Bulkeley High School’s 90th Birthday Bash





12:00pm to 5pm

at the


20 Leibert Road, Hartford CT

TICKETS: $25.00 which includes park entrance, parking, brunch and soft drinks.

A Cash Bar will be available throughout the afternoon.

Children Under age 12: $15.00

This venue is wheelchair accessible

On Friday, September 23, 2016 there will be a ceremony and brief tour beginning at 4 PM at the original Bulkeley High School (now M.D. Fox Elementary) on Maple Avenue and proceeding to the Bulkeley Historical Center (300 Wethersfield Avenue) for light refreshments. Please gather at the Maple Avenue site at 4pm.

Please make checks* payable to BHS Alumni Association: send to: Lou Frasca c/o Bulkeley High School, 300 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114 by September 16, 2016.

*Please include your telephone number/ email with your payment, and indicate whether you will attend the September 23rd ceremony at MD Fox.

In the event of inclement weather, the venue may have to change, or we may postpone. If the need arises, we will make information available via email, phone calls and the alumni website, BHS Alumni.com


Bulkeley High School Hall of Fame

Bulkeley Hall Of Fame Starts With … Morgan Bulkeley

Morgan G. Bulkeley was president of Aetna Life Insurance Company from 1879 until his death in 1922. He was mayor of Hartford from 1880-1888, governor of Connecticut from 1889-1893 and a member of the U.S. Senate from 1905-1911.

By Tom Yantz

Morgan Bulkeley, the first president of the National League and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, headlines the inaugural class of 23 inductees in the Bulkeley High School Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 4.Bob Raffalo, chairman of the hall of fame committee, said the hall of fame was long overdue. When he rattled off some names, that became apparent.HandoutHartford’s ‘Schoolboy’ Johnny Taylor circa 1936 or ’37 when he played for the New York Cubans.”Morgan Bulkeley, Babe Allen, Lou Bazzano, Gene Reilly, Johnny Taylor; just so many great ones,” said Raffalo, a former coach and athlete at Bulkeley. “This is the time to honor the first hall of fame class.”The dinner and induction ceremony Oct. 4 is at the Chowder Pot IV, 165 Brainard Road, Hartford. The time and ticket price will be announced.Bulkeley joins the two other public high schools in Hartford, Hartford Public and Weaver, with an athletic hall of fame.”It should be a special, memorable ceremony,” he said.For information on the hall of fame induction and the golf tournament call Raffalo at 860-227-0438 or 860-388-1577 or email him at Raffalo@sbcglobal.net.

A golf tournament to benefit the Bulkeley Athletic Hall of Fame will be held June 13 at Goodwin Park Golf Course in Hartford. The event is in honor of former Bulkeley golf coach “Big” Jim Suitor. Fred Kask (Bulkeley Class of 1955), a four-time Connecticut state amateur champion, will be the guest. The entry fee is $95 and includes cart, greens fees, lunch, beverages, practice range balls, a raffle and prizes. Registration is at 11:30 a.m.; lunch is at noon; and a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

Raffalo said a lot of work was done by a committee to determine the inductees.

That day each inductee or a family representative, if the inductee has passed away, will receive a plaque. An etching of each of the honorees’ names in Babe Allen Field House also is planned.

Allen was a longtime coach at Bulkeley. The field house is name in his honor. Among the achievements for Bazzano was his time as the Bulldogs’ heralded boys basketball coach. Reilly, considered by many the greatest basketball player in school history, later starred at Central Connecticut. Taylor set what is believed to be the national high school record with 25 strikeouts in a nine-inning game on June 2, 1933.

