Dublin names sports coach its Citizen of the Year

  • Dublin Select Board Chair Charlie Champagne, left, congratulates the town’s 2012 Citizen of the Year Chris Gallagher at Saturday’s Town Meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)
  • Dublin Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Priscilla Morrill)

DUBLIN — For 20 years, a Dublin father and volunteer has donated his time to a youth baseball program, which he told the Ledger-Transcript on Saturday, is dear to his heart.

Chris Gallagher’s responsibilities as a coach in the ConVal Cal Ripken Baseball League began when his son took to the sport in the early 1990s. Since then, he has also served as the Dublin league president — a position he holds today.

Gallagher’s long-standing commitment to the program isn’t something he had really thought much about. But that changed Saturday, he said. At Town Meeting town officials spoke to Gallagher’s service and surprised him with the annual Citizen of the Year award.

“I was really shocked to receive the award,” Gallagher said by phone just hours after the ceremony. “It was very humbling.”

Gallagher usually attends Town Meeting, but had a commitment out-of-state this year, which he thought would prevent him from going. “My wife convinced me otherwise,” he laughed.

The Cal Ripken Baseball League is open to 5- to 12-year-old children in towns that are a part of the ConVal School District, including Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Peterborough, Sharon and Temple. Even though Dublin is a small town, Gallagher said there are always a high percentage of kids interested in joining the league.

“The league is co-ed, but often as girls get older, like 11 or 12, they play softball and leave the league. But one year we had five girls that stayed with it and played all the way through,” he said.

Practice for this upcoming season is expected to start in mid-April, or when the fields dry out, with games continuing through June, Gallagher said. “The kids play hard and have a lot of fun,” he said.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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