NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> The crack of the bat echoed through the air Monday afternoon as vintage base ball returned to Pickering Field.

A Memorial Day game between the Newtown Strakes and the Flemington Neshanock turned back the clocks to when catches and pitches were done bare-handed and a ball caught on a bounce is considered an out.

A respectable crowd watched the action from just beyond the fence line in the stands, on blankets and in chairs munching on popcorn and $1 hot dogs.

Mayor Charles Corky Swartz had the honor of throwing out the first pitch of the game, which was played in memory of Jim Casey Sr., who passed away in December due to complications from COVID-19.

Casey was a loyal US veteran who loved Newtown and pursued all opportunities to honor his country and his fellow veterans.

For years, “Casey” was instrumental in organizing the Newtown Memorial Day Parade for American Legion Post 440. He also was a driving force behind the creation of the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, the naming of Veterans Park in Newtown Township in honor of all military branches and the erecting of the newly-dedicated “Lest We Forget” veterans Memorial statue at the Church of Saint Andrew on

Casey was also a staunch supporter of the youth programs in Newtown Borough. And he worked with numerous Eagle Scouts and their projects over the years, including the flagpole at centerfield at Pickering Field and projects at the Morell Smith American Legion Post 440 on Linden Road. Additionally, Casey was instrumental in re-establishing the American Legion Baseball program in partnership with the Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association.

Casey’s wife and third grade sweetheart, Ann, attended the game with her family and friends to cheer on the Newtown Strake and to remember Jim, who was a kind, compassionate, fun-loving, devoted, and honest “people person.”

The vintage ball game took a break in the seventh inning for performances of “God Bless America” by Emily Higgins and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” sung by John “The Voice” Dugan.

The game wrapped up with the Newtown Strake claiming a decisive victory with a 16 to 8 win over the Flemington Neshanock.

The game, which has become a Memorial Day tradition in town, was organized by the Council Rock Newtown Athletic Association and announced by John “The Voice” Dugan and Joel Grosso. Kevin O’Shea, Paul Jones and Bob Musto were event chairs.

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