Bulkeley High School Inductees:

Arthur “Babe” Allen, 1926-1963, coach; Louis Bazzano, 1953-1966, coach; Morgan Bulkeley, honorary/meritorious service; Edward Caffigan, Class of 1955, athlete; Joseph Cottone, ’34, athlete; Peter Dengenis, ’60, athlete; Felix Karsky, ’51, athlete, teacher; Edward Korisky, ’36, athlete, coach; Barry Leghorn, ’60, athlete; Charles Mazurek, ’50, athlete; Frank Mirabello, ’52, athlete; Joseph Mozzicato, ’54, athlete; Joseph Meucci, ’57, athlete; Carmen Perrone, ’58, athlete; Robert Raffalo Sr., ’60, athlete; Robert Repass, ’35, athlete; Gene Reilly, ’60, athlete; Robert Sullivan, ’65, athlete; William Schmidt, ’55, athlete; Frank Scelza, ’44, athlete; William Skelley, ’51, athlete; Johnny Taylor, ’34, athlete; Fran Vandermeer, ’75, athlete.

Hartford’s Bulkeley High School To Establish Athletic Hall of Fame

This Article appeared December 31, 2014 in the Hartford Courant

By Vanessa de la Torre contact the reporter

Hartford’s Bulkeley High School to create its own Hall of Fame

HARTFORD — The Bulldogs of Bulkeley High School will soon get their own athletic Hall of Fame, boosters said this week.

Student-athletes, championship teams, coaches and administrators from nearly 90 years of Bulkeley sports history will be considered for the hall, which could welcome its first class of inductees in fall 2015, said Bob Raffalo, a former baseball coach at the South End school.

Initial plans call for etching the honorees’ names in the gymnasium and displaying their images and accomplishments on a digital monitor near the school’s main office, said Lou Frasca, dean of students for Bulkeley’s Upper School.

The public will be asked to nominate candidates by April, Frasca said. Nomination forms are expected to be finalized and posted in the coming weeks.

More than a dozen people may be inducted the first time around, Raffalo said, because “we’re behind and we need to catch up a little bit.” People may be honored posthumously.

Hartford Public High School has its own Hall of Fame, and at cross-town Weaver High School, the 1994 inaugural ceremony for its sports hall drew former standouts such as then-NBA player Rick Mahorn, class of 1976.

The push for Bulkeley’s stemmed from personal experience: In 2011, Raffalo was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Linfield College in Oregon, where he played baseball and was a diver after graduating from Bulkeley in 1960.

“I felt it was a complete, full circle of your athletic endeavors,” said Raffalo, an Old Saybrook resident who traveled west for the induction. “I think a Bulkeley Hall of Fame has been long overdue.”

After college, Raffalo returned to Hartford and spent much of his career teaching physical education at Bulkeley. He also coached five sports over the years, he said, gaining a wide perspective on the history of Bulkeley athletics.

A few years before he retired, Raffalo led a fundraising initiative that produced 75 Bulkeley championship banners for the gym to celebrate the school’s 75th anniversary in 2001.

Alumni also donated funds for a more recent project: In 2013, Bulkeley transformed a vacant room on the school’s second floor into the Morgan Gardner Bulkeley Historical Center, a showcase of school memorabilia that includes a 1926 varsity letter awarded by the Bulkeley Athletic Association to founding Principal Gustave Feingold.

Frasca, a 1988 Bulkeley graduate, said planning for the Hall of Fame began about three weeks ago with Raffalo, Athletic Director Diane Callis and retired teacher Maria Mascaro, who helped create the historical center. The first induction ceremony and banquet could be held in October, he said.

Organizers are seeking $25 donations to help support the Hall of Fame. Contributions may be sent to Bulkeley Athletic Hall of Fame, in care of Lou Frasca, at Bulkeley High School, 300 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, CT 06114. For more information, call Raffalo at 860-227-0438.

Time Capsule Discovered For Bulkeley High’s Historical Center In Hartford- Fundraising Continues For Historical Center


  • // August 09, 2013|By VANESSA DE LA TORRE, vdelatorre@courant.com, The Hartford Courant

HARTFORD — A 1920s time capsule extracted from a cornerstone Friday will be displayed at the Morgan Gardner Bulkeley Historical Center when it formally opens next month.

