Former Red Sox pitcher Robert Cremins dies at 98
Robert Cremins, a lifelong Pelham Manor resident who once pitched for the Boston Red Sox, died yesterday at home. He was 98.
Cremins, a World War II veteran, was also a former Pelham town supervisor and served 36 years as Pelham receiver of taxes.
Of his many achievements, Cremins was perhaps proudest to have been a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the late 1920s, pitching briefly with the club before an injury ended his career in 1928. He often told the story of the time in 1927 that he pitched against legendary New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth.
A standout scholastic athlete, Cremins was inducted into the Westchester Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
In an interview with this newspaper in 1994, he bemoaned the way baseball had changed since his day. "I was paid $350 a month," Cremins said. "We played because we loved the game. I didn't give a damn about the money."
Born Feb. 15, 1906, Cremins graduated from Pelham Memorial High School. He later attended Grand Central Art School in New York City, fueling a lifelong passion for art — he worked as a cartoonist for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and was hired to paint designs on boxing ring canvases for major regional bouts.
"He enjoyed baseball and he enjoyed his art," said Cremins' daughter, Patricia Piraneo, who lived with her father in Pelham Manor. "I have a lot of his art hung up in his living room, and that's where he passed away, with all his stuff around him. He grew up here in Pelham and did everything from sports, from soup to nuts, and was always here in Pelham to help everybody out."
Cremins married Gertrude Beigan at St. Catharine's Church in Pelham in 1935. His wife died in 1969.
Cremins' stint as receiver of taxes began in 1932, and consisted of eight elected terms. His hold on the post was broken only by his service in World War II, when he commanded an air sea rescue vessel, his family said. He was assigned to the Philippines during his tour of duty, from 1943 to 1946.
After the war, Cremins continued to serve as receiver of taxes until 1964, when he joined the Westchester County Board of Supervisors.
He was twice commander of American Legion Post 50 and was a member of the Knights of Columbus 4413 in Pelham. He was a member of Westchester Association of Retarded Children, the Men's Club of Pelham and the Art Students League, and other organizations.
As for the at-bat that Babe Ruth had against Cremins, Piraneo said the Yankee slugger grounded out.
In addition to Piraneo, Cremins is survived by two other daughters, Margaret Cremins and Michelle Cremins; two sisters; four brothers; and four grandchildren.
Visitation will be 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Ave., Pelham. A memorial Mass will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Catharine's Church, 25 Second Ave., Pelham.