WILMINGTON, MA — This is the second in a series of profiles celebrating the former Wilmington Little League’s seniors playing on the Wilmington High School baseball team. Little League’s motto is courage, character, and loyalty. Through playing with and against each other, these student athletes the embodiment of the motto.
For Danny Gracia, it all started at three years old, tagging along with his father and brother. He dreamed of playing in the WLL Majors, just like his big brother. He would go to every game and at the conclusion of each game would run the bases at Rotary. Whether in the backyard pitching like his brother, or on the field taking instruction from his father, baseball was what he wanted to excel at. As he grew older he put in the time and developed into a high level player. For him, leadership comes naturally. He is a two year captain of the WHS baseball team. Danny is liked and respected by his teammates and uses is knowledge and ability to always give his teams a chance to win.
Danny began his WLL career in Rookie ball playing for the Blue Barrons, coached by his father Mike. All the way through the Majors, he would play the next five seasons for his Dad. He began his baseball journey on the North and Glen Road fields, emulating his big brother and always having his Dad as a coach. He remembers all the fun he had playing with his friends, learning to hit, and getting to pitch for the first time. It was on those teams that he started pitching and found his love of playing shortstop, which would be his positions for most of his WLL career. He moved on to the White Knights and Royals on his way to the Majors.
Drafted into the Majors as a ten year old by the A’s, Danny spent three years playing for his Dad and coaches Bob Butters and Bob Ducharme. He played on the Tournament All Star team all three of his major seasons. His favorite memories were getting to pitch on the mound at Rotary as a ten year old, helping the A’s win the regular season title one season, and then winning the playoff championship the next. He will also never forget the first time he hit a homerun out of Rotary. Getting to play for his dad since he was six years old is something he will always be grateful for. He will never forget the commitment his dad made to helping him become a better ball player. Future teammates Tommy Worob and Dylan Bresnahan played with him on the A’s.
Along with the spring teams, Danny played for the Jimmy Fund, Pony and Northeast teams in the summer. He was also a member of the first Wilmington Middle School team. He helped lead the Wildcats to a 16-5 record and a trip to the semifinals of the playoffs. On top of all that he was a major contributor to the 2016 Northeast team, which was the first Wilmington team to win a Northeast League Division championship. Danny played eight of the ten WLL seasons he was eligible, only missing the final two seasons due to making the WHS varsity team.
This will be Danny’s fourth year playing Varsity Baseball for the Wildcats. He has been named team captain in both his Junior and Senior year. He is a two time Middlesex League All Star. Danny is a three sport athlete, playing four years of Varsity Golf and Basketball during his time at WHS. In December he was named Town Crier athlete of the year.
Danny is the son of Julie and Mike Gracia, little brother to Mike and Theresa. Danny is thankful that he has gotten a chance to play for his father and that his family has supported him throughout his athletic career. His mother is proud of not only the player he has become, but also that he is an honor student who is respectful on and off any field and is so much fun to watch play!
This fall, Danny plans on attending Franklin Pierce University where he will be a member of the baseball team.
(NOTE: The above profile is from Wilmington Little League.)
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