The project to transform a former book room at Bulkeley High School into a center honoring the institution’s past received $10,000 recently from a 1963 graduate celebrating his 50th reunion this year. The gift funded several upgrades, including the school crest featured prominently on new flooring.But a committee of Bulkeley staff and alumni is still seeking donations to buy display cases for school memorabilia and treasures — especially the time capsule that a masonry worker removed from the renovated M.D. Fox School building on Maple Avenue, the original home of Bulkeley High.  A page from a long-ago Bulkeley yearbook tipped off school administrators to the existence of a capsule hidden during Bulkeley’s first year of construction.  On Nov. 20, 1924, months after crews broke ground, “the cornerstone was laid” at the South End school on the corner of Maple and Benton Street, the yearbook reads. “Among the articles and records of interest that were placed in a box under this cornerstone were the names and pictures of the Building Commission,” a city map and American coins from that year. Bulkeley cost $2 million to build at the time and opened in September 1926 to roughly 1,000 students, according to the yearbook that notes the 115-member, inaugural class of 1927. Bulkeley High moved from Maple to Wethersfield Avenue in the mid-1970s. About a week ago, the manager for Hartford’s school construction program ordered some careful exploring for the time capsule on the site of the $54.4 million M.D. Fox renovation that is almost finished, said Craig Ayotte, superintendent for general contractor Downes Construction. “We were directed to do some investigative work to find out if it was there,” explained Sal Indomenico, vice president of Connecticut Mason Contractors. Ayotte and others soon focused on the towering stone pillars that flank the school’s red entrance. The foot of one pillar is a smooth block with “1924” etched into it. They picked that one. “This was a first-shot deal,” Ayotte said. “We removed the stone,” Indomenico said, “and found the copper box.” Esconced in a square hiding place made especially for it, the box was eight inches high, a foot long and covered in a patina of mottled turqoise blue. But workers put the stone back in place and waited until 8 a.m. Friday, when a few Bulkeley staffers came to retrieve it under a drizzling rain. An employee for Connecticut Mason did the honors of prying back the stone and handing over the capsule. Bulkeley staff won’t peruse its contents until Aug. 21, said Lou Frasca, dean of students for Bulkeley’s Upper School. The first unveiling will be to Bulkeley teachers and guests at the high school’s professional development day, he said. The historical center’s official opening is set for Sept. 27, the day before the 50th- and 55th-year reunions for Bulkeley’s classes of 1963 and 1958. Frasca, a 1988 graduate, hopes news of the time capsule will help fundraising. The committee has collected $10,500 of a $50,000 goal for the center, which will include canvas portraits of past principals, a table for formal meetings, and a wall history of Morgan Gardner Bulkeley, who was a city mayor, state governor, U.S. senator and president of Aetna before his death in 1922. An electronic kiosk where visitors can digitally search all of Bulkeley’s yearbooks is also planned, organizers said.

East Lyme’s Morgan Bulkeley entered Hall as first National League President

Editor’s Note: The 2013 induction ceremonies into the National Baseball Hall of Fame will take place on July 28th in Cooperstown, NY. Despite the storied history of the Hall, most of the followers of the game here in Connecticut are probably unaware that anybody from this state is included among its members. Yet there are three “old time” players and two executives enshrined there. The following is the second in a series of columns for SportzEdge by Joel Alderman, paying tribute to these men from Connecticut for their contributions to baseball and our state.

This is a story about the three B’s, not from the world of classical music but, in this case, Baseball, Bridges and a man named Bulkeley.

Morgan Gardner Bulkeley of East Haddam, Connecticut, was the original president of baseball’s National League, and the first non-player from this state to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, few of the game’s fans ever heard of him. In this area his name is familiar more because of a high school and a certain historic bridge that goes over the Connecticut River linking Hartford and East Hartford. The Bulkeley Bridge is referred to repeatedly in daily traffic reports on Hartford area television and radio stations. More on the bridge later.

