Honoring Irish heritage


Borough to recognize resident as Mayor for the Day

Roy Mallane
Roy Mallane

NAUGATUCK — Roy Mallane’s great baseball career came to an end when he was released from the minor league affiliate of the former New York Giants baseball team in the late 1950s.

But just as he continued to do for the rest of his life, Mallane made the most of a new opportunity. He went on to serve his country.

Mallane, now 77, spent a memorable two years in the Army and later in life served 20 years as a firefighter for the Naugatuck Fire Department. For his dedication to his hometown and to his country, Mallane will be honored next week as Naugatuck’s Irish Mayor for the Day.

After graduating from Naugatuck High School in 1955, Mallane went on to the Bordentown Military Institute. When he left, the Naugatuck native signed a Major League Baseball contract with the former New York Giants. At the time, he was only the second person from Naugatuck, behind former Yankees pitcher Frank “Spec” Shea, to sign a professional contract. He played shortstop and the outfield.

In the Army, Mallane served two years in the 1st Battle Group, 3rd Infantry, known as “The Old Guard,” a ceremonial unit at Fort Myer, Va., which is adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery. He had the honor of participating in the three-day interment of the remains of the unknown soldiers, one from World War II and one from the Korean War. He also served in the Honor Guard at “The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” And he was part of the Honor Guard for President Dwight Eisenhower, and the Honor Cordon for Queen Elizabeth of England, Prime Minister Nehru of India and Chancellor Konrad Anenauer of Germany.

Upon discharge, he worked 15 years in the Brick Layers Union, 10 years for the Platt Brothers & Co. and retired from the Naugatuck Fire Department.

A member of the Naugatuck Hall of Fame, Mallane has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 51 years. They have four adult children.

Mallane will be honored during St. Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Naugatuck on Monday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. The events will include a mass at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 9 a.m. followed by a procession to Naugatuck Town Hall, 229 Church St. At Town Hall, the American and Irish flags will be raised, there will be speeches and entertainment.

At noon, a corned beef and cabbage dinner will be held Father Donahue Hall at St. Francis of Assisi Church. Tickets for the dinner, which includes all of the traditional trimmings plus coffee or tea, will be $10, while a corned beef sandwich will be $5. All of the proceeds from the event will go toward the Naugatuck Ecumenical Food Bank. The event is open to the public.