Lowell Spinners Host Ballpark Tribute to Fallen Officer
LOWELL -- Ron Tarentino Jr. loved Ford Mustangs, so his family rode into LeLacheuer Park in two of them before family members threw out the opening pitches as the Lowell Spinners took on the Tri-City Valleycats Tuesday night.
Tarentino loved hunting, so games between innings focused on that. Tarentino loved telling “dad jokes,” so the Spinner’s Snapchat game for the night was a contest to tell the best corny dad joke.
Tarentino loved basketball, so the baseball club arranged to have Paul Lambert, from the Naismith Memorial Baskeball Hall of Fame, present the family with an official ball from the hall of fame.
Sometimes baseball is more than just game and about more than just balls and strikes, according to Jamie Arthur, an accounts executive with the Spinners who organized a tribute to the fallen Tewksbury native and Auburn police officer Tuesday night.
Tarentino was killed in the line of duty on May 22, when a convicted felon’s bullet stole him from his three children, parents, wife and family. He was 42.
“Baseball is about more than just the game,” Arthur said. “It’s about community, and bringing people together to give them a space to get away from their everyday troubles.”
Two of Tarentino’s sons, his wife, parents, sisters and other family members were seated in the Yawkee Suite at LeLacheuer as the Spinners used every detail of the night to honor a man who gave his life serving others. A third son could not attend since he’s in North Carolina serving the Army.
“The Lowell Spinners made this so personal for us and really honored Ron,” said Tarentino’s widow, Tricia. “It looks like they really put a lot of work and effort into this and that really means a lot to us as a family. Ron would have been touched.”
Arthur said it wasn’t just Tarentino that the club wanted to honor, though.
“We want to thank his family for his sacrifice, and for their sacrifice, and show our support and appreciation,” Arthur said.
Gervais Auto provided the Mustangs, and held a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the family and Tarentino’s children during the game. Music played between innings was chosen from one of Ron’s playlists shared by one of his sisters. A family friend, Emily Fontaine, sung the national anthem.
Old friends from Tewksbury who are holding a fundraiser called “Tewksbury for Tarentino” on Thursday night sold T-shirts on the concourse.
And as part of a tribute video broadcast on the ballparks big screen, the club told fans that 12 Lowell and Pelham police officers will run about 200 miles from Breton Woods to Hampton, Hew Hampshire on Sept. 16 to help raise money for the family.
“It’s really been a great outpouring of support,” said Ron Tarentino Sr. “It’s good to see that there’s a lot of good people out there who care about the police.”
Tarentino’s father and wife both said the fallen officer had a big heart, a sense of humor that could lighten the darkest situation, and a dedication to integrity.
“He gave a lot of himself to kids and coaching,” said Ron Tarentino Sr. “I don’t know where he found enough time in the day to what he did.”
Tricia Tarentino said her husband stretched himself thin to help others, regardless of whether he knew them.
Sharon Tarentino says she hopes everyone remembers her son’s generosity, and said the outpouring of support for the family has been phenomenal.
“It’s nice for us as a family because it gives us events to come to and just continues to draw us closer,” Tricia Tarentino said. “To have our children see how much my husband’s life has touched so many others -- it’s really amazing.”
For more information on fundraising efforts aimed at supporting Tarentino’s family and children visit: www.GoFundMe.com/rtb4Tarentino , or www.TewksburyForTarentino.eventbrite.com .
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