Thursday, September 8, 2011

The End of Summer - Baseball Brothers

Although not officially summer's end, Labor Day puts an indelible impression of it coming demised and heralds the end of another baseball season. Previously writing about East Hampton baseball brother acts, the Bransfield boys - Hal, Jake, Ed and Bill - were not an exclusive club. Ozzie and Gabe Frontel, a twosome played for the Belltown Bombers and joined brother John and Joe in the town's factory / clerk league. Before the age of TV, computers, video games, and all our modern distractions, getting out to play baseball or do other activities such as swim in Lake Pocotopaug was the norm and many played in the factory league as practice for the Middlesex County League. Other brothers included Gerald and Tom Wall and brother-in-law Vinnie "Swede" Nelson and the Wylie's - Sam and Willie. In 1937, Tom Wall, Managed and played center field for a team that started slow but finished with a winning record despite the fact that Manager Wall was sidelined in August with appendicitis.

Tom Wall was Dennis Wall's dad. Dennis is now the Democratic candidate for Zoning Board of Appeals. What else would he be. Dennis's grandfather James was a Democrat elected as a Selectman for several terms in the 1940s and 1950s. Gerald, better known by his nickname "Butch," was the Manager and head bartender for O'Neill's Tavern when Bill was politicking in Hartford as State Representative up until the time he was elected Lt. Governor in 1978.

And baseball, like the flowers, blooms in the spring. In the second game of 1938, on May 16th, "Don Mack opened the game on the mound for the locals and lasted until the beginning of the seventh inning, when he was yanked by Manager dick Ferrari and was relieved by Gabriel Frontel, a young left-hander who finished the game in good style," making his debut that Sunday afternoon.

Gabe, husband of Christine, who is my mother Pauline's sister, are still going strong, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

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