Pictured here today with me are lifelong friends of mine, Tom Driscoll, left, and Bill Martin, right. Our friendship began back in the 1950s at the Y-Field and we continue to be the best of friends to this day. I wish them and their wives all the very best, as they, like all of us, have their share of health problems. May you and your wives enjoy good health, and a very happy birthday this week to Billy, my best partner at Legends! Love, Helen and Ormie
Today’s Legends of Auburn are all of these former softball hurlers from years gone by, and my apologies to any of you that I have missed. I have five albums of softball at the local history room at Cayuga Community College, which contain everything about softball in Auburn from its beginning at the Y-Field (now Clifford Field), up until now, and covers from the early industrial leagues and the 1950 to 1980 decades, where on some nights there were anywhere from hundreds up to 5,000 fans who packed the Y-Field when Jack “Monk” Curtin pitched against “Shifty” Gears. These books also contain all the softball photos you folks have donated to me as well as all the various write-ups, which were numerous.
All these fine athletes listed here would agree on one thing for sure, and that is that Jack “Monk” Curtin was the best to ever come out of Auburn. The 2002 Y-Field Reunion honored “Monk” for his vast contributions to the game of softball by naming the clubhouse after him. It was a nice event, but who would have known that “Monk” would pass on four days after that event? His plaque on the clubhouse reads: "Jack 'Monk' Curtin pitched for 50 championship teams and won more than 1,300 games. He hurled 400 shut-outs and struck out 16,000 batters. He threw 75 no-hitters and hurled 21 perfect games and pitched teams to 7 state championships." He was installed in the New York State Hall of Fame when three busloads of us went to Binghamton to honor him on his night.
I fully realize that the city of Auburn is hurting for money and has priorities, but that clubhouse named after “Monk” and that field named after Jack Clifford represent the birthplace of Auburn sports and somehow should be saved. Some work has begun but much more needs to be done. Too much of our history bites the dust. Perhaps our local foundations might consider this as a worthy project; we have been told that our local Auburn foundations have more capital in them than the city of Syracuse does.
All the players listed here were all, at one time, pitchers for Auburn softball, with many thousands of you that played other positions as well. I hope to do future articles on those other positions, as well as women’s softball.
These pitchers that toed the rubber had one thing in common — they all did it for the love of the game. They are as follows in no particular order: Pete Corning; Don Bates; John Mohan Sr.; Chet, Ed and Dick Copes; Steve Pelton; Rocco Sigona; Shorty and Bob Bianco; Jim and Sam Chaffin; Carl Casty; Zinc LaDouce; Ed Colella; Joe Devens; Dick Signorelli; Bob Solomon; Roy Teeter; Larry Turner; Jim Tyrakowski; Dom Paradise; Bob Welch; Ray Wall; Fran Hooper; Pete Lorenc; Bernie Murphy; Ed Plis; Fran Ryan; Bill Kusaj; Jack Dempsey; Mike Kott; Jim Leone; Bill and Bob Orman; Bill and Bob Martin; Tom