat White Stadium in Franklin Park.

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Backers hope to raise $45 million to restore the 10,000-seat White Stadium in Franklin Park.

JOHN FISH should be commended for the effort and leadership he has brought to the Boston Scholar Athletes program, and for his tremendous work in support of renovating White Stadium (“A plan to restore Franklin Park’s jewel,” Metro, June 24).

I grew up in the South End in the 1950s, and I was in seventh grade when I first discovered White Stadium. The Boston Public Schools’ track teams held meets at White Stadium, but only high school students practiced there as well. In junior high we ran our meets on the side of the track nearest the stands, while the high school athletes practiced across the football field from us.

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During the breaks in our meets, the public address announcer would call out the names of the high school boys: for instance, “warming up on the far side of the field: Andrew Rodriguez, Roxbury Memorial High School.” At the time, we didn’t know these boys nor their names, but we knew that we’d give anything to hear our names announced like that when we got to high school.

I can still remember the joy I felt during my own high school practice, while a middle school meet was taking place across the field, when I heard the announcer say “And warming up on the far side of the track: James Dilday, Boston English!” To this day I have no idea how that announcer knew my name, but I was thrilled.

White Stadium was an institution for generations of young athletes, and a source of pride for the city of Boston. Bringing it back to its former glory will truly enrich our community.

James S. Dilday

Boston

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