The RCAC is back at Cobb’s Hill (where Johnny Antonelli struck out 20)

The RCAC is back at Cobb’s Hill (where Johnny Antonelli struck out 20)
At Cobb's Hill. Democrat and Chronicle Apr 30, 1960

Monroe High School in action vs. East High School at Cobb’s Hill. Democrat and Chronicle Apr 30, 1960

At Cobb’s Hill. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 27th, 1947. Johnny Antonelli pitched a one hitter and struck out twenty.

Democrat and Chronicle. Antonelli in his Flower City Post uniform.. May 24, 1947. The day before, he pitched a no hitter for Jefferson.

Antonelli in his Flower City Post uniform, May 24, 1947. The day before, he pitched a no hitter for Jefferson. Democrat and Chronicle

For six years, beginning with the Democrat and Chronicle in 2013, we’ve covered city baseball in the Rochester City Athletic Conference.  (SEE ALL BELOW)

In 2016, we focused on East’s magical run to the Sectional finals. We’ve also followed the career of three-time RCAC player of the year Wilson’s Owen Gabbey and two-time RCAC player of the year SOTA’s Kenneth Cruz. Owen had four successful years playing for the University of Rochester, then landed a dream job in the marketing department of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Kenny “Cruz Control” played at Niagara Community College and is the Founder/CEO at 4Talent.

Cobb’s Hill is my favorite venue for city baseball.  Especially in nice weather, the urban park is alive with the energy of walkers, joggers and basketball players. The backdrop of a lake and city streets adds to the ambience.

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Democrat at Chronicle, June 7, 1948

Cobb’s Hill is also rich in baseball history. From what I’ve discovered, the Monroe High School Redjackets played baseball in the park at least as far back as 1930. The greatest player at the Hill was probably Jefferson High School’s Johnnie Antonelli who still lives in Rochester.

From 1946 – 1948 for Jefferson and the Flower City Post of the American Legion, Antonelli’s brilliant pitching captivated Rochester. At only 18, Antonelli signed with the Boston Braves, going directly to the major leagues, debuting in July during the Braves’ National League pennant winning season. Antonelli’s greatest game in Rochester was May 26th, 1947 when at Cobb’s Hill he struck out 20 batters (out of 21 outs) and gave up only one hit.

The New York Times, 4/7/19

The New York Times, 4/7/19

Recently, Antonelli became a baseball trivia answer. On March 31st, Elvis Luciano became the first player born in the 21st century to reach the major leagues. As compiled by Elias Sports Bureau, Antonelli was the first player born in the 1930s (April 12th, 1930) to reach the major leagues (July 4th, 1948).

Yesterday, in the first RCAC game played this season at Cobb’s Hill, the home field for Monroe and the School of the Arts, Wilson battled SOTA on a blustery day with the temperature noticeably dropping after the first pitch.

Nonetheless, many diehards braved the elements. SOTA’s athletic director David Mickelson was in attendance as usual. Back for another season following the successes of last year, SOTA’s Head Coach Jason Cronberger’s hair is as big as ever.

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SOTA’s Head Coach Jason Cronberger. SOTA vs. Wilson. The first RCAC game played this season at Cobb’s Hill, 4/09/19

Randy Johnson, the Air Horn Guy, was a little more bundled up this early in the season.

Randy Johnson. See Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb's Hill series

Randy Johnson. See Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series The first RCAC game played this season at Cobb’s Hill, 4/09/19

Back was Michelle Lepki, one of the self-proclaimed SOTA Mommas, keeping score.

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Michelle Lepki. See Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill The first RCAC game played this season at Cobb’s Hill, 4/09/19

Two generations cheered Wilson’s first baseman Max Lamora.

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Wilson’s Max Lamora at bat, in the field and with his parents and grandparents. The first RCAC game played this season at Cobb’s Hill, 4/09/19

Scenes from season’s past.

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(top l-r) Brittnee Johnson (2018), Randy Johnson (2018), David Kramer (2016), David Kramer pitching to Kenny Cruz (2016)(bottom l-r) Ariane Sheldon (2017), Kenny Cruz (2015), Owen Gabbey, (2015) Tyrone Roundtree Jr.,(2016) Monroe player keeping score (2017)

2019

East baseball continues its storied tradition

2018 

Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill

Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series

New Press Box scoreboard keeper coveteth a coveted microphone

2017

East falls just short. And views from the press box

No longer undefeated, East bounces back nicely

Eagles (8-0) win East Tournament; pizza for all

East beats Lyons to stay unbeaten; Crandall retrieves balls and sweeps home plate

Bundled up loyalists at Cobb’s Hill watch East stay undefeated.

Joel Alicea throws second straight no-hitter; three generations celebrate at East

Excitement grows on Culver Road as East wins third straight. Bishop Kearney is next.

Following a historic season, East baseball opens with back-to-back no hitters.

2016

City baseball opens. Defending champion East’s Coach Crandall previews season. And Cruz Control is back.

East baseball takes the show on the road. Destination Cincinnati

East’s sun still shining

A coach who cares. And wondering if East won

Congratulations East on a magical season. So Jefferson and Rocky DiPonzio’s 1980 mark still stands.

SOTA’s Kenny Cruz awaits call from the big leagues. Bill Pucko “borrows” Talker’s nickname: Cruz Control

2015

City baseball opens; East set to defend title

The Kenny Cruz watch: highest ranked outfielder in NYS, 22nd in the nation

East baseball triumphs again; SOTA’s Kenny Cruz named RCAC player of the year

“Rochester Promise” kept: Wilson’s Owen Gabbey, three time RCAC player of the year, gains scholarship to the University of Rochester

SOTA’s Kenny “Cruz Control:” from a Silverhawk to a Scarlet Knight

2014

Wilson’s Owen Gabbey; two time baseball player of the year whose family believes in city schools

No off season for SOTA’s rising baseball star. Oh, Kenny also currently has the highest GPA in the entire RCSD.

2013

East baseball takes the show on the road. Destination Pittsburgh

ALSO ON BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

Brighton fans celebrate hometown hero Ernie Clement in victory

ALSO ON UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER BASEBALL

My first live pitch of the season

The University of Rochester’s John Ghyzel follows in the footsteps of Tom Havens ’91 (Madison Muskies, 1992)

About The Author

dkramer3@naz.edu

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY and Lake Affect Magazine.  My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.

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