DeFelice had the opportunity to sign with the Red Sox after his sophomore season at Boston College in 1961, when the Eagles, under coach Eddie Pellagrini, advanced to the semifinals of the College World Series.
“I chose to get my education and actually, I didn’t have a great senior season,” he recalled. “I had accepted a football coaching job at Christopher Columbus High in Boston’s North End, but then I had two great seasons playing summer ball and by that time was teaching and coaching in Winthrop.”
The Red Sox were again in pursuit and team vice president Dick O’Connell, who resided in Winthrop, arranged for DeFelice's leave of absence from the school system so he could play professionally.
DeFelice spent three seasons in the minors.
“I have no regrets. Some guys complain they didn’t get a fair shake. I just felt I had gone as far as I could go. I never envisioned I’d be coaching at Bentley for 45 years,” said DeFelice, who played and managed in the Intercity League till in his 40s.
“When all is said and done and you’ve taught them to play and respect the game, the best part of my job is sitting back and rooting for them.”
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.