Brookline American Legion 1964
1964 American Legion State Finalists
Sitting: Batboys Jimmy Flavin and Garry Hartman.
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The 1964 Brookline American Legion team made a fine run at the state championship in Allentown, Pa., winning two of four games in the round-robin finals. The team was comprised of local baseball talent that was seasoned in post-season playoff competition.
Many of the players had made impressive showings by Brookline teams in the official Williamsport Tournament, both on the Little and Senior level, a yearly occurance. It seemed only fitting that another strong showing would follow Brookline's second consecutive first-place regular season finish. It also gave the Legion team a chance to avenge their loss to Hazelwood in the 1963 county final.
In the post-season county tournament, Brookline lost the first game to McKeesport, 3-0, then rebounded to win their next five outings to capture the championship, and a trip to Allentown. Manager Henry Hofbauer Jr guided the team past Homewood, Hazelwood, Springdale, and McKeesport. In the county final they beat Springdale for the second time by a score of 2-0.
With the county championship safetly tucked away, they headed for Allentown, Pa. and the state tournament, another round-robin competition featuring the top 10 Legion teams from Pennsylvania.
Brookline lost their opener to Punxsutawney, 3-0, spoiling an eleven strikeout performance by pitcher Jackie Flavin. The team rebounded on the second day, beating Beaver Valley, 9-3, and Point Marion, 5-2.
Tony Sebastian earned a complete game victory against Beaver Valley, allowing only six hits. Brookline jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and added three in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win. Jackie Flavin got the win in relief against Point Marion, pitching three scoreless innings. Starter John Kain gave up five hits in six innings and left with the score tied 2-2. Brookline struck with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and added an insurance run in the eighth. Glenn Nylander hit a homer for Brookline.
Game four was played against Media, one of the tournament favorites, on August 22. This game was lost by Brookline in a close contest, but we are not aware of any details, other than it was the final game for the Pittsburgh champions. The Brookline Legion team finished the 1964 season as one of the top five teams in the state of Pennsylvania.
Below is an article on the first game against Punxsatawney. The information on games three and four was retrieved from a Post-Gazette news clipping dated August 22, 1964.
Punxy Beats Brookline In Debut
ALLENTOWN, Pa., Aug. 20 (UPI) - Bill Harper struck out 10 batters, scattered five hits and drove in his team's first run as Punxsatawney shut out Brookline of Pittsburgh, 3-0, in the opening game of the 39th annual state American Legion baseball tournament.
Punxsatawney, co-favorite with Media in the tournament, got nine hits off Brookline loser Jack Flavin, who struck out 11 batters. Harper never was in trouble and was backed by slick fielding.
Media, Enola, Northeastern or York and Old Forge joined Punxsatawney as opening round winners.
* Reprinted from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - August 21, 1964 *
* Photo provided by Tom Abraham *
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