Historic Bristol is always Home Plate
By Cate Murway
To further preserve the legacy of its former softball standouts, the Bristol Alumni Athletic Association sponsored the seventh annual softball classic last Sunday at the Mike Manto Little League Field.
"This is an opportunity to honor and watch some of the best men and women softball players who played in the area since the 1950s," said BAAA softball chairman Frank Barbetta.
Newtown resident Navy 2nd class Airman Frank Albin Barbetta, BHS ’50 was a basketball/ baseball athlete who achieved the title “All Bucks County Catcher” in 1950 while he resided on Jefferson Avenue. His career as catcher began when he was a 12 year old, after witnessing a big fight at the local ball field. He retrieved the catcher’s mitt abandoned by the scattered athletes. At his game the next day, he declared he was the catcher, because he had now had the glove!
His parents Josephine [Resignola] and Nicholas were both born in Italy and they married 11.19.1909 at St. Ann Church. His father worked long tedious hours building and repairing railroad ties and tracks and he died when Frank was only 5 years old.
His mother was left to raise he and his siblings.
The late retired Hollywood, FL Police Officer / WWII Navy Veteran Fred C. was a 1st baseman and a Bracken “Cavaliers” Junior Drum and Bugle Corps drummer, who also was an avid golfer and sports fan. The late Albert “Bert”, a former Bensalem School District teacher was such a terrific left handed batter that he earned the opportunity to try out for the Phillies. Bert delivered bread for the Puccio bakery on Logan & Pond Streets to help out his family. His two late sisters were the eldest, Mary and the very helpful Mildred “Millie” who helped Frank and his team by washing all the purple and gold uniforms by hand and hanging them outside on a line to dry. The late football /basketball referee, coincidentally named Joe Diamond, owned a sporting goods store on Mill Street and he supplied the team uniforms.
Another sibling, a 4-year-old year sister Alice was lost in a fire before Frank was born.
His brother Eugene “Gene” was a boxer and a BHS infield standout. He attended the softball exhibition and received an award but was unable to compete because of his current health condition. His daughters, Karen [Barbetta] Hart and Maria [Barbetta] Williams attended to accompany him when he was honored.
Everyone pitched in to help their mom. Frank was the “best shoe shine boy in Bristol”. He earned $13.00 -$15.00 to assist his widowed mother, trekking around the St. Ann Club on his black bike with his shoeshine box secured in his metal basket.
Frank exhibited his skills and played in at least one inning on Sunday.
He proudly recalls, “I caught the last game ever played at BHS and I caught the first game they ever played at the Bristol Memorial Field in 1950.”
After baseball games, everyone met at Field’s Luncheonette for hotdogs and ice cream. While across the street, professional fighters Billy, Eddie and Sammy Moffo played pinochle and games of cards, talked about sports and hosted boxing matches behind St. Ann AA.
His wife, Elaine Blanche “Sunny” [Trzaska] and their daughters, PSU grads, Francine and Andrea were there to cheer and support their dad and all the athletes.
Extended members of the Barbetta family came to support. Sixth grader Michael Christopher Marukos was a designated runner and he witnessed his father’s home run. Christopher D. “Chris” Marukos “hit it somewhere where they couldn’t get it.”
Frank took time to reminisce proudly about his Bristol Stars semi-pro team that competed in the Eastern US Baseball Tournament. Two of the standout athletes were Steven Francis “Steve” Frey who broke into the big leagues with the Montreal Expos in1989 and also played with the Phillies; and the NY Yankees draft Jeffrey Paul “Jeff” Manto, BHS ’82, the likable local star of a sentimental "dream fulfillment" tale set here in historic Bristol on the Delaware.
His niece Dorrance Street resident, kindergarten teacher Amy Waldron, BHS ‘02/Holy Family U, originally just helped at the softball classics but now she is there to play ball! She was the first area of attack in frontline offense for her BHS field hockey team and played the hectic shortstop position/ 2nd base on the BHS physically demanding red, white & grey softball team.
According to Uncle Frank, Amy was a left-handed batter just like her late grandfather, Bert Barbetta and her mom, Joann.
They had a “nice bond on the team”, winning districts every year and competing in the state semi-finals Amy’s junior year. She recalls great competition in the B.A.L., especially from Villa Joseph Marie in Holland.
P.S. her brother Nick, BHS ’97 who was coached by BHS Baseball coach, Tony Mangiaracina, BHS ’69, [and at this game, his teammate], masterfully hit a home run!
Pond Street resident, Shirley Ann Brady, BHS ’76 [husband- athlete Charles David Brady, BHS ‘76] met in the 5th grade at the Warren Snyder Elementary School.
Bristol is their home, “Family oriented town and I feel very safe here.”
Her mom, Carmella [Romano] attended the St. Ann School ’42 [10th grade] and her late father Chester John owned the DeMarchis Brothers Garage on Old Route 13.
Shirley played 2nd base/ defensive shortfielder for the BHS team coached by Ms. Georgeanna Knorr.
“It was great; an individual but a team sport. Self accomplishments go into the team.”
She also played HS field hockey and basketball. Shirley was a pitcher for the slow pitch Lower Bucks Women’s Recreational League.
Their son, Daulton Chester, BCTHS ’13 is a football/basketball/baseball athlete. It’s a family thing!
Harrison Street resident Joseph James [Joe] “Knobby” Favata, BHS ’59 proudly remembers hitting 4 consecutive home runs in one game for the Len’s Men’s Shop team.
Joe will never forget playing in the 1957 BR All Star PA championship at Connie Mack stadium when the team defeated Phoenixville 8-4. This is a “life best highlight beside being married to Carol” Ann [Wynne], BHS ’62.
