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Monday, July 6, 2015

BoJons and Baseball

As I was thinking of writing my post early so I would not be up late into the night, I started thinking that since my hubby is working late tonight, Wednesday and Friday until 9 P.M. I have to plan my drive to pick him up downtown. I could drive in downtown Denver blindfolded, I learned the streets many years ago when I was hanging around with my friend Bea. She was a non driver and she knew those streets backward and forward because she rode the bus!
I am dreading the drive tonight if the Colorado Rockies are in town. I have to drive along the side of the stadium and the people pouring out into the streets are often drunk and acting very stupid! But it will be a lot better than Wednesday unless this rainy weather hangs out! Wednesday night the Denver Cruiser's take to the downtown streets. These are bicyclists and that my friends is a whole other matter!
You can only image how I feel driving through this crowd! Alas, I will pray a lot and get by! So now I want to talk about Bojon's and Baseball.
A favorite photo of my dad in his baseball uniform. He loved the game, we all grew up loving the game and my dad played it well. He was a catcher. My mom was a good baseball player too although women did not get as much recognition as the fellows did.
My friend Karl who lives in Pennsylvania found this photo for me and sent me an image so I could have a priceless photo of my dad and the team he played with. In 1933 a semi pro baseball team was formed in Pueblo, Colorado, in Bojontown. My Uncle Moon, my dad's older brother, was the manager and he found neighborhood men to participate. My dad was one of those men and he played  the catcher's position. The Walter Brewing Company was their sponsor. My dad once caught behind the plate while the Great Babe Ruth was up to bat. He had an autographed ball signed by the Sultan of Swat himself. I wish I had the names of all these team players back then. My uncle is the last guy on your right and dad is three guys down from his brother.
A shout out to the Walter Brewing Company, I know the two guys in the middle of this photo are Bojon's. They are from left to right Joe Bonfiglio, Louis Trontell, John Cernac and George Klasna. The brewery employed many local people until it closed in 1975. I keep hearing that Pueblo is trying to revive the brewery. Beer is big business.
As you may have already guessed my favorite player on any baseball team is the catcher. My dad taught me everything I know about baseball. He knew the game inside out! I wish I had other photos from those baseball heydays to share. Anytime you would like to share a photo here please let me know. I will gladly give you credit for your photos. Many of these stories have been told thousands of times and I am grateful for all that share their stories with me. Let me know if there is anything you would not like me to share because I have respect for each and every person who is on this journey with us.

My dad had a favorite baseball team in the MLB, it was the New York Yankees. I follow them to this very day.

During his career with the NY Yankees, I was a Jeter girl! Love the man,he played the sport for the love of the game. Nothing else.
Next to my own dad, this guy was my next favorite catcher. Thurman Munson, he played for the NY Yankees and he perished in a plane crash way too early. His wife said he only wanted to be a good husband and father. RIP my friend, I was blessed with the opportunity to see this gentleman play the game, June 1979 against the California Angels.  The Yankees won. A memory tucked in my mind forever.

"
 A ball player has to be kept hungry to become a big leaguer. That's why no boy from a rich family ever made it to the big leagues. Source: New York times (April 30, 1961). Quote: Joltin Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper.

I love this quote, I think part of the reason why is Joe DiMaggio came from poverty. If you ever read his autobiography, I can guarantee you will tear up!  I think many Bojon's love baseball not only because it was the National past time but because it allowed the regular, working class the opportunity to play a sport as American as apple pie and Old Glory!

There are many talented Bojon's who grew up in Bojontown. The Pueblo Hall of Fame is filled with the likes of the Pechek's. Hochevar's, Zabukovic's and Knaflec's. If you have any stories to share about any of these athletes and their sport please feel free to do it!

I hope you will come back again and join me for more stories of our beloved Bojontown and the people who lived and worked there.

4 comments:

Sam Cosimano said...

Anne when I was little I can remember going to gramma Kocman's house and spend the afternoons with her watching base ball on tv with her. Grampa would make ice cream floats. Aw it was the best. the only bad thing about this is that I also remember how sick gramma was. That was many many years ago, but to me it's like it was yesterday. Thanks Anne for keeping us Bojons informed and help us remember the little things in our lives. Lahko noc cousin<3

Maria said...

Lovely to see a photo of you Anne!

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

A lovely post with fond memories of his father and beautiful pictures! Thank you very much!

Intense Guy said...

:)

I suspect the brewery has a chance of coming back. My home town had thousands of them - most of them are gone now. My 3 great-Uncle owned one back in the late 1880s.

I'm so glad to see you captured all these memories - you and they are an asset to your home town.