Brookline Little League Association

The old Brookline Journal Baseball Logo

1966 - The Year in Review

Our information here is at times incomplete, but we'll present what
we have up to this time. It's still an interesting look back at the 1968 season.

Second Half Standings
(through July 31, 1966)

Little League

 

Senior League

Sam's Hardware

8

2

 

Spadafore Roofing

7

0

West Liberty A.A.

7

2

 

Automatic Sales

4

3

Droz Steel

5

5

 

American Legion

5

4

Quaill's Cleaners

4

5

 

DeBor Funeral Home

5

4

Manco's Pharmacy

3

5

 

J.J. McGaffin

2

5

American Legion

1

9

 

Denmark's Cafe

1

8


Little League Notes: Sam's Hardware won the first half title by defeating Droz, 2-1, in an eight-inning tie-breaker game.

Senior League Notes: J.J. McGaffin, defending champion American Legion and Spadafore Roofing remained in contention for the first-half title; McGaffin-DeBor playoff of June 27 tie game will determine champion. Automatic Sales retains chance to tie Spadafore for second half.


* Playoff Summary *

Little League

Sam's Hardware claims unchallenged title by winning both halves.

Senior League

Spadafore Roofing claimed unchallenged title by winning both halves.
Spadafore defeated Legion and McGaffin in three-team playoff
for the first half title and won second half out-right.
 

1966 Season Highlights
(reprinted from the Brookline Journal - August 4, 1966

Senior League

JULY 19 - Ray Schmidt smaked his first homer and Southpaw Fred Wyrostek notched his 3rd slab success as Acting Manager Ralph Spadafore guided Denmark's Amazin' Milts to a 9-3 conquest of McGaffin.

JULY 21 - Mark Maxwell, Johnny McGurk and Terry Sullivan stroked homers and Jim Malloy hurled DeBor to a 10-7 victory over Legion. Jack McGlynn doubled and singled for DeBor while Jimmy (Toad) Jackonic rapped 3 singles in 3 trips and Paul Housley connected for a pair to pace Legion.

JULY 22 - Unbeaten Spadafore claimed and was awarded a forfeit victory over Denmark, which had only 7 players in uniform. Denmark, which borrowed DeBor's Terry Sullivan and Spadafore's Jack Izzi, toppled Manager Tony Izzi's "Giants" in an exhibition game, 5-3, with Tommy Eperthener besting Steve Abbondanza on the mound.

JULY 24 - Rain spoiled McGaffin's bid to end Spadafore's undefeated record. Following a 20-minute delay in the scheduled 1:30pm starting time, Spadafore finally was able to field a team of nine players and McGaffin, managed by Ed McGrath, jumped to a 4-1 lead when rain halted play with one out in the top of the fifth. Play will resume at that point at a later date. Don McMurtry is the listed pitcher for McGaffin; Milan Vukelich for Spadafore.

JULY 25 - Danny McGibbeny drove in 9 runs with a grand slam, 2-run homer and a pair of bases-full walks as Legion torpedoed Denmark. McGibbeny, whiffing 11 to notch his 7th victory, was helped considerable by homers off the bats of Ralph Founier, Craig Sausto and Jimmy (Toad) Jackonic. Four homers highlighted Legion's 13-run barrage in the second inning. Fred Wyrostek socked his 7th and fearless Frankie Loskot clipped 3 singles for the Amazin' Milts.

JULY 26 - Jughandle Johnny McGurk smashed a grand slam and twirled DeBor to a 5-1 triumph over Automatic Sales in a "Battle of Catchers Turned Pitchers" as Junkball Jim Spadafore shed his shinguards and chest protector to hurl for the losers. Spadafore got a measuer of revenge as he bombed a "nine-mile" homer over President Sam Bryen's 20-foot fence in left-center. Terry Sullivan smacked 3 hits for DeBor.

JULY 27 - Mike Gremba southpawed a 2-hitter as Legion crushed McGaffin, 9-0. Ralph Bucci and Danny McGibbeny each clouted 3-run homers to back Gremba's fireballing which limited McGaffin to singles by Jim Pistorius and C.H. (The Chief) Bender. Ooom Paul Housley lined 2 singles for Legion. Gremba's shoutout was only the 3rd in Senior play this season.

JULY 29 - Terry Sullivan, the Clown Prince of Swat, connected for #10 as he continued his late bid to remain the Home Run King and hurled DeBor to a 16-11 conquest of Denmark. Mike (Deputy Dawg) Senneway socked his 1st homer and 2 singles for DeBor.

