BY John Connolly
Boston Herald Staff
One thing is certain about Junior Medina: He loves baseball.
The 34-year-old former Stonehill College outfielder has remained heavily involved in the sport on a variety of fronts. Whether it is directing his Baseball Training facility in Braintree, staying involved with the Boston Park League (JM Force and Carlson Club), or coaching at Canton High School, it's easy to see that he is committed to giving back to the game.
So, it comes as no surprise that Medina is the choice for the Greg Montalbano Award. The award is presented to a former participant in the Oldtime Baseball Game who best exemplifies Montalbano's spirit, competitiveness and good nature.
Medina, who played in the game in 2000 and 2001, will receive the award during festivities at the 20th annual Oldtime game, which takes place at St. Peter's Field in North Cambridge on Aug. 21 (7 p.m.). This year's event is being played to benefit the Scleroderma Foundation of New England. Medina will wear a vintage 1926 St. Louis Cardinals uniform, which Montalbano used as a participant in the 1997 and 1998 games.
Montalbano, a Westboro native and fifth-round selection by the Red Sox in 1998, died of cancer in 2009 at the age of 31.
"It's an honor to be wearing it, especially knowing Greg as a friend as well as playing with him in the Cape League. We played in Orleans with the Cardinals," said Medina, who had his own rooting section on hand for yesterday's practice session: wife, Danielle; and children, Logan, 3, and 8-month-old Londyn.
"We spent time together and it's unbelievable how people cross your path, and we crossed at the right time. He helped me out with clinics and camps in the offseason, even when he had the cancer diagnosis. He would still want to come out and help me run street clinics in the city or outside the city, which is a testament to what type of person he was. I just love to play baseball. I just tell my guys it's more important to be a good person."
A pregame ceremony will honor late Red Sox ambassador Johnny Pesky, who was a coach in the Oldtime Baseball Game for 10 years. Pesky's son, Dave, and popular Fenway Park public address announcer Dick Flavin are expected to be on hand.
Also expected to attend are former Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni, who is making his sixth appearance in the game, and Peter Frates of Beverly, the director of operations for the Boston College baseball program. In 2012, Frates was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
In case of rain, the game's makeup date will be Aug. 22, also at 7.