THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, June 7, 2024 Page 3 APPRECIATION: Bob Rotondi, the quintessential Maldonian, is already missed, deeply and immeasurably By Steve Freker B ob Rotondi was proud of his longevity, but he never reveled in it. It was not the first words out of his mouth if you came across him around town, at the ballfield or anywhere else you might see him. But he was certainly proud of it and so were all those who became a part of his Malden “friend family” along the years. Let’s face it, nearly 70 years is a long, long time to do anything – as they say – let alone manage a Malden Babe Ruth League. He made the lineup, talked about substitutions with his assistants and then enjoyed the walk-off win over his team’s opponent, the Chiefs. Bob DID enjoy that victory, though. It validated him for another year, another season and another chapter in his life. It was a happy night, even though it took a lot of work for the guys who had spent the past many months helping Bob get around and, quite simply, live his life. Deano, Paul, Andy, miration. It was a two-way street though; just as happy as the folks there to give him the spotlight, Bob dished it out as well. He loved to remember anecdotes, accomplishments and little stories about everyone else, whether they involved him or not. You see, this is why Bob was so beloved in Malden. When you are around as long as he was, you acquire a lot – new friends, new memories, new players... lots of “new.” Bob was a “keeper” and that’s why he was a magnet for a lot that was good in the city. One also loses a lot when you make it to age 85 and Bob certainly had losses as well. The passing of his sister, Diane, in January 2023 was a huge one, and some say he never recovered fully, and they are probably right. But Bob hung on, kept the flame going for Malden Babe Ruth and his circle of “friend family” members. Bob passed away Sunday and while it was not entirely unexpected, considering his poor health for much of the past two or three years, when is the finality of it all ever NOT unexpected? People talk about legacy when people who have “been around forever” leave us. Bob Rotondi does not even have to leave us a legacy. We were blessed and so eminently grateful to have him in that dugout, in that supermarket, at that ballpark for all these years just to be in his presence. That is his legacy. Well, forever is not always forever. Bob has left us and he will not be sitting in that dugout anymore, but he will still be watching the games, keeping score and encouraging all of us to keep the flame going for baseball in the city of Malden. And he will not mind at all if the Knights pull out a few extra victories along the way! Bob Rotondi: You have been loved, you have been admired and valued, you have been respected... and you are already missed, deeply and immeasurably, Rest in peace, Mr. Malden Babe Ruth! Bob Rotondi and Mayor Gary Christenson at Bob’s 85th birthday party at the Malden Moose a few weeks ago. Bob passed away on Sunday at the age of 85. (Advocate Photo) youth baseball team. It was a thrill to see him doing just that only two weeks ago, when Bob was sitting in his customary spot in the dugout of the ballpark that bears his name, down at the end of Maplewood Street. Yes, that is correct. By “hook or by crook,” Bob Rotondi was there at the start of his 60th season as the “Father of the Knights” in the Wayne, a handful of others... the list is long, but the people on it were grateful to help. Another happy day came this past March, late in the month, when the Malden Moose Hall was packed with friends, former players and plenty of others who came to help Bob celebrate his 85th birthday. Bob was all smiles that Saturday, awash in love and adWindow Glass & Screen Repair

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