“Practice the way you want to play. No practice, No play.” A man of few words, but these words from Emo were powerful ones. “The World of Baseball in South Boston will never be the same without Emo.”, a tearful Peggy O’Brien said.
For over six decades, Harold “Emo, Don’t Call Me Elmer” Barron coached in the South Boston Babe Ruth League. He began coaching in this league in 1957 and this spring he was entering his sixty-third season. During his long and storied Babe Ruth career, he coached and mentored over two thousand South Boston players, two of whom are now our state senator Nick Collins and state representative David Biele, who participated in the ceremony on Babe Ruth Field at Moakley Park this past Saturday. He was an original coach in the Southie Babe Ruth League and was inducted into the Eastern Massachusetts Babe Ruth Hall of Fame for his commitment to this sport. He even made time to coach Gate of Heaven basketball.
Emo lived a long life and lived it well. He didn’t waste energy wasting time. He will be missed for his dedication to this community, his love for sports, and his love for the young athletes he mentored throughout the years. “Emo was truly a great coach,” said Paul Dumas, who played on Emo’s first team in 1957 and is a past president of Southie Babe Ruth. “He was one of the best that I ever known and or witnessed.” “Baseball was the life and passion of Harold “Emo” Barron Jr.”, said George Lally, an International Board Member of Babe Ruth Baseball and a former president of the South Boston Babe Ruth League.
Beyond South Boston his coaching style was brought to basketball and baseball at the Gavin School, where he was also a teacher and his teams were perennial champions. He also coached baseball and basketball at Archbishop William High School, basketball at Millis High School. Multi-talented Emo taught water-skiing at Club Med, as well as taught many South Boston teenagers. He even became an airplane pilot in his 70’s.
Nick Collins said, “Emo was a great coach and teacher. He taught us how to focus on the fundamentals of the game and showed us how to build a foundation of skills that you’d need to draw on in game situations. South Boston is better off because of his over 60 years of service to the community. He will be sorely missed. Kevin Lally South Boston Babe Ruth League President remarked, “ I know that for the rest of my life, when I am at the Babe Ruth League Fields and as I look down at the third base coach’s box, I will always see Emo standing there waving a player home – Well, God was as third base and he waved Emo home. Rest in peace my good friend.”