By John Bacchia
Coalmines … Bombers … and Baseball …
Emmy Award-winning sportswriter/producer John Bacchia stocks the fantastic, never-before-told tale of Augie Donatelli—one of significant League Baseball’s unsung males in blue. A coal miner from Bakerton, Pennsylvania, Donatelli served his nation as a tail gunner aboard a B-17 and located his life’s calling within the bleak conﬁnes of a Nazi criminal camp.
whilst military Air Corps Staﬀ Sergeant Donatelli umpired softball video games to spice up morale for his fellow airmen at Stalag Luft VI, little did he recognize he was once taking ﬂedgling steps in the direction of changing into some of the most revered umpires in baseball heritage. even though, sooner than the top of the conflict, he will be subjected to a brutal “black march” throughout war-torn Europe prior to orchestrating a bold escape.
Less than a decade after serving his kingdom, Donatelli discovered himself on the top of his profession—umpiring within the 1955 international sequence among the Brooklyn Dodgers and manhattan Yankees. Hardened through his conflict reviews and his years of operating within the coal mines, Donatelli hustled at the baseball diamond as though his existence relied on it. He gave his center and soul to the sport he enjoyed. but regardless of ﬁnding his dream profession, Donatelli voluntarily positioned his profession and livelihood in jeopardy, as he and his fellow umpires, Shag Crawford, Jocko Conlan, Al Barlick, and others, spearheaded the formation of the ﬁrst umpires’ union, the key League Umpires Association.
conceal photograph: Yankee supervisor Casey Stengel and Augie Donatelli status toe-to-toe in the course of an exhibition online game, April thirteenth, 1951. Copyright Bettman/CORBIS
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