South Jersey Baseball History:
Sunday, June 4, 2000
By Charlie Schick
Dateline is a diary of South Jersey baseball that highlights area players, games, events, and outstanding accomplishments in the past history of the great game of baseball. The June dates and facts listed below are taken from the manuscript entitled "A Day's Walk Through South Jersey Baseball."
June 1, 1939. Power hitting left-hander Rich Boney of Pleasantville High blasted 4 home runs to lead his team's offense to a victory over Egg Harbor High by a 12 to 5 score. Boney homered in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings. His 4 round trippers produced 7 RBIs for the winners. Losing pitcher Andy Breder hit a grand slam home run for the losing Egg Harbor.
June 2, 1938. Woodrow Wilson High shortstop Johnny McAlack tied a South Jersey scholastic record when he went 6 for 6 in leading his teammates to a 22 to 3 victory over Camden High. The win gave Wilson the championship of the Camden City Series. The winners' John Bugowski also had a banner day as he collected 5 hits.
June 4, 1969. A twenty strikeout performance was turned in by Joe Neal of Audubon High, as he defeated Mainland High 1 to 0 in extra innings. The hard fought victory gave Audubon the South Jersey Group III championship. The game's only run was scored in the top of the 9th inning, thanks to left-fielder Dan Koczur's RBI single.
June 7, 1944. Eddie Miksis, star shortstop of the Burlington High undefeated team, signed a professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey signed Miksis, who was considered the top middle infielder in the state. Miksis reported to the Dodgers' Trenton Senators ball club.
June 9, 1970. In Rancocas Valley League action, Vincentown's ace hurler Les Fulleylove pitched a no-hitter to shut out Birmingham 8 to 0. He struck out 10 batters in tossing the league's first no-hitter of the season. The winner's Toby Green, Jim Rush and Rick Terch were the contest's big RBI producer.
June 10, 1990. Left-hander Shawn Senior, ace pitcher of the Cherry Hill West High team, set a Carpenter Cup Tournament record for most pitching victories in the tournament's history. He accomplished the feat when he defeated the Suburban National squad 4 to 1. The winning decision gave him a total of 4 wins over a two-year period, 2 in 1989 and 2 in 1990.
June 13, 1921. Major League umpires in both the American and National Leagues start the practice of rubbing dirt on the baseball before each game. They use a specific clay that is supplied by Palmyra, New Jersey's Lena Blackbourne, who at the time was a coach for the Philadelphia Athletics.
June 15, 1951. Infielder/Outfielder Bart Moore became the first Clearview High School baseball player to be selected to the New Jersey All-Star Team, when he gained a state second team infield appointment. Moore's strong hitting and fielding led his teammates to a South Jersey Olympic Conference title, the first in the school's history.
June 16, 1935. Audubon High School's ace hurler Bob Nesbit, fired a no-hitter to lead his teammates to a hard fought 3 to 2 win over Camden High and the championship of the Camden Suburban League. Although the Camden squad scored single runs in the first and second innings, both runs resulted from walks and costly errors.
June 18, 1966. Star outfielder Mike Riley became the first Bishop Eustace Prep baseball player to be selected to the New Jersey All-State Team. He accomplished the feat when he was appointed to the elite squad's third team. Riley was a key factor in Bishop Eustace's South Jersey Parochial "A" championship season.
June 19, 1909. The official season ending batting averages confirmed that a new South Jersey single season record was set with Emory "Ty" Helfrich's astonishing .638 batting mark. The Atlantic City High brilliant infielder was walked 15 times and collected 25 hits in his 39 official at bats. He also made just one error while splitting time between third base and shortstop.
June 23, 1940. Andy Lapihuska, Millville High's pitcher/outfielder, was the first ever South Jersey baseball player to be named to the New Jersey All-State Team for two consecutive years. Lapihuska, although an outstanding pitcher, signed a pro contract with the Phillies, was selected as a second baseman in 1939 and a first team outfielder in 1940.
June 24, 1951. Left-hander Vince Reed became the first Gloucester Catholic High School baseball player to be selected to the New Jersey All-State Team, when he was honored with a third team appointment. Reed's outstanding pitching was the main reason behind Gloucester Catholic's South Jersey Parochial "B" championship season.
June 27, 1979. In South Jersey Senior League (16 to 18 year olds) action, Dave Giordano of the Hammonton ball club struck out 25 batters in downing the Bridgeton team 3 to 2 in 11-innings. Giordano won his own game with a perfect squeeze bunt in the top of the 11th frame and allowed no earned runs in picking up the hard fought victory.
June 28, 1947. Camden Catholic High's outstanding second baseman Jack Cuneo was selected to the New Jersey All-State baseball elite second team. With the appointment, Cuneo became the first South Jersey parochial school infielder to be so honored. His slick fielding and clutch hitting ranked him as one of the state's finest middle infielders.
June 30, 1984. Catcher Andy Flake became the first Shawnee High School baseball player to be selected to the New Jersey All-State Team, when he was honored as the third team receiver. The scrappy backstop led South Jersey in RBIs and tied for home runs while hitting .509 in his senior season.
This is just a small sample of South Jersey's baseball history, but I hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did researching these outstanding scholastic, college, and major leaguers from our area.
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