Driscoll; Ormie and Louie King; Tom Mallon; Chuck Bohannon; Jeff Dorsey, Dudley, Mike, Adam and Jitch Walsh; Paul Ruschak; John Curtin Jr.; Bob Donofrio; Chas. “Slowball” Reese; Ozzie Grudzien; Bud Smith; Bob Williams; Jack and Paul Friedel; Vic Leide; Sam Trigillo; Joe Shields; Joe Malinowski; Whitey Suborski; Dick Vannais; Bob and Dick Searing; Ray Binks; John Poole; Vince Marchitello; Hugo Elice; Tonto Farrelly; Dingo Ringwood; Denny Zach; George Lumb; Hank Clifford; Ray Flynn; Bill Coleman; Dick and Ray Corcoran; Jack White; Bob Schell; Fireball Roberts; Bob Shorr; Joe Cassaro; Jerry McCarthy; John Emperor; Tom Noonan; Nick Bashta Sr. and Jr.; Bob Rhodes; Jack Hoey; Joe Rybarczyk; Milan Dodge; Fred Warrick; Ray and John Donovan; George Dobbs; Jerry Lauricello; Jack Frost; Ken Trippe; Chuck Dougherty; Ray and John Flynn; Avery Neagle; Bill Graney; Bob Montone; Ponzi Usowski; Ed Swietenowski; Jim Cullen; Frank Rybash; Joe Hester; Mike Baroody; Charlie Robbins; Bob Marciniec; Ed Ginnerty; Pete Netti; Joe Milhausen; Jake Renahan; Shifty Gears; Buddy Barrette; Andy and Mike Lepak; Max Gentile; Greg Slwyka; Greg Horbal; Chris DeAngelis; Jake McKeen; Paul Loperfido; John Locastro; Bob and Steve Gauthier; Ken Kavanaugh; Paul Crolick; Chuck Bickle; Rick Schmidt; Larry Hoff; Dana Martino; Jim Reilley; Mark Daly; Jack Nesbitt; Nick Guerrara; Harry Flanigan; Jerry Beer; Bud Harvard; Bob Springstead; Bill Bunn; Ace Estep; Rollo Stanton; Tim Chadwick; Steve Case; Mike Pidlychak; Dave Farrell; Bill Lupine; Tony Mentillo; Ron Peacock; Bill McKeel; Chet Lemon; George Spinelli; Dave Guarino; Dave and Ted Lang; Bill Nolan; Dave Quill; Emmitt Wilbur; Craig and Charlie Gummerson; Ron Walawender; Steve Van Dyke; Bob Mazzeo; Dennis Bunnell; Mike Kannalley; Steve Kline; Gordie Cottrell; Steve Deyo; Joe Miglionica; Steve Pinchak; Ron Gamba; Bill Quinn; Frank Pastore; Dick Ward; Pete Salato; Dave Fedigan; Len Scott; Bill Vaughn; Duncan Fulton; John Ceresnak; Chuck Donato; Dave Backus; Ted Barski; Charlie Tarnacki; Bruce Clifford; Frank DeOrio; Tim Wiggins; Pete DiLallo; Bill O’Hora; Kurt Handley; Dick Christopher; Walt and Mike Lowe; Mike LaMontagne; Joe Augello; Bernie Marino; Leon Parker; Joe Sobus; Joe Hawelka; Bill Colapietro; Pete Pinckney; Len Scott; Jim Gagnier; Bob Wood; Lenny Srarzynski; Rich Guzalak; Pete Wilson; Jack Ryan; Mettis Jacobs; Ron Radley; Joe Fielding; Mike Brokaw; Tim, Ed and Mike Charles; Sam Testa; Ray Scala; Mario Natone; Dick Ruschak; Joe Carbonaro; George Schmidt; Paul Gagliano; Bill and Denny Zanowick; Bill Cornall; Gordie Church; Jerry Waldron; Ron Laird; Dave Vanek; Bill Nordin; Doug Blatz; Dan Snee; Ed Mahar; John and Bill Brown; Craig Wright; Dan Bushallow; Jack Nichols; Mike Painter; Jack Burns; Mike Bodner; Mike Piccaro; Mike Surace; Mike Fromel; John Rossi; Pear Hickey; Jerry Kroker; Gino Alberici; Ernie Rooker; Fred Fletcher; Tim Murley; John Malenick; Paul Mallory; Neil Ferri; Joel Pinker; John Pelton; Bill Blank; Kevin Waby; Jack Cooper; Jack Piorkowski; Dick Walsh; Jack “Monk” Curtin; Hank Clifford; Ray Corcoran; Fran Sherman; Bernie Murphy; Joe Cassaro; Cy Leide; Denny Zach; Sam Trigillo; Nick Bashta; Iggy Nobile; Bill Dolan; Roy Teeter.
Thank you all for being Legends of Auburn!