Kenneth A. Olsen
Class of 1953
"The Fair-Haired Flash” may have been the best all-around natural athlete in the history of Concord and Carlisle sports. Number 5 could do it all, and he did it effortlessly.
Olsen was a dashing, cover-boy superstar in football, basketball and baseball. In football, he was co-captain of Coach Bernie Megin's fine 7-2-0. 1952 club. Blessed with terrific speed plus shake and bake elusiveness, Olsen either ran past tacklers or forced them to miss, dancing and darting off on long gains and many touchdowns.
Terrific guard in basketball and one of the best amateur and semi-pro hockey players in the area, a smooth-skating forward loaded with savvy and instinctive ability - which simply means he could put the puck in the net.
Olsen's best sport might have been baseball. He was a hardhitting shortstop who had a gun for an arm and was a terror on the basepaths. He also had soft hands and big-league range at shortstop.
Kenny was the middle-man on the most famous baseball relay in Concord baseball history, an electrifying 8-6-5 job at Fenway Park against Newton in the quarter-finals of the old Class A baseball tourney.
The year was 1953. On the play, centerfielder Donnie Cullinane played the carom off the Green Monster perfectly, wheeled and fired a strike to Olsen, who was the cutoffman. Olsen, positioned in shallow left-center field, caught Cullinane's throw, spun and whipped a bullet to third baseman Dave Waite, who took the throw and tagged out a sliding Newton base runner trying to stretch a double into a triple.
That play helped preserve a Concord victory and whisked Coach Walter Carew's team into the Class A semi-finals against Somerville.
Olsen was such a good baseball player that he had feelers from the New York Yankees organization.
Tonight, number 5 (he also wore number 1), Olsen, the "Golden Boy” of local sports, takes his place among the alltime Concord greats.