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Westfield Preservation Award issued to Daniel Genovese as founder of Wheelmen base ball team

Published: Saturday, September 04, 2010
Ted LaBorde, The Republican


Daniel L. Genovese, local author and vintage baseball captain, receives the Westfield Historical Commission's second annual historic preservation award from Denise Quinn, former commission chairwoman.
WESTFIELD – Historic preservation usually relates to building restoration in its original form.

But, there is also historic educational preservation, like preserving the original form of baseball or basketball.

That is why the Westfield Historical Commission has recognized the efforts of Daniel L. Genovese, author and captain and founder of the Westfield Wheelmen baseball team.

The commission’s Westfield Preservation Award was presented to Genovese last month and former commission chairwoman Denise Quinn said last week, “It is exciting to be able to present an award and recognize the educational preservation efforts of someone like Dan. The commission was delighted to get an application for something other than a building. Dan Genovese spreads the gospel of history.”

Genovese, who has written three books on Westfield’s baseball and basketball history, said of the award, “It was a surprise and an appreciation after research on my books that brings to life that which was buried for centuries. It was also an educational endeavor for me because of my research.”

Known as “Gunner” on the Westfield Wheelmen vintage baseball team because of his strong throwing arm, Genovese wrote two books on baseball and one on basketball and Westfield’s history involving both games.

Genovese re-founded the Westfield Wheelmen in 2006. “The team was quite active here in the 1800s,” he said.

A sales and marketing representative for OMG Roofing Products in Agawam, Genovese said his books are available locally at Wandering Peacock at Pilgrim Candle on North Elm St. and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble Bookstores.

The books are “The Old Ball Ground: the Chronological History of Westfield Baseball” and “The Old Ball Ground: Baseball in the Whip City" and "Rough House,” his effort to preserve the history of basketball in Westfield.

“Through his books, Daniel Genovese has preserved and brought to life the rich history of sports in Westfield,” the commission noted on his award.

Genovese was nominated for the award by his sister Christine Hagan, a retired Westfield High School English teacher. “He has brought history, preservation and honor to the City of Westfield, and has brought ‘our past into the future,’ through his books and the Westfield Wheelmen baseball team,” she wrote.

Quinn said the award, created last year, aims to commend those who work to maintain the historic properties or landscape in the community.

Two awards were presented last year, one to Easthampton Savings Bank for rehabilitation and preservation of its branch bank on Broad Street and the other to Pavel Kulyak for rehabilitation of a Federal revival style house on East Silver Street.