Carey said he will reflect back on the accomplishment at the end of the season; and when he does, he will find that his coaching resume stacks up favorably with any coach in state history. Carey’s career record of 700-270 is good for a .721 winning percentage. He has won five state titles and 25 Cape Ann League titles. Last year, after leading his team to the fifth state championship in program history, he was named BCA National Coach of the Year and inducted into the Mass. State Coaches Hall of Fame. North Reading’s home baseball field was also named in Carey’s honor in 2007.
“I don’t mean to put a downer on this,” Carey said. “I’ve said it every day in my career: This is the game that counts for us. For me, I don’t care if it’s the first win or the 700th. This is the game that means something.”
Carey, 69, started in North Reading as the junior varsity coach in 1965 before taking over the varsity program in 1968. His career overlapped with legendary Newburyport coach Bill Pettingell for 40 years (1972 to 2011). Pettingell posted 616 career wins, 18 CAL titles and finished off his career with his one state championship in 2011. He is also a member of the Mass. State Coaches Hall of Fame.
Longtime Pettingell assistant Steve Malenfant took over the team last season, and spearheaded an effort to have the Newburyport home field named in Pettingell’s honor. That effort became a reality last year when Lower Field became Pettingell Park.
“Obviously, congratulations to Frank on 700 wins; that says a lot about his longevity,” Malenfant said. “I think Billy and Frank respect one another. I think they’re both quality baseball people. It was awesome when Billy had his 600th win. Frank was able to have 700; that says a lot about his coaching. You can see a lot of his older players here. He’s given a lot to the game in North Reading and the Cape Ann League, as well as at the state level and the national level.”