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Hope Farm Press Publisher of New York Regional History, Folklore, Nature, Military History and Genealogy Books -- Covering Western New York, Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, Catskill Mountains & Finger Lakes Regions
by Charlie Tiano
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"Charlie Tiano has a head full of facts and figures, but more importantly, he has
a wonderful zest for the sport, and his facts and figures become a disciplined frame for
the human portrait of the national game . . ."
" . . .a colorful baseball history, and Charlie Tiano lays it out with enthusiastic knowledge and engaging pleasure."
Although contemporary sports fans in Ulster County are more likely to indentify me as the founder and promoter of several major golf tournaments in the County, the truth is that baseball has been my first love dating back to the 1920's. Several factors combined to launch my lifetime romance with the game. The seed was planted while I was a pitcher on the Kingston High School team coached by the leagendary G.Warren Kias.
Baseball was the only game available to kids in the town of East Kingston, a small hamlet on the west bank of the Hudson, where I was born. Brickmaking was the only industry in the hamlet and the workers were a mixed lot of immigrants made up of Italian, Hungarian, Polish and blacks that were recruited from the south. Most of the bosses were from the resident Irish Community.
I don't remember the exact date when I organized a team of East Kingston lads and named it the Brigham A.C. in honor of the Brigham Company, which incidently, never contributed a cent to the uniforms or equipment. By 1930 the Brighams were a mixture of former high school players and home town stars. With Harold (Bo) Jones booking our games, the teams compiled a brilliant record against county opponents.
My father Giuseppe (Big Joe) Tiano was an imposing figure who came to the United States from the province Calabria, deep in the toe of Italy. He wasn't a baseball fan, rather, he was be-mused by the goings-on of this American passtime. Nevertheless, he always accompanied the team as honorary manager, and really made his presence felt on one occasion. The team traveled to Cementon to play a group of hard nosed competitors led by the Schlenker brothers. The biggest of the group was a burley fast ball pitcher named Big Joe Puzzum. Trouble surfaced early in the game when Puzzum hit the second batter with a wide pitch. Two innings later he plunked me in the back. That was enough for Dad. He leaped from his seat and headed straight for the mound. I can still see both "Big Joes" in the center of the field exchanging some pretty harsh words. My father's broken English was apparently understood and play resumed in a few minutes. Cementon's Big Joe did not rack up any more "hit batsmen" for the rest of that game!
My record with the Brigham team attracted the attention of several teams in Kingston. My big break came when James ( Babe ) Volker, who was an East Kingston resident pitching for the Kingston All Stars, recomended me to the manager, John McCardle. The epilogue to this story is bittersweet. On my departure from the Brigham A.C. my teammates branded me a traitor, and when I arrived at the All Stars, Manager McCardle put me on first base, replacing an aging player who never spoke to me again.
After the All Stars ended their run in the mid-1930's I joined Fred Davi's second edition of the Kingston Colonials, who played in the New York State League and the short-lived New Jersey League which I heplped organize and served as first president. The official league baseball with my name on it is one of my prized possessions.
I was a member of four City League teams: Morgan's Repealers, Crystal Beauty Shoppe, Taiclets, Post Mills and three indepentent teams: Jones Dairy, Kaslich A.C. and Glasco A.C. I was inducted into the Kingston Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946. //
5.5x8.5 134 pages, index, 24 historic photos Paper $11.95 Published by Hope Farm Press.
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