Peter DiCarlo was an All-Scholastic and All-Catholic running back at Immaculate Conception High School in Revere during the tenure of legendary football coach Ronnie Corbett.
DiCarlo, a 1956 IC graduate, would go on to become a legendary coach himself – but his field of expertise has been baseball. This spring DiCarlo is in his 50th consecutive year as a baseball coach and it is a career that cannot be measured solely in victories – but moreso by the instruction and guidance he has given to his players and the positive impact he has had on their lives beyond the diamond.
Coaching his Nephew’s Teams
“I started coaching because of [my nephew] Steven DiCarlo,” recalled Peter. “I went down to watch him when he was practicing at the old city field near Bianchi’s. Guy Meli was the coach and Steven was a 10-year-old on that team. Before I knew it, I was out there helping Guy Meli, a wonderful person.”
The DiCarlo connection stayed intact in the Revere Babe Ruth Baseball League when Peter coached the Bruins and Steven (Oakland Athletics) was one of two incredible pitchers on that team who would eventually be drafted by a Major League Baseball team. The other was a flame-throwing 13-year-old lefthander named Steve Cushing who was later selected by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the 1981 amateur draft following a brilliant career at St. Leo’s College.
“Those were two players who really blossomed as baseball players in the years to come,” said Peter.
In 1976, Peter took over the Revere Senior Babe Ruth (ages 16-18) travel team and held that position for 14 seasons.
“During that time I was also coaching the Bruins so I was coaching two teams at the same time,” he said.
DiCarlo coached many of Revere’s greatest players on the Senior Babe Ruth team. His 1977 team won the districts, the sectionals, the state championship, and advanced to the New England finals, just one win away from a trip to the World Series.
The ’77 roster was loaded with talent. In addition to the incomparable duo of pitchers DiCarlo and Cushing, there was Vin Martelli, who went on to star at Harvard and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, and Ray Foster (“One of the best second basemen I ever had,” said Peter).
Kris Oldoni, director of the Revere Police Activites League, and Paul Dawley, who now sits as the chief justice of the Massachusetts district courts, were among the standouts in the early 1980s. He coached some terrific brother combinations such as the Villanis (Mike and Steven), the Leones (Emilo and John) the Brights (Ronnie and Brian), and the Busseys (Bernie and Karl).
DiCarlo still raves about the hitting of current Revere schoolteacher Bobby Catinazzo as if it were yesterday. “Wow, what a player. He is in the top three or four pure hitters I had of all time.”
Other players that elicited DiCarlo “wows” for their baseball exploits included Chucky Blizzard, Jimmy Chesna, Dave Castellarin, current Revere Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hinojosa (Suffolk), Louie Oliveri (UMass/Amherst), Matt Ferullo (Michigan and New York Mets draft pick) Emilio Leone, Boston Red Sox draft pick Brian Bright, John Leone, and Terence Butt.
He also coached Revere Little League President Ronald LaQuaglia’s son, Ronnie (“A very good player,” said Peter).
He continued his baseball coaching at Dom Savio High School, leading the Spartans’ program from 1989 to 2005 when the school closed its doors.
“Two of the best pure hitters I had at Savio were Chris DiFlumeri and Joey Guarino, who had great hand-to-eye coordination,” said Peter.
James Moore of Revere became an All-Scholastic pitcher at Savio. Anthony DiCicco was another excellent pitcher for the DiCarlo-led Spartans. Three members of the fabulous Forbes family of East Boston, John, Michael, and Anthony. all played baseball for DiCarlo.
Other Savio players tearing it up in the Catholic Central League during the DiCarlo Era were: pitchers Mike McCarthy, Chris DiCicco, and Danny Delia, catcher Chris Orlandella, second baseman Paul Travaglini, shortstop Eric Serino, outfielder Brian Adamson, and power hitter Paul Tedesco.
Looking back that memorable time of coaching baseball, Peter said, “I learned a lot of my baseball from the wonderful George Doucette, who coached with me for 30 years, He was a great guy. We were Boston Braves fans. I’m a lifelong Braves fan. I saw Spahn and Sain and I went to the 1991 World Series in Atlanta.”
Peter remembers receiving the ultimate compliment from Major League baseball scout Lennie Merullo. “He came to one of my baseball camps at Savio and he said to me, ‘You’re a real baseball man.’’’
Daughter Logan, a Three-Sport Captain
Any story about Peter DiCarlo has to include his stint as the coach of the Revere middle school softball team and having his daughter, Logan DiCarlo, competing as one of the team’s best all-around players.
Logan was a talented infielder for the Revere seventh-and-eighth-grade softball team, from which many players went on to help Coach Joe Ciccarello’s Revere High team achieve the program’s greatest seaason ever: a Division 1 North sectional championship in 2014, just a few innings away from a trip to the state finals.
An outstanding student and athlete, Logan became a three-sport captain at Revere High and graduated from the highly acclaimed Isenberg School of Management at UMass/Amherst. Now 25, Logan is working in finance and accounting at a Boston firm.
“Those have been my proudest moments, watching my daughter, Logan, excel in the classroom and on the and field and matriculating and graduating from UMass,” said Peter.
Peter DiCarlo would be doing what he enjoys most right now – coaching Revere baseball players – if not for the current coronavirus crisis.
But this true gentleman of the game – who coached more than 1,200 players during his illustrious 50-year career – will be back to the baseball diamond soon.
Peter DiCarlo wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.