DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — It’s a dream that all “Little Leaguers” have — to make it to the major leagues. A Dunmore native made it to the show in a unique way and now his fans are remembering him.
Monroe Plaza here in Dunmore is the site of the former Scranton Stadium, home of the former Scranton Red Sox of the Eastern League. What makes Joe Mooney’s story so unique is that he grew up right across the street.
Joe Mooney became the groundskeeper emeritus at Fenway Park.
“1520 Monroe Avenue that’s all I can remember and everything else. Dunmore High School is a very good high school. It was always a good town. Dunmore was always a good town,” Mooney once said.
“That is amazing, what goes around comes around you know. I wonder if he ever thought about that. You know picking up bats [as the mascot in 1946 for the Scranton Red Sox] and then years later he’s in such prominence,” said Jerry Valonis who managed the ACBL team at Fenway Park.
“My father collected tickets (at former Scranton stadium in Dunmore). Joe Mooney and him kinda buddied up and Joe was a little guy running around the stadium all the time,” said Kathleen Dougherty Nudelman, a Dunmore native.
Mooney learned field maintenance in Dunmore. From here he went to Louisville, San Francisco, Minnesota, Washington D.C. and in 1970 landed the premier job of groundskeeper at historic Fenway Park.
“We all went to Fenway Park and we had great third base seats through Joe Mooney,” said Kathleen.
“For how strict he was. Talking to people up there (Fenway Park). He was one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. He’d go out of his way to help you out,” said Valonis.
Red Sox Hall of Famer and Dunmore native Joe Mooney died over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the age of 90.