The Bambino of Hays

Aug 29, 2022 397

BY: Ed Manfredi

A few months ago, I was introduced to Rich Talarico. We began a series of conversations, and during one of our talks, we realized we had something in common: Hays, Pennsylvania (the bygone Italian-Pittsburgh enclave that shaped my childhood). Rich told me about his great uncle, Ollie Carnegie, who played ball for 15 seasons across the game’s farm system. It was a new story from my old neighborhood, and I had to learn more.

I reached out to my Uncle Joe Falce, who, at 95, is the official historian of Hays. As it turned out, Joe’s older brother, Lou, played on the same Hays team as Ollie. Joe later saw Ollie play in Buffalo, and as luck would have it, Lou and Ollie were next door neighbors. When Joe would visit, he would attend games with Ollie’s son and sit in the dugout. According to Joe, Ollie was one of the greatest baseball players that ever emerged from Western PA.

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