Brookline's 1978 World Champion
Brookline's 1978 World Champion was 11-year old Donna Caterino, who set a baseball throwing record for her age group in the National Jesse Owens Games in California. Donna tossed the hard ball 195 feet, 8 inches, proving why she (and her sister Kathy, a two-year star for Quaill's Cleaners 1976-77) became the first sister duo, or for that matter girls period, to play in the Brookline Little League in 1977.
Donna had just completed her second season in Little League with American Legion. She credited the three "men" in her life with her success in setting the world record; her dad, who taught her how to throw, catch and bat; Angelo Masullo , who was her first Little League manager in 1977; Jack Lombardi, her manager in 1978 and 1979.
I remember Donna Caterino from her days as a Little League player. She was a few years younger than us older boys, but could she always held her own during pickup games. She was quite a ballplayer, and proved it to everyone when she pitched a regular season no-hitter and went on to win the MVP award in the Robinson Township All-Star tournament in 1979. Donna was not just a thrower. She could also hit, and with power. She was one of the league's leading batters with several homeruns to her credit.
Most Brookliners remember the caging McConnell sisters, Maureen, Kathy and Suzie. Let's not forget the Caterino sisters, Kathy and Donna, the dynamic duo who burst onto the Little League scene and, from 1976 to 1979, taught us all a little bit about the game of baseball. Click here to read a Post-Gazette article from July 2, 1977 on Little League baseball's Caterino sisters.
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