ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury’s recreation baseball and softball programs will kick-off their 2018 seasons Friday evening with a ceremony at Landing Park that will include a farewell to a man known to many as the guy who made night ballgames possible.

The man, former Roxbury Recreation Department Building Attendant Jim Crupi, was often the fellow who turned on - and turned off - the field lights at games, said Roxbury Baseball Association President Richard Ronchetta. “He would also open the Horseshoe Lake recreation center for street hockey and basketball games,” Ronchetta said.

Roxbury Recreation Department Director Keith Knudsen said Crupi, who retired recently after about 15 years with the department, was well-known to those who used township fields and facilities. “He was certainly always friendly, and everybody always loved him around here,” Knudsen commented.

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Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall also praised Crupi, calling him a "class guy" who will be missed. "He was very fun to talk to," Hall said. "He just had a great sense of humor. The thing I remember most about Jim is that he was always smiling. He was always happy and incredibly supportive to our sports organizations."

Crupi will throw the “ceremonial first pitch” at the 6 p.m. event, said Ronchetta. He said he expects up to 1,000 people to attend the ceremony, which will be open to the public.

Also expected to be in attendance, and throwing a first pitch for the softball games, will be former Roxbury Township Administrator and Mayor Bob Badini.

To accommodate the expected crowd, a shuttle will run between the field and the Landing Shopping Center parking lot. There will be a “big cook-out,” ice cream, a DJ and other activities.

Ronchetta said 477 players are registered for baseball and softball this year. “It’s a good number,” he said.