The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Mike Mastovich

July 17, 2013

MIKE MASTOVICH| Hot times for two AAABA League teams

(Continued)

JOHNSTOWN — Baltimore legacy: Vincent J. Leone, one of the three Leone brothers who in 1952 founded the baseball program that now is Youse’s Maryland Orioles of Baltimore in the AAABA, died on Saturday. The AAABA Hall of Famer was 91.

In 1952, Vincent Leone and his brothers Dominic and Tony began sponsoring Leone’s Baseball, a franchise that evolved into one of the top amateur programs on the East Coast and produced many powerhouse Baltimore AAABA Tournament teams under the banners of Leone’s, Johnny’s Auto Sales, Corrigan’s Insurance and Youse’s.

From 1952 to 1972, the Leone brothers sponsored a franchise that produced future major league  stars such as Al Kaline and Reggie Jackson.

The Leones actually brought the Maryland State franchise to Johnstown during their first three tournaments from 1952 to 1955. In 1957, with Baltimore, Leone’s Cafe won a AAABA Tournament championship and put a trend into motion.

In 21 seasons, Leone’s teams collected 1,365 wins and 189 losses, an average of 68.2 wins a year.

Not surprisingly, Leone’s won four AAABA Tournament titles and finished as runner-up three times during that span, building the foundation for a franchise that has captured a tournament-best 28 championships.

The AAABA Hall of Fame inducted the Leone brothers in 2006. Vincent was the last surviving brother.

q q q

Top bat: Wins have been scarce for first-year AAABA League franchise First Commonwealth Bank.

But manager Jim McMillen’s team has produced some solid individual performances.

Luke Trotz qualified as the league’s leading hitter this week with a .480 batting average, including one homer.

The Berkley Hills Renegades’ Jason Shirley had held the top spot and still is batting .458, but he missed the minimum cut of 55 at-bats. Shirley is 22-for-48.

q q q

Packed house: Johnstown Oldtimers President George Arcurio III said 54 of 60 tables have been sold to the 20th annual AAABA Hall of Fame banquet on Aug. 3 at the Pasquerilla Conference Center.

“We’re nearing a sellout,” Arcurio said. “Once again, it’s shaping up to be a great event.”

Former Pittsburgh Pirates player, coach and manager Bill Virdon will be the featured speaker. Virdon played on the Pirates’ 1960 World Series championship team and was an coach on the 1971 World Series champs. In addition to the Pirates, Virdon managed the Yankees, Astros and Expos.

The Class of 2013 includes: Ross Kott (Johnstown); Joe Scaletta (Johnstown); Len DiForte (Chicago Metro); and twins John O’Brien and Ed O’Brien (South Amboy, N.J.).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Mastovich
  • Mastovich, Mike Mike Mastovich | Juniors bring fresh flavor to 61st Amateur

    The Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions has attracted some of the best young golfers in the game during the past six decades.
    Tiger Woods was a teenager when he played the Sunnehanna Country Club course.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mastovich, Mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Simon aiming for second life

    Geroy Simon never allowed obstacles or naysayers’ opinions to deter him throughout a career as the most prolific receiver in the history of the Canadian Football League.
    So, when Geroy says the primary goal in his post-playing career is to become a general manager, it probably isn’t wise to bet against the Greater Johnstown High School graduate.

    June 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Huskies hot again this season

    Cosie Aliquo heard people talking about how talented his Bishop Carroll boys’ basketball team is this season.
    He’s read the preseason news clippings and certainly noticed that the Huskies were ranked third in the state in one Class A preseason poll.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shaffer revitalizes Richland's passing game

    Two years ago, Brandon Bailey saw potential in a tall, strong-armed quarterback looking to establish himself in the Richland High program.
    Matt Shaffer was a sophomore splitting the quarterback duties with classmate Nico Pecora back then.

    November 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Berlin's Fochtman rushing into lead

    Braden Fochtman always seems to be in a rush on the football field.
    How else do you explain his area-best 1,042 rushing yards through five weeks of the scholastic season?
    But the Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore back actually has been a much more patient runner this season, and that’s made a significant difference to the undefeated Mountaineers’ success.

    October 3, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike color.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Experienced players valuable for Meyersdale

    Gavin Berkley will make his 34th career start when undefeated Meyersdale hosts once-beaten Portage on Friday night.
    The Red Raiders senior two-way standout has experienced plenty of highs and lows during the past three-plus seasons.

    September 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Rule waiver soothes concerns

    Dean Albany felt a sense of baseball relief late Wednesday night.
    For days, even weeks, the Youse’s Maryland Orioles of Baltimore GM had pondered the possibility of life without the the AAABA Tournament this summer and perhaps beyond.

    July 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike.JPG MIKE MASTOVICH| Hot times for two AAABA League teams

    Two AAABA League franchises have heated up as the temperatures soared this month.
    The Berkley Hills Renegades beat First Commonwealth 11-1 on Wednesday, the defending champs’ seventh consecutive victory.
    Manager Larry McCabe’s team has won 11 of its past 12 games and now has a 22-12 record, good for second place and 31⁄2 games behind league-leading Delweld.

    July 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH| Shirley lifting Renegades

    Jason Shirley provides the Berkley Hills Renegades with offensive punch and speed on the base paths, a combination that will be important if the defending champions are to challenge for a spot atop the AAABA League standings.
    Shirley is batting a league-high .458 (22-for-48) through 22 games. The Youngstown State University product also has eight stolen bases in nine attempts.

    July 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • mastovich, mike MIKE MASTOVICH | Mazey scholarship continues legacy

    Forrest Mazey was a fixture at Point Stadium and baseball diamonds throughout the region.

    July 3, 2013 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think pet obituaries should be included with death notices?

Yes, my pet is considered a member of the family.
No, pet obituaries are inappropriate.
Pet obituaries should be placed on a different page in the newspaper.
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads