Friday, February 24, 2006

A Note From An Old Friend

A Note From An Old Friend

Hi Carlos,I was happy to come across your blog. I really enjoy checking it out on a regular basis. It has inspired me to revisit my research. I found a great source, I recently subscribed to Hopefully more old newspapers will be added. But they do have several years of the San Mateo Times. So I can research my favorite team...the San Mateo Blues. I talked to you a while back regarding my grandfather— Gene Camozzi. You were kind enough to furnish me with the 1928 stats for the Cal State League. Have you finished anymore years. I would love to see how he compared to other pitchers in the league. I have several on going projects, but always seem to come back to my baseball. I plan to make post my finds on a site I just started. Hope I can keep content flowing:
Good JobKen Camozzi

I wrote Gene back about my plans of compiling stats for every California and California State League up through 1939. So far, I have collected every box score available from my numerous research trips throughout the state, and have compiled stats for every season up to 1900, and several season in the 1903-1915 era.

Ken’s grandfather was one of those local legends around the Bay Area. Another player of that caliber was Jerry Coleman, Sr., that father of the broadcaster and Yankee infielder, who’s career paralleled that of Gene Camozzi. Camozzi pitched year after year in and around San Francisco. In San Diego we had a pitcher named Elmer Hill who became a hero for young Ted Williams. Thousands of people would come out to see him pitch on North Park diamond.

In Chicago they had Lefty Sullivan, who must’ve pitched for over twenty season in the semipro Chicago City League. Bill Weiss, who saw Sullivan pitch when he was a kid, told me that he was one of the best pitchers he had ever seen. The reason he didn’t make it in the Big Leagues was because the pitcher became dizzy every time he bent over too far. In his only season in the Majors, big leaguers quickly found out about his disability, and bunted him out of the American League, and ultimately out of Organized Baseball.

For years in the Chicago City League, every time Lefty Sullivan and Hippo Vaughn would face off, at least 5,000 fans— and sometimes— more than 10,000 would show up for a game. (After his major league career, Vaughn pitched 17 seasons in the Chicago City League and other semipro leagues around Chicago, notching 169 wins in league play.)

Gene Camozzi fits into the above group of local semipro heroes.


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