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Boston Scenes 7-5-18: BASE Ball 5!

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy joined close to 500 BASE supporters, donors, program alumni, staff, parents, student-athletes, and other dignitaries at BASE Ball 5, held at Fenway Park on June 19.  The gala celebrated two milestones: the 40th anniversary of the Boston Astros, a pioneering urban baseball program founded by BASE president Robert Lewis Jr. in 1978, and the 5th anniversary of The BASE, which opened in Roxbury in 2013.

Billed as a Celebration of Urban Talent, the all-star event featured VIP speakers, a panel discussion, video, live auction, and on-field batting practice for BASE ballplayers. Guests also enjoyed a variety of Fenway fare, live music, and a chance to stroll around the historic ballpark on a picture-perfect night.   

During the program, Lewis presented Mayor Walsh with the 2018 Urban Talent Award. With the mayor’s support, said The BASE founder and president, he hopes to make Boston “the best city in America” for youth sports, a goal closer to being realized when The BASE opens its new headquarters in Clifford Park later this year.  Lewis also moderated a panel discussion involving a quartet of BASE alums: David Martinez, a Boston Police officer and 70s-era Astros player; Michel “Lucky” Luciano, a college-bound BASE grad; Sean “Coco” Webster, a recent graduate of Southern New Hampshire Univ.; and Sammy Alejo, currently attending New England College.  All four praised the BASE and the staff for providing them with a family-like structure and sense of purpose in their young lives.  “I went in an athlete and came out a scholar,” said Luciano, the recent recipient of a four-year scholarship to Assumption College.

BASE Alums Lucky Luciano, David Martinez, Sam Alejo, and Sean Webster talk about their experiences at The BASE with Robert Lewis Jr. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
BASE friends and supporters fill Fenway's seats for the program. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
BASE Girls Softball Players with coaches on the warning track. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
BASE players were able to take batting practice during the event. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
BASE student althetes take a seat in the dugout. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
BASE student athletes, alumni, and supporters join Governor Baker and Mayor Walsh on home plate. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
Governor Baker with Paul Marcus and his son Christopher Marcus. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Marty Walsh look on during the program. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
Governor Charlie Baker with Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian
Winn Companies Gilbert Winn, BASE Board Chair John Cook, and BASE Alum Xavier Feliz. Photo Credit: Leo Gozbekian