JULY 31 - Big Dan McGibbeny, Legion's fireballing righthander, struck out a season high 16 and was backed by Jimmy (Toad) Jackonic's 5th and 6th homers, both with the bases empty, in a 12-2 waltz over Automatic Sales. Al Cridge belted his 2nd homer and 2 singles to account for 3 of Automatic Sales 4 hits off McGibbeny, who notched his 8th pitching victory, also a season high. Fred Talak clicked for the only other automatic hit, a single to right-center. Craig Sausto smashed a double and 3 singles, Mike Gremba 4 straight singles and Young Gary Miller a ground-rule double which bounced over the right-center fence as legion pounded 15 hits.

Little League

JULY 25 - Johnny Diethorn ran his season record to 7-1 by pitching and batting (4-for-4) Droz to a 14-1 romp over Quaill. Tony Colangelo stoked 3 hits and Butch Liebman a pair as Quaill's Ed Gremba dropped his 1st after winning 4 in a row.

JULY 26 - Sam's broke a first-half tie with West Liberty as Ricky Kesich pitched and Tony DelMastro smashed his 6th homer in a 10-0 victory. Paul Martiere blasted 2 doubles for Sam's. Kesich ran his pitching record to 8-1 by twirling his 3rd shoutout.

JULY 27 - Tony (Tank) Colangelo rapped 3 hits as Droz tripped Legion's tailenders, 6-3. Matt Vietmeier socked 2 hits for Legion.

JULY 29 - Mark Donato chucked a shoutout and Tommy Rump singled to drive in Mark Ewing with the only run as Quaill surprised Sam's, 1-0, and tossed the second-half race into a virtual tie, with West Liberty only a half-game off Sam's pace.

JULY 31 - Mark Donato and Ed Gremba paced Quaill with 3 and 2 hits respectively in a 7-6 squeaker with Legion. Kurt Vietmeier rapped 2 hits for the losers. Tom Rump was credited with the win.

JULY 31 - Ricky Kesich hurled a 6-inning no-hitter and Sam's went on to nip Droz, 2-1, in a special playoff for the first-half pennant. After Kesich was lifted, under Little League rules, he singled to drive in Andy Piagessi with the winning run in the 8th inning as Tony DelMastro picked up the victory in relief. Kesich also singled to drive in the tying run in the bottom of the 6th and force overtime. Walt Evans, who almost annually directed Legion to LL titles, replaced toe late Bob Brennfleck as Sam's manager. A tie for the Second half title now looms as Sam finished 8-2 and West Liberty, managed by Joe Powers, is 7-2 with only Manco to play.

Individual Leaders
(through July 31, 1966)

Little League Home Runs

 

Senior League Home Runs

UNAVAILABLE

 

 

Tommy O'Connor, Spadafore
Ralph Bucci, Legion
Terry Sullivan, DeBor
Craig Sausto, Legion
Fred Wyrostek, Denmark
Jimmy Jackonic, Legion
Mark Maxwell, DeBor
Milan Vukelich, Spadafore
Dave Dunbar, Spadafore
Danny McGibbeny, Legion

13
10
10
7
7
7
6
6
5
5

Grand Slam Homers During 1966 Season

Senior League: Mark Maxwell, DeBor - 3; Danny McGibbeny, Legion - 2; Ralph Bucci, Legion - 1; Dave Dunbar, Spadafore - 1; John McGurk, DeBor - 1; Craig Sausto, Legion - 1; Jim Spadafore, ASales - 1; Terry Sullivan, DeBor - 1; Fred Talak, ASales - 1; Fred Wyrostek, Denmark - 1.


Little League Pitching

 

Senior League Pitching

Scotty Drummond, W.Liberty
Paul Martiere, Sam's
Rick Kesich, Sam's
John Diethorn, Droz
Ed Gremba, Quaill's
Buddy Brust, Droz
Bill Farrell, Sam's
Ralph Mordino, W.Liberty
Dick Smykla, Droz
Mark Donato, Quaill's
Rich Dimerak, Manco
Ray Korzenowski, Quaill's
Bob O'Connor, W.Liberty
Ron Knetzer, Legion
Bob McAdams, Manco
Tony Griffith, Legion
Kurt Vietmeier, Legion
John Bucci, Manco
Mark Morgan, Legion

5-0
3-0
8-1
7-1
4-1
2-1
4-3
2-2
4-5
3-4
3-6
2-4
2-4
1-3
1-5
1-5
1-5
0-3
0-3

 

