September 25, 2017



Providence, R.I.-Rhode Island College will re-name its baseball field Pontarelli Field after RIC Athletic Hall of Famer and R.I. baseball legend Art Pontarelli í71, í74 with a special dedication ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 30 (noon).


Pontarelli has had a relationship with Rhode Island College that began in 1966 and continues to this very day.




The Pawtucket native began his athletic career at a young age, which continued through his teenage years at Tolman High School, where he was a standout as a forward in basketball and a pitcher/first baseman in baseball. Pontarelli earned All-State honors for his prowess on the diamond as a senior in 1966.


When it came time to choose an institution of higher learning, he stayed local and made the short ride over to Rhode Island College. As a student-athlete for the Anchormen, Pontarelli played one year of basketball for legendary Athletic Hall of Fame Coach Bill Baird, and starred for four seasons in his primary sport of baseball for Hall of Fame Coach and former major leaguer Dave Stenhouse. Pontarelli was one of the teamís top pitchers, and spent his off days patrolling first base.




He earned a bachelorís degree in secondary education in 1971 and followed that up with his masterís degree in secondary administration three years later.


Pontarelli also stayed in the Ocean State professionally, serving as a history teacher and also working in administration while at Ponaganset High School from 1971 until his retirement in 1997.


He also has compiled an impressive coaching resume, which began as an assistant baseball coach, under Stenhouse, from 1976-80. During this time span, the program recorded its most dominant stretch, winning the New England Small College Athletic Conference every year and advancing to the NCAA Tournament four times, highlighted by reaching the Division III College World Series in 1979.


After Stenhouse stepped down, Pontarelli assumed the Head Coachís duties from 1981 through 1984, before moving across the state to become the Head Baseball Coach at the Community College of Rhode Island.


He built the Knights into one of the regionís top junior college programs in his tenure from 1985 through 1992. In an eight-year stretch, CCRI won the New England Championship four times and captured the Regional Championship three times, which qualified the Knights for the Junior College World Series. Pontarelli had eight players go on to play professional baseball, including pitcher Rheal Cormier, who played 16 seasons of Major League Baseball.




When his coaching career ended, he moved on to serve as a professional baseball scout with the Colorado Rookies from 1992-07, and currently works as a professional scout with the New York Mets.


Pontarelli has remained connected with Rhode Island College, serving as the Executive Director of the Anchor Club, which is RICís athletic booster club, and as the Chair of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Athletic Director. He was inducted into RICís Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and was the collegeís recipient of the R.I. Speaker of the House and House of Representatives Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013.


He resides in Lincoln with his wife Teresa. Pontarelli has a son and a daughter, as well as three stepchildren, and 13 grandchildren.