He also participated in football, basketball and Babe Ruth baseball but he enjoys playing golf now and he works at the Springfield Golf Center in Burlington NJ.
The former standout athletes proved they still know their stuff!
HS third base starter, Kelly [Brandt] Rosado, BHS ’93, husband, Edwin “Eddie” Rosado, Sr. and their 3-year-old son Edwin “Eddie” Rosado, Jr. came to play. Perhaps their 15-month-old daughter, Ava Rose can accompany them next year.
Currently an avid golfer, first inductee into the BHS Sports Hall of Fame Robert Nicholas “Bob” Liberatore, Sr., BHS ’57 came to show that he still bats with the best of them.
Florida resident, baseball/football/basketball/track athlete Frank M. Rich, Jr. BHS ’50 played at the classic for the very first time this year. No one had seen him for half a century! His granddaughter, Caleigh ran the bases.
Who was watching the store?
Actually a former third baseman, Robert “Bob”Angelaccio, BHS ’69, proprietor of Annabella’s restaurant, proved he can “more than just deliver” with his powerful pitching performance in the “home run derby”.
Even some of the spectators were the most talented athletes ever.
Anthony Carman [Tony] "Rabbits" Palumbo, BHS class of ’41, played baseball for 24 years, renowned as of the best ball players in Bristol. His “goal was to steal home”.
Once, in a tied 1-1 game [St. Ann vs. Kaiser Metal], the opposing team attempted to advance their runner to 2nd base. “Rabbits” caught the bunted ball on one bounce and beat the runner to second base.
Arthur M. “Art” Mancuso, BHS ’57 came prepared to just observe since his knees were keeping him in the outfield.
Ken Krause BHS ’61 wanted to play, the “spirit and head were willing but his legs weren’t.”
Former pitcher Pete Rubino, BHS ’50 and Raymond B. “Ray” Naylor, BHS ’57 came to watch.
BAAA Recording secretary Dominick “Toby” Oriolo, BHS ’45 was benched, “no, no, no, no playing today.”
Other former standouts who were honored: Anthony “Easy” Mama, Jr., BHS ‘47, Clint Purcell, George Sperling, [Melvin] James (uses “Larry”) Daniels, Jr. BHS ‘57, Ed Harm, Bob Lattanzi, Andy Accardi, Joe Scenna, and Armand Joseph “Butch” Bianchini, BHS ‘60.
The stands were packed with cheering fans; many were even standing around the chain-link fence. It was rockin'. This sport earned an overwhelming following.
Bristol Borough Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe, Jr. and his wife Monica brought their one-year-old grandson, little Rob. It was his first trip to Memorial Field and he was just a spectator at this game.
Michael G. “Mike” Fitzpatrick, Republican nominee for the 8th Congressional District, “loves coming out to the softball classic every year. I don’t know what it is about Bristol but these guys are in great shape!”
Clearly, there’s no place like home.
Historic Bristol on the Delaware is always Home Plate. Let’s “play ball!”
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( January 21, 2013 )
Eugene “Gene” C. Barbetta, age 84, passed away peacefully on January 21, 2013 at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne with his loving family by his side. Born and raised in Bristol Borough, he has been a resident of Bensalem for the past 58 years. Gene was retired from Rohm & Haas after 35 years of service. He was a proud U.S.Army Veteran who served as a Sergeant during the Korean War. He was a former member of the St. Ann Athletic Association where he
played on their softball team. Gene was a professional boxer who enjoyed training upcoming boxers. Mr. Barbetta was a man of great character and strength who loved and served the Lord and used these gifts to inspire everyone around him. He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed traveling, but most of all he loved his family; especially his grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents Nicola and Josephine; his siblings Mary Oriolo, Millie Marchetti, and Fred,
Albert “Bert”, Alice, and Rose Barbetta. He will be greatly missed by his loving and devoted wife Anna (nee: Strozzieri) of 58 wonderful years; his beloved daughters Maria Barbetta-Williams and her husband Tom, and Karen Barbetta-Hart and her husband Scott Sr. He is the proud and loving grandfather of Kara and Scott Jr. Hart. He is also survived by his brother Frank Barbetta and his wife Elaine; a sister-in-law Mary Barbetta; many loving nieces and nephews; and many good friends. Relatives and friends are invited to call Thursday, 7pm-9pm, at the Galzerano Funeral Home, 3500 Bristol Oxford
Valley Road. A viewing will also be held Friday, 9:30am-10:30am at the Neshaminy Valley Baptist Church (2895 Bristol Rd., Bensalem). Funeral services will begin at 10:30am at the church. Entombment will follow in Rosedale Memorial Park. The family requests memorial donations, which will be used towards various favorite charities, be made to the family.
Kenneth J. Krause, age 69, of Bristol, PA passed away Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at St. Mary Medical Center.
Born in Bristol, he was a lifelong resident. He was a graduate of Bristol High School Class of 1961 and went to Trenton State College on a Basketball Scholarship. Ken also played softball in many leagues in the area and he also loved to hunt and play golf. He was a veteran of Vietnam serving in the army and was employed as an agent for the Pennsylvania Dept. of Revenue for 32 years, prior to his retirement. He was a member of the VFW, 5th ward Club and the St. Anns Club and was a life member of Goodwill Hose Co. #3 in Bristol. Ken enjoyed golfing and hunting.
Son of the late Bartholomew and Jennie Krause he is survived by his brother Bart Krause and sister Joanne Howell, his friend Joan McInerney and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Saturday from 9:00 to 10:30 AM at the Molden Funeral Chapel Inc. 133 Otter St. Bristol, Pa. A service will follow at 10:30 AM with interment in Bristol Cemetery. To sign the online guestbook or send a condolence visit www.moldenfuneralchapel.com