Nick Schiavone’s Contribution to Our Athletes
Vince just read your article and brought me back to the old neighborhood good times. You covered a lot of good guys in all sports and covered it very well.
Jimmy DeVito invented the game of paddle ball what they today call racket ball Your right he was the greatest in hand ball along with Lefty DeOrio of the Duncan YMCA.
Charlie Serpe was the best windy city ballplayer that I can remember. He could field and hit long home runs well over the Sherdian Park fence ( the longest fence) He was like an octopus in centerfield and a great short stopwith an arm that would knock off the first basemans arms with his throw.
The very best line drive hitter was Andrew “Fruity” Esposito. He would knock your head off with his line drives. He was a fancy dan pitcher. Had all kinds of moves. Rank him with Leewa Yacilla.
Lets, not forget Dusty LaBarber a Great softball third baseman and a minor league hard ball player. He was paid $300.00 a month in 1947 for playing but could,nt afford to stay with it because he had a family to take care of.
Then right from Taylor street the great softball play of Solly Masolomi and also his basketball skills shown at the very old Sheridan Park also a real nice guy small in size but always with a smile.
I remember the young Carcerrano twins great hardball guys that had to travel out of the neighborhood to use their baseball skills. If I remember correctly one was a catcher the other a first baseman.
In 1945 at the age of 15 I made my debut as a lightweight amateur boxer in the CYO annual boxing programs. I lasted 3 nights in a row and on the 3rd night was beaten by a black kid Al Roberts that went on to become a pro. I was pretty lucky. If I had beaten him I would have been murdered by a 26 year old just out of military service.
That was the end of my boxing career. The author Nick Schiavone of “Lucky Guy From The Old Neighborhood.”
It was great reading let’s have more from the Taylor Street Archives