Pieces of Our Past: November Week 2
Plaques Remember 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 South 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 Agnone 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. See more on Staff Sgt. Davis here: http://www.littleleague.org/media/newsarchive/06_2003/03wilbertdavis.htm
This past summer, Army Pfc. Ross McGinnis was enshrined into the Little League Hall of Excellence, and is recognized as one of two known Little League graduates to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. The other is Army Corp. Thomas Bennett. See more on Pfc. McGinnis here: http://www.littleleague.org/Page58477.aspx
Victor Staccone, the second player from right in back row, was the first Little League graduate from the United States to die in the war in Korea.
The Museum is located at 525 Route 15 Highway, just south of Williamsport and on the complex where the Little League Baseball World Series is played. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and other times by group appointment. After Memorial Day the hours will be expanded. Please call (570) 326-3607 for current hours or look online at www.LittleLeague.org/museum.
The Museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.
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.