Chicopee's Larry Baldassaro gives readers "Baseball Italian Style"

Mar 12, 2018 1402

BY: Garry Brown

Larry Baldassaro grew up in Chicopee, loving baseball and dreaming about pitching in the big leagues. Along the way, he came under the guidance of Hank Gonet, a caring mentor to countless kids who played for him on Chicopee Boys Club sandlot teams. If you played for Hank, you learned the fundamentals, and you learned how to win. In Baldassaro's Boys Club years, he played on teams that won the Daily News Sandlot Tournament in each age group - 10-12, 12-14, 14-16.

At Chicopee High School, Baldassaro became part of a 1961 state championship team featuring lefty pitcher Al Stanek. That summer, Baldassaro played for another winner - Chicopee Post 452, which took the state title in American Legion ball. His favorite memory from those golden baseball days?


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