Steve Abbondanza, Spadafore
Milan Vukelich, Spadafore
Tommy O'Connor, Spadafore
Danny McGibbeny, Legion
Alan Cridge, Asales
Jim Pistorius, McGaffin
Mike Gremba, Legion
Jimmy Malloy, DeBor
Fred Talak, Asales
Terry Sullivan, DeBor
Don McMurtry, McGaffin
Fred Wyrostek, Denmark
Jim Spadafore, Asales
Dave Dunbar, Spadafore
Joey Balestra, Denmark
Bob Bugle, DeBor
Tom Eperthener, Denmark

5-0
3-0
3-1
8-4
2-1
3-2
4-3
4-3
5-4
3-3
3-4
3-6
1-2
1-2
1-4
0-3
0-3

No-Hit Games During 1966 Season

Senior League: Danny McGibbeny, Legion, 3-0 over Denmark on June 6; Milan Vukelich (3 innings) and Steve Abbondanza (4 innings), Spadafore, 8-2 over Automatic Sales on June 30.
Little League: Rick Kesich, Sam's, six innings versus Droz Steel in 2-1 playoff win on July 31. Game went eight innings total with Tony DelMastro getting the win in relief.

Shutout Games During 1966 Season

Senior League: Danny McGibbeny, Legion - 1; Mike Gremba, Legion - 1; Fred Talak, Asales - 1.

Little League: Ricky Kesich, Sam's - 3; John Diethorn, Droz - 1; Rick Dimerak, Manco - 1; Mark Donato, Quaill - 1; Ron Baumiller, W.Liberty - 1; Scotty Drummond, W.Liberty - 1; Ralph Mordino, W.Liberty - 1.

* Reprinted from the Brookline Journal - August 4, 1966. *

1966 Little League All-Stars

1966 Little League All-Star Team

Front Row: John Diethorn, Ron Knetzer, Ed Gremba, League President Sam Bryen, Ralph Mordino, Ray Korzenowski.
Back Row: Coach Bob Brennfleck, Rick Kesich, Andy Piagessi, Tony "The Tank" Colangelo, Manager Walt Evans, Bob O'Connor, Georgie Mahfood, Mark Donato, Coach Ralph Spadafore.
Missing: Tony DelMastro, Tony Griffith and Butch Liebman.

Note: Coach Bob Brennfleck, team assistant and manager of Sam's Hardware, died suddenly on July 12, 1966. Not completely recovered from the shock, the team was eliminated, 4-1, by Carrick in District 4 play.

Brennfleck's in-house team, Sam's Hardware, however, came on strong at the end of the season, winning an eight-inning tie-breaker game, 2-1, over Droz for the first half title and edging West Liberty A.A. for the second half crown to claim the undisputed league championship.

The title would have been Brennfleck's second with Sam's Hardware. Instead, coach Walt Evans, a late-season replacement, guided the team through the final weeks to seal their triumph. For Evans, it was his fifth straight league title, and sixth in seven years, a streak dating back to 1960. During that span, the only other team to reach the top was Brennfleck's Sam's Hardware, in 1961.

Another note of interest regarding this 1966 team: Standing top row, fourth from the left is Tony Colangelo, known then as Tony the Tank. Thirty-one years later, in 1997, Colangelo, now known as "The Bear", ascended to the presidency of the Brookline Little League. Guido, the first alumnus of our community program to chair the organization, was Chairman of the Board for five seasons, retiring after the 2001 season. Tony's hard work and dedication to the children of Brookline was, and still is, greatly appreciated by the thousands of kids who benefited from his efforts.

* Photo reprinted from the Brookline Journal *

1966 Senior League All-Stars

1966 Senior League All-Star Team

Kneeling: Mike Gremba, Freddie Talak, Dave Dunbar, League President Sam Bryen, Joey Balestra, Fred Wyrostek, Jimmy Spadafore.
Standing: Manager Bob Lerch, Craig Sausto, Tommy O'Connor, Terry "The Clown Prince" Sullivan, Steve Abbondanza, Danny McGibbeny, Jim Pistorius, Milan "Big Bear" Vukelich, Coach Red Housley.
Missing: Frank Bliss.

In the photo below: Five clowns surround LL All-Star coach Red Housley. Left to right are Jonathon Fabio, Terry Sullivan, Danny McGibbeny and Milan Vukelich. Riding the fence on top is Tommy O'Connor. The 1966 Senior team was eliminated, 7-6, by Carrick in District 4 play.

1966 Senior All-Stars

Click on images for larger photos.

* Photos provided by Elva McGibbeny *

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