JOHNSTOWN — •••
Adams’ (Altoona) Family: Some of the Altoona Johnston Realty players were at PNC Park on Wednesday night to watch a former teammate in action against the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams played for Altoona during three straight AAABA Tournaments from 2006 to 2008. The Philipsburg native batted .389 in 2007.
Last week another Altoona AAABA product played against the Pirates. Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco played for Altoona.
“It’s good for the kids coming into Johnstown to see that,” Altoona Johnston Realty manager Mel Curtis said. “When you walk down to the Holiday Inn for registration and you see the cards of all the guys who played in the major leagues, it’s good. It’s baseball. Nothing is better.
“In addition to Adams and Mesoraco, we’ve had seven players that got drafted,” he added, “guys like Brett Weibley, Adam White. A lot of them played in the minors.”
Tournament ties: Delweld manager Chris DelSignore and 2013 AAABA Hall of Famer Ross Kott have deep baseball roots.
The two local standouts played against each other in the AAABA League during the 1990s. Kott was a two-time local MVP who was the catalyst on the Johnstown Sani-Dairy team that advanced to the championship round of the 1995 AAABA Tournament.
“Ross is my best friend. He’s like a big brother to me,” DelSignore said. “We played on opposing teams for a couple years. He single-handedly kept me out of the tournament when I was 18. We went to a Game 5 against Sani-Dairy in 1995. I was on a fourth-place East Hills TV team that knocked off (first-place) Moxham Bank in the playoffs. In Game 5, he just single-handedly beat us (in the finals). He had something like nine RBI.
“He’s coming up this weekend to get inducted into the hall of fame,” DelSignore added. “He’s staying at my house with his wife and his little baby, who is my godson. We have a very close relationship and I couldn’t be happier for him. He definitely deserves it.”
Kott was Delweld’s first manager and DelSignore was the top assistant coach. In 1999, they took Delweld to a 3-2 record in the AAABA Tournament.