Jim Bransfield, a public address announcer for many years at area high school games, was known as the voice of Middletown.
He died February 24 after suffering complications due to lung cancer.
If Middletown High and Xavier High were both playing at home one week in the city, the schedule had to be worked out so that Bransfield could call both games. He owned the booth with his methodical, enunciating style.
Middletown State Representative Matthew Lesser called him the “soul of Middletown sports.”
“Well I feel bad for whoever has to try to fill his shoes because I don’t think anybody can pick up that slack,” Lesser said. “We’re going to remember him as someone who loved sports, who loved young people, who loved the community, who was dedicated to making young people’s lives a little better.”
Bransfield wrote a weekly column in the Middletown Press. And you could bet that when he wrote it, he was probably going to be tough on somebody.
Mike Pitruzzello said that’s because he cared so much about who he was there to cover — the kids. He never forgot the advice he got from Bransfield when he took the athletic director job at Middletown High a decade ago.
“We went out for a beer at the old Rookies in Cromwell,” Pitruzzello remembered. “And he said, ‘When you take this job, do what’s right for the kids — and more importantly — don’t be afraid to do it.’ And I never, ever forgot that quote.”
Pitruzzello knew him for over 30 years. That’s about how long Bransfield was a teacher at Middletown High School.
Outside of Middletown, Bransfield shined bright for all of Connecticut to see every June when the baseball state championships were played at Palmer Field.
“There was nobody else — other than Jim Bransfield — who was going to do all of the announcing down there,” Pitruzzello said.
Bransfield was diagnosed with lung cancer in December. A memorial service will be held in honor of him on March 4 at Middletown High School.