220px-Morgan_G_BulkeleyThe first “B” – Baseball

The baseball part of Bulkeley’s accomplishments is highlighted by his selection, in the second year of voting, to the Hall of Fame by its Centennial Commission. He was inducted posthumously in 1937, a hundred years after his birth and 15 years following his death. It would be tempting to say he was named because he was one of the greatest of National League presidents. But that is not the case. Instead it was primarily because he happened to be the first president that the league would have.[1]

In 1874 there existed the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. Bulkeley was a founder of one of its teams, the Hartford Dark Blues. He and his group of investors purchased property at the corner of Wyllys Street and Hendricxsen Avenue. Those spellings are unusual but correct, and the roads still exist in Hartford. The land was used to build the Hartford Baseball Grounds.

“The ball park was enclosed with an eight-foot-high wooden fence and measured about 400 feet by 500 feet. A pavilion with seating for 500 stockholders and season ticket holders was built behind home plate, which abutted Wyllys Street. Tiered bleachers for 500 more general admission spectators were built along the first base foul line . . . 350 additional seats were added on the third-base side of the diamond and were reserved exclusively for ladies and the gentlemen accompanying them. Hendricxsen Avenue ran on the other side of the fence behind these stands. More seats may have subsequently been added as it was reported later in the season that seating capacity was 2,000 spectators.”[2]

Vintage baseball games are still being played on the field where Bulkeley’s ball park stood. It is now called the Hartford Base Ball Grounds at Colt Meadows.

In 1876 the National Association folded and was replaced by the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, which even now is the official but hardly used name for what is popularly just known as the National League. The Hartford team was one of its seven charter members and Bulkeley was named the league’s original president.

Because he also had political and business ambitions, he was more of a figurehead than an active leader. He accepted the position with the understanding that it would be for no more than a year and he stepped aside after only ten months. His main responsibility was “to control illegal gambling, drinking and fan rowdiness.”[3] He did not make any important decisions, and left those to an associate, William Hulbert, who was to take over the National League’s presidency the following year.

Another part that Bulkeley played in early baseball history was to be one of seven members of the Mills Commission, the group that investigated the origins of baseball. In 1907 it came to a conclusion the country wanted to hear- that it is an American game invented by an American, Abner Doubleday. That became a popular myth. It contained statements that could not be verified, and there is good evidence that baseball really originated in England from the game of rounders.

The bridge linking Hartford and East Hartford, named after Morgan G. Bulkeley.

The second “B” – Bridges

Bulkeley was chairman of a special commission created by the Connecticut State Legislature to oversee the building of a span carrying what is now I-84, U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 44. It would be the third such bridge at that location. The first, built in 1810, was flooded out eight years later. The second, a covered bridge, was destroyed by fire in 1895. The structure used today has been there since 1910 and was first known as the Hartford Bridge. After his death in 1922 it was renamed in his honor and became the Morgan G. Bulkeley Bridge. It was and still is the largest stone arch bridge in the world.[4]

The third “B” – Buckley in war, politics and business

Although we are mainly just about sports here at SportzEdge, we must digress to point out that baseball was really only a small part of the varied and successful life of Morgan Bulkeley.

He was in the Union army in the American Civil War, was a Hartford city councilman, a four-term mayor of Hartford from 1880 to 1888, a two term United States Senator from 1905 to 1911, the Governor of Connecticut from 1889-1993, and a president and a leading force with the Aetna Life Insurance Company for 43 years. He received honorary degrees from Yale and Trinity. And for more than thirty years he was an official of the National Trotting Association.[5]

Bulkeley HS
Bulkeley’s picture hangs in Bulkeley High School in Hartford.

Another present day connection to Bulkeley is that one of the schools in Hartford has carried his name from the time it opened in 1926.[6] It is officially known as Morgan Gardner Bulkeley High School, but referred to by sports fans, the media, and the general public as Bulkeley High School, Hartford Bulkeley, Bulkeley of Hartford, or simply Bulkeley.

