Dick Bresciani, who began his career as assistant director of sports information/publicity with the athletics department in 1960 and went on to a 42-year career with the Boston Red Sox, died Nov. 29 of complications of leukemia. The resident of Wellesley and Harwich was 76.
A native of Hopedale, he was a 1960 graduate of UMass with a degree in journalism, Bresciani joined the sports information staff the same year. In his 11 years in sports information, Bresciani worked with every team in the athletic department, meticulously updating statistics and promoting student-athletes to the media.
He was also the director of public relations and statistics for the Cape Cod Summer Baseball League from 1967-71.
When his campus position was eliminated for budgetary reasons in 1972, he served briefly in the News Bureau before accepting a position as assistant public relations director for the Red Sox.
He rose to the position of vice president of publications and archives in 2003 after having served as the team’s publicity director, public relations director, vice president of public relations, and vice president of public affairs. At the time of his death he held the title vice president emeritus and team historian.
Bresh, as he was known to all, is credited with several campus traditions. In 1968, he and former athletic director Warren McGuirk established the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame - honoring greats Harold “Kid” Gore and Lou Bush in the first class. He is also credited with establishing the weekly Varsity M Club Luncheons, which were the precursor to today’s popular UMass Sports Luncheons. He was also responsible for first hanging banners in the Curry Hicks Cage to celebrate the postseason appearances by the men’s basketball program.
Prior to Bresciani’s induction into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002, legendary basketball coach Jack Leaman said, “Dick is the most loyal alumnus I know. No matter what is going on, the University of Massachusetts always comes first. If anything needs to be done in Amherst, Dick is the first in line to volunteer.”
Bresciani was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, the New England Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame and the Cape Cod League Hall of Fame. He also received the Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence in Major League Baseball.
He leaves his wife, Joanne M. Albertini Bresciani, three uncles and an aunt and many cousins.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, Dec. 4 from 4-8 p.m. in the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 477 Washington St., (Rt. 16) in Wellesley. A funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Paul Church, 502 Washington St., Wellesley, on Friday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m.. Interment will be private.
Memorial gifts may be made in memory of Richard Bresciani to Dr. Amrein’s Leukemia Research Fund, c/o the Development Office, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Boston 02114 or to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for the Jimmy Fund, P.O. Box 849168, Boston 02284.