Pieces of Our Past: April Week 3
Plaques Remember Two Little League Graduates Who Lost Their Lives Serving in the U.S. Armed Services
Many of the visitors to the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum in Williamsport, Pa., linger to read a plaque honoring Pfc. Victor J. Staccone, a Little League graduate who died in 1951.
Private First Class Staccone was the first Little League graduate from the United States to die in the war in Korea. The plaque was presented to the Museum by Bob Smith and Fred Agnoni in remembrance of their friend.
The plaque reads:
“PFC Victor J. Staccone
Purple Heart Recipient
You are appreciated for going above and beyond the call of duty for our U.S.A.
Recognized by Bob Smith, your old buddy, and Fred Agnoni,
Victor was the 1st Little League player to die in war for the U.S.A. in Korea.
Born May 1, 1933, killed in action January 26, 1951,
a real hero in life and a hero in war.
Victor could aim his bat at a spot on Home Run Fence,
put the ball over within 10 feet of aim. Staccone had 13 home runs
in a season. In the eyes of Bob Smith he could have attained
Babe Ruth’s record or higher in his beloved baseball career.
Family, schoolmates, friends are so proud.
May God bless you.”
Private First Class Staccone was a member of the 8th Calvary Regiment, 1st Calvary Division of the Army and was killed in action in South Korea.
The plaque is located next to a commemorative plaque honoring Staff Sgt. Wilbert Davis, who gave his life April 3, 2003, in Iraq also in service to the United States of America. Staff Sgt. Davis was a soldier in the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division, and was a pitcher and left fielder for the Belmont Heights Little League team during the 1975 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
The Tampa, Fla., team finished second in the World Series, losing to a team from Lakewood, N.J., 4-3. According to the Little League information, Staff Sgt. Davis pitched his team to 13 wins en route to the Little League Baseball World Series Championship game appearance.
Staff Sgt. Davis died during Operation Iraqi Freedom when a Humvee that he was driving overturned in a canal in Baghdad, killing him and Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly. Staff Sgt. Davis posthumously was inducted into the Museum’s Little League Hall of Excellence in 2003.
The Museum is located at 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by group appointment from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Its summer season begins after Memorial Day and the Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through June 31. From July 1 through Labor Day, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The facility is accessible to the disabled.
Rates are $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and older; $1.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 13. There is no fee for children 4 or younger. Group rates and tours are available. The Museum also offers birthday parties and after-hours facility rentals.
The Museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.
For more information, call the museum at (570) 326-3607; or visit http://www.LittleLeague.org/Learn_More/museum.htm.