It is ironic that few if any who now attend the high school bearing his name “don’t know who he is,” Lou Frasca, a dean of students, told the Hartford Courant early this year.[7]

To help rectify that situation, a committee of staff and alumni are in the midst of establishing the Morgan Gardner Bulkeley Historical Center at the school. Formerly a book room overlooking the gymnasium and swimming pool, it is now an eleven hundred square foot area to contain a portrait and written biography of Bulkeley, display cases with trophies and memorabilia, a conference table for meetings, and a hardwood floor on which the school crest is painted.

The project is down to its finishing touches, and the formal dedication of the Center, according to Frasca, is tentatively scheduled for September 27th. “It will be used as a meeting place for the Alumni Association as well as for ceremonies and receptions,” he said.

In 1924 a boxed time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the school building and it is believed to contain newspapers, coins, pictures and other items of the day. The box is expected to be retrieved and opened later this year and may shed more valuable information about Bulkeley and other historical subjects.

The first “B” – Baseball, again

In closing, let’s go back to baseball, because we cannot help but think that the game today could certainly use a man like Morgan Gardner Bulkeley. The conditions he faced and fought against as the first President of the National League in 1876 unfortunately did not go away for long, if they did at all. They still exist in many of our ballparks in the year 2013- “gambling, drinking and fan rowdiness.”

Hartford Courant: At Hartford’s Bulkeley High School, A Push To Preserve The Past

hc-hartford-bulkeley-historical-0207-20130206-001Committee Plans To Raise $60,000 To Create Bulkeley Historical Center

A rendering of the proposed Bulkeley Historical Center at Bulkeley High… (Handout )
HARTFORD — — Morgan Gardner Bulkeley was the city’s mayor, the state’s governor, a U.S. senator and president of Aetna before his death in 1922.
Bulkeley High School opened four years later in Hartford’s South End.
These days, students “don’t know who he is,” said 1988 graduate Lou Frasca, dean of students for Bulkeley’s Upper School. He hopes that will change.

A committee of Bulkeley staff and alumni plans to raise $60,000 this year to establish the Morgan Gardner Bulkeley Historical Center on the school’s second floor, which will feature a portrait and history of the man, a wall of display cases for trophies and memorabilia, a conference table for meetings and the school crest printed on the hardwood floor.
The space, a former book room, is currently vacant except for a few filing cabinets, stacks of boxes and cabinets packed with decades-old trophies. The area will connect to the school’s college and career center, which is being moved from the first floor.
“This will be a place where students and staff will be proud to walk through,” said Bulkeley’s Upper School Principal Gayle Allen-Greene, who wants to complete the historical center by this fall. “It will look like they’re in a college.”
Allen-Greene has written a letter to alumni asking them to support “a living museum that tells our Bulkeley story.” The committee is looking for relics of Bulkeley’s past, such as school banners, and financial donations, Frasca said.
Allen-Greene said she and Maria Mascaro, a tutor and retired English teacher at Bulkeley who graduated from the school in 1967, began discussing plans for a center about a year ago — not only as a place for students to learn about Bulkeley’s history, but as a gathering spot to welcome alumni.
Bartholomew Contract Interiors in Hartford created design renderings with seed money from the Bulkeley alumni association.
One of the committee’s ideas, Allen-Greene said, is to digitally preserve the school’s yearbooks and have an electronic kiosk where visitors can search pages dating back to 1926, when the school opened on Maple Avenue. Bulkeley High moved to Wethersfield Avenue in the mid-1970s.
Portraits of former Bulkeley principals, now kept in the school library, will also be featured in the center, Allen-Greene said.
And there will be a spotlight on Bulkeley, himself: Among the man’s accomplishments is posthumous induction in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for his role as the first president of the National League when it was formed in 1876.
People may send contributions to the Bulkeley High School Historical Center, in care of Lou Frasca, at 300 Wethersfield Ave., Hartford, CT 06114. Alumni may also sign up for email updates at http://www.bulkeleyalumni.org.