|LITTLE LEAGUE DYNASTY
|Photos Donated By Douglas Haney
|1974 DORMONT POLICE LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
First Row : M. Anzelone, K. Cato, D. Macellaro, P. Diven, L. Harden, D. Caputo
Second Row: B. Shearn, J. French, K. Ottaviano, C. Loerlein, P. Tortarella, B. Good
Third Row : R. Shearn, B. Staab, D. Haney, J. Loerlein, L. Ottaviano
Coaches: Mr. Luebbe, Mr. Perl, Mr. Tortarella, Mr. Shearn
|The 1974 World Series Introductions
|World Series Stars
Doug Haney &
|Coach Harry Luebbe
& Star Pupil - Douglas Haney
|Police Celebrating Another
World Series Win!
|My Date With Destiny vs. The Dormont Police Dynasty
The Dormont Police, their name had become synonymous with the word â€œDynasty.â€� This Little League baseball team in Dormont had won the
World Series as far back as anyone could remember. Fielding an every changing squad of supernatural players that, year in and year out, would crush
the dreams of aspiring talent relegated to other lesser teams, they wouldnâ€™t just beat you but send you home crying to your mother. Their Coach,
Harry Luebbe, had a unique talent for drafting kids with raw skills and churn out Babe Ruths & Lou Gehrigs that dominated the field of twelve-year
olds. We used to make fun of Harry, with his pulled up to the sternum pants that ran short of his ankles. We used to call him â€œHigh-Waisted
Harryâ€� and ask him when he was going back to Johnstown. But as one of his star pupils, Doug Haney, had said, â€œHarry was a great guy. He
wasnâ€™t like the rest of the Little League coaches, he taught baseball.â€�
So, as it was, when I hit 12 years old, I had the chance to change all
of that. My team, Potomac Hardware, had battled through the
seasonal campaign and won a chance to play the vaunted, hated
Yankeâ€¦erâ€¦Dormont Police team. We had the â€œGolden Boy,â
€� Greg Perry, as our star pitcher. Greg threw a baseball like a
BB through an atom smasher. And, he was just wild enough to put
the fear of life into opposing batters. If Greg hit you with a pitch,
you were out of the gameâ€¦and the next one too! We had power
from both sides of the plate with Rich Nagy (10 Homers) from the
right and yours truly (6 Homers) from the left.
The Police, of course, had the Little League version of Murderâ
€™s Row and the Lumber Company combined. Haney (47
Homers), Bubba Staab (22 Homers), Larry Ottaviano (16 Homers),
along with two or three others that would have batted clean-up for
most any other team. Their 3-4-5 hitters had more homers than the
rest of the league combined! On top of that, they had a 1-2 punch of
pitchers that shut out more teams(ters) than the Pinkertons!
Ottaviano had a stellar year, winning every game he pitched!
However, it was Ricky Shearn that dominated the league. Rickyâ
€™s pitches rivaled Perryâ€™s for speed but, he also had
incorporated the Luebbe approach of using mind games to cheat a
hitter into swinging at junk.
I was friends with their star, Doug Haney. Doug had taught me how to hit home runs instead of the Punch & Judy variety of hits that I was known
for. He also let me in on a big secret. He told me, â€œWithout fail, if Ricky Shearn gets ahead of you no balls and two strikes, he will throw you a
So it is with this backdrop, that the Dormont Little League World Series of 1974 started. In the first inning, Police jumped ahead of Hardware 3-0
after scratching a couple of hits and errors off of Perry. In the bottom of the first, Perry hit a homerun to make it 3-2. Bubba Staab hit a two-run
homer in the fourth, making it 5-2. After Perryâ€™s single and a screaming double off of Nagyâ€™s bat, we had men on second & third when I
came to bat.
I stepped into the box and began my Willie Stargell wind-up. I heard the umpire yell, â€œStrike one!â€� before I had finished winding up. I thought
to myself, â€œWow, I didnâ€™t even see that pitch! I better start swinging earlier if I want to catch up with Shearnâ€™s fastball.â€� I swung at
the next pitch as hard as I could. The ball was already being thrown back by the catcher by the time I had completed my swing! â€œStrike two!â€�
So now, Shearn had me by the count of 0-2. I smiled a knowing smileâ€¦
The stage was all set. On a clear, cool evening, under the lights, people had
crowded the stands and the perimeter fence of the William â€œPopâ€� Murray
Field for a World Series classic that was unfolding. Philâ€™s Sno-Cone Truck,
that was parked in the right field lot, had a break from doing his usual swift
business. The kids playing with the water at the fountain had stopped to watch
and my 14-year old girlfriend (Yes! 14!) who was perched behind the fence
behind home plate was cheering my name! I readied myself for that fat balloon
of a pitch that Doug had promised me!
And here it came! Doug was right! Ricky Shearn tossed me a huge grapefruit
of a pitch that defied gravity by traveling the 46 feet from the pitcherâ€™s
mound to me at home plate so slow that it should have just fallen to the ground.
I leaned back and uncoiled with the speed of a rattlesnake! My feet left my
cleats and I uncorked on that ball like Gallagher on a tomato! Smash!!! The
ball rose in the air like it was going interplanetary! High above the lights it
traveled at such a velocity that the spectators all would need a chiropractor the
next day! I begin my travel around the bases on Cloud 9! Then, from behind
me, I hear it over the din of the swelling crowdâ€¦FOUL BALL!
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! It was over the fence! That would
have tied the game!! But, of course, I thought it might be foulâ€¦and it was. It
was, as Bob Prince would describe it, â€œFoul, by a gnatâ€™s eyelash.â€�
So even before I could hold back the well of tears at the thought of my missed
opportunâ€¦whoosh! â€�Strike three!â€� I slumped back to the dugout,
devastated. I was sobbing like someone who was trying not to cry but, just
ended up looking like I was sniveling. My teammates cleared a whole eight
feet of bench for me. My irascible, bellicose, big, Teddy Bear of a Coach, Sam
Simon, looked at me and said the immortal words of Tom Hanks, twenty years
before Tom Hanks was even a starâ€¦â€�Thereâ€™s no crying in baseball!
Pull it together!â€� Well I didnâ€™t and neither did our team. The next
inning, Haney hit a three-run homer and Bubba followed with his second of the
game and the rout was on. The final score is lost in the mysts of timeâ€¦And it
better stay that way!
The Dynasty had continued. Police won the
World Series and every one that I could
remember. My 14-year old girlfriend broke up
with me for a guy in Pony League andâ€¦a car.
Oh, I survived. I was Dormonster! Just like all
Dormonsters, you pick yourself up, dust it off
and move on. I ended up okay. I was still a
pretty good ballplayer and even got a hit off
Louie Pietosi in Pony League. Actually, I had
forgotten this whole episode. Wellâ€¦ that was
until that S.O.B. Haney sent me these